Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafesj

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


BS: US Kath and Kim (and similar)

McGrath of Harlow 06 Feb 09 - 09:47 AM
robomatic 06 Feb 09 - 12:09 PM
SINSULL 06 Feb 09 - 12:15 PM
RangerSteve 06 Feb 09 - 12:22 PM
McGrath of Harlow 06 Feb 09 - 01:01 PM
Helen 06 Feb 09 - 01:17 PM
jeffp 06 Feb 09 - 01:49 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 06 Feb 09 - 02:00 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 06 Feb 09 - 02:08 PM
Jack Campin 06 Feb 09 - 02:12 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 06 Feb 09 - 02:16 PM
Spleen Cringe 06 Feb 09 - 02:16 PM
Spleen Cringe 06 Feb 09 - 02:28 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 06 Feb 09 - 02:45 PM
Spleen Cringe 06 Feb 09 - 03:03 PM
Spleen Cringe 06 Feb 09 - 03:06 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 06 Feb 09 - 03:15 PM
Spleen Cringe 06 Feb 09 - 03:23 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 06 Feb 09 - 03:46 PM
Spleen Cringe 06 Feb 09 - 03:54 PM
Spleen Cringe 06 Feb 09 - 03:58 PM
PoppaGator 06 Feb 09 - 04:05 PM
robomatic 06 Feb 09 - 04:22 PM
JennieG 06 Feb 09 - 05:37 PM
McGrath of Harlow 06 Feb 09 - 06:02 PM
Rowan 06 Feb 09 - 08:33 PM
robomatic 06 Feb 09 - 08:44 PM

Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:





Subject: BS: US Kath and Kim (and similar)
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 06 Feb 09 - 09:47 AM

I was just looking at a bit of the US version of what, in its original version is one of my favourite sit-coms, Kath and Kim. Not really a great experience.

Here's a bit of the Aussie version , and here's a bit of the US remake.

It set me thinking about all the other US versions of TV showqs and films which have been a success in their origonal English language versions, and I was trying to thinio if there have been any which an objective critic would think was an improvement.

It is a pretty strange phenomenenon. I can't think of any cases where it's happened the other way, where a US series or film has been rewritten and re-made to make it palatable or comprehensible to an audience in some other country. Does it ever happen?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: US Kath and Kim (and similar)
From: robomatic
Date: 06 Feb 09 - 12:09 PM

I've heard of US films being exported with changes to make them palatable to foreign audiences. The story I heard was not specific, but it had to do with American films that ended with the hero getting the girl, had to be changed for our Eastern friends to have the hero get killed. It was called "putting a Russian ending" on the film.

There has been a great deal written and aired about the movies, there are several good series out there and I'll bet there is a lot of hard information available on just what you are interested in.

There have also been some fascinating movies about movies. One of the most 'cutting' is: "Day of the Locust".

As for TV series, it does seem that Americans are very quick to copy something from abroad that appears to be a new idea, but it would not surprise me at all to learn that it has happened in the other direction. In the films, "Seven Samurai" famously led to "Magnificent Seven" but if one goes back to Kurosawa's inspiration, it was in the films of John Ford, so there is arguably a good deal of cross-fertilization involved.

I didn't know the Aussie origin of Kath and Kim but I find the American version un-bleeping-watchable, to the point of putting me off my food, and believe me it takes a lot to do that.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: US Kath and Kim (and similar)
From: SINSULL
Date: 06 Feb 09 - 12:15 PM

Have.t seen Kath and Kim. But the US version of The Office is not nearly as clever or funny as the UK version although it is a huge success here.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: US Kath and Kim (and similar)
From: RangerSteve
Date: 06 Feb 09 - 12:22 PM

Kath and Kim isn't worth the trouble, at least in it's U.S. version. But it's on between "My Name is Earl" and "The Office", so people will watch it whether they like it or not, and NBC will claim it's a hit.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: US Kath and Kim (and similar)
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 06 Feb 09 - 01:01 PM

If you hate the US Kath and Kim there is a good chance you'd love the original. And vice versa.

Stiull can't think of a single case where this kind of thing has happened in reverse. I suppose it must be to do with market size - there's so much American stuff produced and exported in all media that people overseas get used to American accents and dialect.

