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USA vs British sitcoms


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I dislike it when America tries to make their own version of a British series. It never works due to being dumbed down and appealing to a "wider demographic". An idea that has killed off many a talented artiste.

US comedy has improved since it was heavily politicised by the Reagan administration. Third rock from the sun saw to this.

On the whole I prefer British theater in all its forms, TV, film etc. On the whole I see more talent on display than the "personality" that passes for ability in the US. As one has said, British actors and comedians are usually well educated. Cambridge has produced very sharp wit. Oxford, perhaps with less edge, has also produced quality comedy.

America has its moments. But I feel the genius seen In Fawlty towers, Black Adder and others would not have had a voice in America.

Amercan film these days IMO is worthless, for the most part. No new ideas. CGI in place of dialogue and plot. A disgrace of profit over quality. I avoid US films like the plague.

I prefer European films.

Don't get me started on modern Australian cinema!

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Has anyone seen Spaced?

Spaced is just outstanding. Honestly if any of you haven't seen it, then you must go out acquire it as soon as you can by any means possible. Very different style to any other sitcom and very original. Seriously probably the best two series of comedy I've ever seen.

As for the debate. It's difficult I think we(the UK) has slipped in all things in the last decade with a few exceptions like IT Crowd and The Office. But TV and Film wise I think Amercia has moved ahead. Sopranos, ER, The Shield, The Wire to name a few things the UK can't match. Though do remember most UK series are made on a budget tha would struggle to pay for a single episode of big US series.

The remaking of classic comedies goes both ways. The UK made some really bad remakes of Married With Children, Golden Girls and Who's The Boss. I can understand some remakes, I don't think Shameless would transfer over as it's based so much on a certain part of British culture I think only Brits would know. So I can see the need for the US version.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Don't get me started on modern Australian cinema!

For or against? If you're on the latter side I'd definatley recommend The Rage in Placid Lake, it may change your mind!

Please forgive my late reply.

At this point I am

on the against side. Aussie cinema has become preachey. And frankly I don't think Australia has any moral high ground from which to preach.

The sad thing for me is my close association to Aussie theater and entertainment in general. I am kind of related to it through family, have been in film and TV, and make a living from it.

Shhhh. It's between us. ;)

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I am a very recent convert to American comedy after years of, to be honest, finding it sugary and annoying. Now it simply rules!

There are some fantastic British shows like The Inbetweeners and Shameless, but the writing of both Two and a Half Men (seasons 1 - 7 IMHO) and also The Big Bang Theory i think is a very different style of writing that has almost beat the British at their own game - irony!

Matt

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  • 2 weeks later...

This is a weird kind of debate. Why pick if you can have both ?

90% of the shows I watch are american, 5% french and 5% british.

I think whether you like Brit shows or not depends mostly on

- which side of the pond you live (americans tend to like brit shows for the awesomeness of the accents ;) )

- the kind of humor that suits you (the most famous trait of brit humor being absurdness - celebrated by the Monty Pythons)

I don't like most of the brit comedies for they usually feel unachieved and shallow. But a few of them are terrific.

Like "Black Adder", "fawlty towers", "Monty Pyhton's flying circus", "How Not to Live your Life" and the recent "This Is jinsy".

But they don't quite match the dozens of awesome american shows. After all, the USA is the country of TV industry.

The funny thing is you can have a mix&match like this new brit show called "BEaver falls" taking place in california with 3 british main characters (a computer science pothead, a handsome jock and a passionate arab soccer players) hired on a summer camp because they're oxford students (but not from the famous university). Refreshing show with some brit humor but lots of american hints.


IT crowd forever!

I have to second that.

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Didi you guys know there was a failed AMerican Pilot of the IT Crowd?

It had Richard still as Moss, but Joel McHale (from Talk Soup and Community) as Roy

Didn't work as McHale has no charm as an IT geek but was interesting to see it

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I have to say that American and British comedy shows are so different in thier aproach to humor, that it would seem prudent to balance your diet by having a bit of both, although there are very few recent British comedy shows that have captivated me. I find I prefer the American sence of humor. As a Brit my self I can say hand on heart I never thought those words would ever come from my mouth (or key board) :icon_lol:

A great many of the classic TV comedy shows tend toward satire on current affairs and as such fail to get reruns as their imact is lost by not being relevent to things happening in news and politics.

Eg.

Yes Minister & Yes Priminister

Drop the Dead Donkey

I do love Black Books & Father Ted though. :)

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I do have a deep and abiding hatred of this habit that TV producers have of taking a show that was sucessful in one country and trying to remake it taylored for their audience. It shows a lack of imagination understanding of what made it sucessful in the first place, not to mention the lack of courage and willingness to invest in new shows and writing talent.

Unfortunatly this behaviour is endemic in the movie industry as well, as shown by the number of pointless and poor remakes of old movies (Very few of wich work).

RANT OVER... ;)

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