The American entertainment industry has long been dominated by remakes, a fact that’s easily backed up by a quick glance at the last year in film.¹ What’s less well-known to most people, however, are the amount of television shows on the air that have their origins elsewhere. The UK, in particular, is responsible for American Idol, Sanford and Son, American Gladiators, Being Human, and Whose Line is it Anyway?, to name a few. And let’s not forget about The Office.
It makes total sense that the game shows were taken and adapted for an American format²; if people are going to watch other people make money, they’d prefer it if it was at least the same currency. The other shows, however, were adapted because of cultural differences. As far as Being Human goes, the characters remain a vampire, werewolf, and ghost, yet attempt to live normal lives in an American setting. Cultural differences also encompass humour, and it should be clear to most people that what makes the British laugh won’t necessarily do the same for Americans.
On December 16, 2010, ABC announced that they were planning on rebooting the Canadian series Being Erica3. First airing at the beginning of 2009, Being Erica is a show that follows the life of Erica Strange, a thirty-something year old woman whose life is turned around when she begins an unorthodox form of therapy. Her sessions essentially consist of her being sent back in time to relive past regrets, a smooth blend of science fiction and comedy-drama that seems almost believable at times. Continue reading