The sad ending happy ending things would I imnagine be where there were two endings made, and the American distributors insisted on the happy ending. Rather the way the version of Romeo and Juiet whoich was generally played for a couple of centuries had a happy ending - and that was in England.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: US Kath and Kim (and similar)
From: Helen
Date: 06 Feb 09 - 01:17 PM

The original Oz version is good. I don't watch it every week but it's funny. Great actors, clever concept, clever script. It's the cringe factor which makes the show funny.

Magda Szubanski, who plays Sharon, is my favourite comedian, ever, or at least is my equal favourite with John Clarke aka Fred Dagg (Did you see The Games? It was aired in the lead-up to the Olympic Games in Sydney, 2000, and was based around the Olympic organising group - in very few countries could the national, government-run tv network air a brilliant, scathing comedy about the biggest ever upcoming major international event.) Magda used to have her own show, and before that she was in Fast Forward, and related comedy skit shows. (The other actors had their start on Oz tv in the same shows, I think.) Magda is very, very funny and she does clever comedy, not the usual drivel! She has also made a series of movies called Dogwoman, and she was in the two Babe movies.

I have never seen a US remake of a UK, or Oz, or other country's movie or show which has been worth watching. I'm about to be disgusted all over again when the US version of Life on Mars starts tonight on Oz tv. US tv/movies are not so good on subtlety. The UK show was brilliant. I'm prepared to eat my words tonight, but I don't think I'll have to.

It beggars belief that US tv and movie producers think they can take a brilliant, quirky idea which has been perfectly realised in the original and change it into something vaguely related which usually misses the point, and expect it to be a success.

Have any of these projects succeeded?

Helen


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: US Kath and Kim (and similar)
From: jeffp
Date: 06 Feb 09 - 01:49 PM

All in the Family (Till Death Do Us Part)--many Emmys and Golden Globes

Sanford and Son (Steptoe and Son)--top 10 in ratings 5 out of 6 years, with #2 three of those years.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: US Kath and Kim (and similar)
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 06 Feb 09 - 02:00 PM

"I can't think of any cases where it's happened the other way, where a US series or film has been rewritten and re-made to make it palatable or comprehensible to an audience in some other country"

Ballykissangel "borrowed" heavily from Northern Exposure.

Obviously you folks have a kinship to the original, so nothing is going to compare in your eyes. As Jeffp pointed out, All in the Family and Steptoe and Son took two silly comedies and reworked the premise into an entirely different type of program, a far more satisfying program in my opinion.

The British original of the Office is a classic.   The American version simply went in a different direction using the strenghts of the cast, much as the Brit's did in theirs. It is a great program. Sorry Sinsull, you just don't relate to the American brand of comedy in that one.

Kath and Kim is a one joke situation comedy that just doesn't work. I have not seen the Aussie version, but it has to be better.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: US Kath and Kim (and similar)
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 06 Feb 09 - 02:08 PM

By the way, therehave been a number of shows that the Brits have usurped as well. The Golden Girls became The Brighton Belles, Mad About You became Loved By You, Married...with Children became Married for Life, Maude became Nobody's perfect, That 70's Show became Days Like These, Whose the Boss became The Upper Hand.    Many of these shows sucked in both incarnations.

You also imported The Apprentice without Donald Trump and numerous game shows.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: US Kath and Kim (and similar)
From: Jack Campin
Date: 06 Feb 09 - 02:12 PM

All in the Family (Till Death Do Us Part)--many Emmys and Golden Globes
Sanford and Son (Steptoe and Son)--top 10 in ratings 5 out of 6 years, with #2 three of those years.


Both of those American versions were sentimentalized mush compared with the original. Is it surprising that the US ratings system likes that stuff?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: US Kath and Kim (and similar)
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 06 Feb 09 - 02:16 PM

"Both of those American versions were sentimentalized mush compared with the original."

What are you smokin Jack?   You just proved that bias exists!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: US Kath and Kim (and similar)
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 06 Feb 09 - 02:16 PM

LOOK AT MOY! The original Aussie Kath and Kim (series one and two at least) is a work of comedy genius. Some things don't need messing around with.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: US Kath and Kim (and similar)
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 06 Feb 09 - 02:28 PM

And I guess my point is that if Aussie humour can translate to the UK it can also translate to the US... without a remake.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: US Kath and Kim (and similar)
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 06 Feb 09 - 02:45 PM

I don't know if the word "remake" is proper. The idea is that the situation is being "reworked" to fit a different situation.   Just like the Brits did with the above mentioned shows.

