Remaking British shows for U.S. audiences will always be in vogue. For almost as long as U.K. TV has been good, American production companies have been adapting their ideas for the audiences in the U.S. But more often than not, these across-the-pond remakes fail to capture the single most crucial element of the original series. Here are some examples of U.S. remakes of British shows that failed to include the one element that would have made them truly remarkable.
"The Office": Failing to keep things short and sweet
The original U.K. version of "The Office" is ultimately a more successful series than the U.S. version because it had a shorter run. Unlike the American version, there's never a bad episode. While the majority of American "The Office" episodes are quite good, the bad ones are excruciatingly bad. Another benefit to the shorter run of the U.K. series is that it never stretched the audience's suspension of disbelief. While it's feasible that an outside production crew might want to document an office environment in the U.K. over a short filming period, audiences in the U.S. find themselves wondering who exactly is still filming at Dunder-Mifflin after nearly a decade, and why.
"Hell's Kitchen": Failing to include celebs
Gordon Ramsay was the host of the very first season of "Hell's Kitchen" in the U.K. Now the host of the U.S. version, as well, Ramsay has made the series a reality TV touchstone on both sides of the pond. And while it's hard to call any reality series that runs for 10 seasons a failure, there is something that could have made the U.S. version of "Hell's Kitchen" far more intriguing. In the first season of the U.K. show, the contestants weren't chefs or chef-wannabes; they were celebrities. Imagine how cool "Hell's Kitchen" would be if they did a celebrity season, with B- and D-list celebs getting into catfights in fully stocked kitchens.
"Beacon Hill": Failing to see the allure of London
There's a good reason you don't remember the 1975 CBS series "Beacon Hill." It was utterly forgettable. Based on the beloved U.K. series "Upstairs, Downstairs," the U.S. series "Beacon Hill" showcased servant-master drama in a Boston household, rather than in London. While the show actually premiered to strong numbers, viewership began to fade, and the show only lasted 13 episodes. For a country that prides itself on a lack of class borders, some viewers felt jarred by the servant-centric storylines of "Beacon Hill." For all its charm, Boston doesn't quite have the same charm and allure of London...and independent-minded Americans seem to prefer seeing the drama between social classes play out across the pond, instead of their home country.
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