Friday, July 18, 2008

Remake me laugh

As I told friends I was going to see Ricky Gervais this week, there were a few who gave the usual "I love the British 'Office!' I can't even watch the American version because I know it won't be as good!"

I'm so tired of that elitist bullshit. I'm not going to pretend that every Hollywood attempt to adapt a British hit is successful ("Coupling" anyone?). In fact, I'm somewhat dubious about the U.S. attempt at "Kath & Kim" this fall. (Part of the insanity of the Australian "K&K" is that the two actresses are almost the same age but play mother and daughter, and while Selma Blair is really only 8 years younger than Molly Shannon, she plays so much younger that you'd almost buy them as age appropriate for their respective roles. Which just isn't as inherently funny.)

Where was I?

Oh, so yeah, I can't imagine that NBC's version of "Kath & Kim" is going to hit me the same way as the original, but you know what? I would love to be proven wrong. Do you know how fantastic that would be? And I'm going to give it a chance. I love Molly Shannon and it looks like the fantastic John Michael Higgins from the Christopher Guest movies is in it, so why wouldn't I give it a shot?

Like I did with "The Office." And here's the thing: the U.S. version of the show is not the same as the British, in fact, it differs in many key ways, mostly in the overall tone and the characterization of its lead roles (i.e., both Michael Scott and Dwight Schrute are more sympathetic than David Brent and Gareth Keenan.) But it's still incredibly funny, wonderfully written, and highly entertaining, most of the time. And of course, Ricky Gervais is still involved.

There are plenty of bad remakes out there, I know, and I'm not suggesting that a person has to review every version of a favorite in order to appreciate it. But to knock something you haven't tried, that has consistently been reviewed positively by others who loved the original, too? That's just being stubborn for principle's sake and frustrates me to no end.

(Did I mention how funny Ricky Gervais was? Well they filmed the performance that night for a DVD - and according to his website, for HBO. I really am looking forward to seeing it. And I really mean that - we had seats very far from the stage (they were free) and I had a tall man sitting in front of me, so had to constantly lean to one side to see even the tiniest bit of Gervais on the stage. I missed some of the physical comedy he did. But of course I heard most of it and was still cracking up.)


Post a Comment

<< Home

ring logo
Writing Desk Webring

Join | List | Random
Previous | Next
Powered by RingSurf
Locations of visitors to this page