There is a market for UK humor in the U.S. as well. Frankly I hear all the complaints you folks have when one of our series is imported "as is" onto your screens, why not rework it into a different setting to find a different audience?   Folk songs have done that for generations.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: US Kath and Kim (and similar)
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 06 Feb 09 - 03:03 PM

Erm... if any UK producers messed with Frazier (the first half a dozen series at least), or Will and Grace or Seinfeld or (especially) Curb Your Enthusiasm they would assuredly NOT have my support...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: US Kath and Kim (and similar)
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 06 Feb 09 - 03:06 PM

And don't get me started on the Wire and Homicide and Law and Order and the Shield... Closet USophile? Moi? You bet!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: US Kath and Kim (and similar)
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 06 Feb 09 - 03:15 PM

"Erm... if any UK producers messed with Frazier (the first half a dozen series at least), or Will and Grace or Seinfeld or (especially) Curb Your Enthusiasm they would assuredly NOT have my support... "

Who is Erm????

Ya gotta lighten up. Let producers mess with anything they want, the original is still intact. You don't have to like the new version, but sometimes it works very well - as in the case of All in the Family, Sanford & Son, and The Office to name a few.   

Even Shakespeare copped a few stories for his plays.   Bernstein created a great work of art out of one of them as well.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: US Kath and Kim (and similar)
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 06 Feb 09 - 03:23 PM

Isn't there a world of difference between riffing off something to create something new and assuming your audience is stupid and culturally monocular, though? All I'm gonna add is friggin' 'Breathless'...

BTW Ron, I am lighter than air itself, apart from my body...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: US Kath and Kim (and similar)
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 06 Feb 09 - 03:46 PM

Lighter than air itself - would that be hot air?? :)

Just teasing.

I think you are going at it from the wrong direction Spleen. No one saying that the audience is "culturally monocular", but there is something about familiarity that can make an audience relate. All in the Family became an iconic show because they created a character that shown a mirror to our own culture, and that in turn changed a lot. It would not have had the same effect if the Brit version was the only one we saw. Like I said before, we get the originals on PBS or BBC America, but there is nothing wrong with taking the same premise and trying it out with new characters in new locations.

Part of the problem with Kath & Kim is that the characters they created in the U.S. version are just one-joke wonders.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: US Kath and Kim (and similar)
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 06 Feb 09 - 03:54 PM

Part of the problem with Kath & Kim is that the characters they created in the U.S. version are just one-joke wonders.

And maybe this is the problem... the principle's fine, but the execution is sometime's lacking. I also think from the UK context we are so familiar with US films and TV that we don't actually need it recontextualising... personally I am okay with this and always groan inwardly when some of my country folks moan about too many American shows on TV... especially as my experience of watching TV in the States suggests by-and-large we tend to get the good ones...

Not hot air, Ron. Merely warm. And pleasingly moist...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: US Kath and Kim (and similar)
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 06 Feb 09 - 03:58 PM

Could I just apologise for the inexcusable greengrocer's apostrophe in my last post?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: US Kath and Kim (and similar)
From: PoppaGator
Date: 06 Feb 09 - 04:05 PM

I have enjoyed any number of British comedies over the years (Monty Python, for example, is among the first to come to mind), but some material that was very successful there has just left me cold.

I could never stand "Ab/Fab," (although my wife really liked it), for example, and I was never able to warm up to Ricky Gervase, either in the original The Office or in any other context. Just a matter of personal taste, of which national-cultural implications are just a part.

Now, I have come to really enjoy the US The Office. I understand that, in both versions, the boss is meant to be humorously obnoxious, someone the audience will "love to hate," but I've learned to appreciate Steve Carell's idiodic character (after a while!) whereas I simply can't stand his British counterpart.

As for Kath and Kim, I've been watching it only because it appears on NBC in between two favorites ~ the Thursday evening comedy lineup is really the only time all week when we watch network TV rather than TCM old movies, PBS/Discovery/NatlGeo, and/or sports. The characters are stupid and one-dimensional, but I have to admit, somewhat shamefacedly, that they've begun to grow on me. They actually made me laugh out loud last night ~ go figure.

Of course, I never saw the Aussie original. Perhaps if I had, the US version would suffer so badly by comparison that I would be less able to take it on its own terms.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: US Kath and Kim (and similar)
From: robomatic
Date: 06 Feb 09 - 04:22 PM

I think "The Office" is an interesting and exceptional case. The original Gervase version capitalized on some very English topics, the delicately awkward social situation, the central character who is devoid of perception, the not-quite love affair which is all too easy to imagine in real life, and the many cringe-worthy situations which seem to drive certain English social comedy-dramas. I thought it was brilliant.

So is the American version, which is played differently, and (yes it) is subtle in its own way. I think it has gone on significantly longer than the original UK version as well. It has somewhat broader characterizations and many of them are done brilliantly, both Steve Karel and Rainn Wilson for a start. And broadly played as it is, there is plenty of room for each character to have his moment. There was a cute episode where Jim gets to be an office manager and rapidly gets himself twisted in knots when he tries to make what he thinks is an obvious call which happens to upset office tradition. But the icing on the cake is when Michael returns and quite matter-of-factly explains to Jim what an elementary error he made, and Jim gives a little look at the camera as if to say: "I just learned something, and from the last person on earth I thought capable of teaching!"

So I submit that each version of the show is subtle and perceptive per its audience. It would make useful research to compare the two shows in the light of English/ American distinctions.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: US Kath and Kim (and similar)
From: JennieG
Date: 06 Feb 09 - 05:37 PM

I haven't seen the US Kath and Kim, but Like Helen I enjoy the Ozzie version, perhaps because I have known people who remind me of some of the characters, and because it's a fairly Ozzie humour. Let's face it - different countries have different senses of humour. What tickles the funnybone of a Frenchman will not necessarily make a Venezuelan laugh; and what an American finds uproarious may not raise a smile in a German. (I was told by a German that's almost impossible anyway)

Irony is used a lot in Ozzie humour and some countries just don't get irony. Some people like slapstick - The Three Stooges spring to mind - personally I think it can be cruel and not at all funny. Then there is the Benny Hill/fat lady at the seaside/double entendre British comedy which makes me cringe. All different.

And women and men laugh at different things too!

It must be very difficult to make a comedy show that will appeal to everyone - I suppose the makers are hoping 'their' show, whether it is original or using an idea from somewhere else, may do just that. At the end of the day it's all about ratings, and drawing the advertisers' money to that particular TV network.

Or you could all be like me and not turn the TV on because of the dearth of shows I want to watch!

Cheers
JennieG


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: US Kath and Kim (and similar)
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 06 Feb 09 - 06:02 PM

"Of course, I never saw the Aussie original. Perhaps if I had, the US version would suffer so badly by comparison that I would be less able to take it on its own terms."

YouTube can solve that - there's this montage of a few moments from one show and lots of other clips.

National tastes in humour do vary - but I suspect that even more significant in this field are the assumptions made by programme planners about what will go down well or badly.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: US Kath and Kim (and similar)
From: Rowan
Date: 06 Feb 09 - 08:33 PM

I heard a reviewer on Radio National (Oz ABC) the other day commenting on the remakes of both Kath and Kim and Life on Mars for US audiences and thus right on the topic of this thread.

The reviewer had seen the first three episodes of the US Life on Mars, back-to-back, and regarded it as every bit as good as the UK version, with the "added attraction" of not closing down the plot line at the end of the second series, which happens in the UK version. In particular, she believed the cultural references that 'made' the UK version (such as the closing down of Manchester's cotton mills in the 70s) would never have worked in any US version and the original plan to film it in LA would have damaged it beyond repair so it was made in New York. Other aspects of the UK version, she reckoned, transferred perfectly into the NY/US version and made it an excellent program in its own right.

SHe went on to say, about the Kath and Kim comparisons, that one of the little ironies that made Oz version so delicious was the belief by Gina Riley's character (and Gina also was central to The Games) that she was a hot chick even though she displayed what must be the archetypical muffin tops. Her US version was much slimmer so all the context brought by the character's shape (in Oz) was missing in action in the US. *

I confess this is hearsay on my part as, although I saw all of the episodes of the Oz/UK series of both programs I've not seen any of the US remakes.

* Apparently US producers have some difficulty accepting female physiques that are 'on the large side'. Casting the role of Precious Ramotswe for the film of "The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency" has been criticised because the book's central character requires her to be "traditionally built" (and various plot parts hinge on this) whereas the producers somehow can't imagine a heroine's physique that is generously endowed across the hips.

Cheers, Rowan


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: US Kath and Kim (and similar)
From: robomatic
Date: 06 Feb 09 - 08:44 PM

"Roseanne" where are you now that we need you?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate


 


You must be a member to post in non-music threads. Join here.


You must be a member to post in non-music threads. Join here.



Mudcat time: 7 August 10:01 AM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.