Join 3,424 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Plonkers
January 30, 2012 10:24 AM   Subscribe

The long running English sitcom Only Fools And Horses is going to be remade in the US…. The Guardians showbiz spies reveal the subtle tinkerings that have been made to the original formula. The funniest thing ever on television. Allegedly. (This is funnier)
posted by fearfulsymmetry (37 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
At first I thought "This can't end well." But they did OK with Steptoe and Son and the Office. What happened to the rumoured US version of Ab Fab?
posted by conifer at 10:34 AM on January 30, 2012


They did pretty well with Man About The House and Til Death Us Do Part too.
posted by scrowdid at 10:36 AM on January 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


The lists of sitcoms imported from the UK to the US were sadly incomplete. No Three's Company? (British tile Man About the House) Not to mention both its two spinoffs which were based on -in the UK- unrelated Britcoms. That may have been the biggest British Invasion since the Beatles.
posted by oneswellfoop at 10:38 AM on January 30, 2012


And I thought Changing Rooms/Trading Spaces was/were intended to be comedy.
posted by oneswellfoop at 10:41 AM on January 30, 2012


Why the remake? Just show the original show, with subtitles if necessary. It worked for Are You Being Served?

I remember thinking even as a kid that the show would be 100x better if it were about what it sounded like it's about: politicians failing to serve the public.
posted by DU at 10:42 AM on January 30, 2012


My one claim to fame is that they filmed the chandelier scene where I work. The door you see at the end of the hall? That's an IT suite now.

On topic. US version of Only Fools And Horses? *head on desk*. I suspect it's going to be like, say, the Life on Mars adaptation, i.e. utter dreck.
posted by ArkhanJG at 10:44 AM on January 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


This time next year, they'll be millionaires.
posted by DangerIsMyMiddleName at 10:44 AM on January 30, 2012 [4 favorites]


They're lovable failures in England, with an undertone of dodginess, but their hearts are in the right place. Many of the jokes are about Del Boy's pretensions and Rodney's fecklessness. In a culture where ambition is morally dubious and failure not a sin, that's fine, but in the US?
posted by Jehan at 10:53 AM on January 30, 2012 [5 favorites]


I would also like to propose a "Fight Club Theory of Only Fools and Horses", where Del Boy is an aging failure who invents his inner Rodney and Uncle Albert to explain his inability to succeed. Rodney represents the feeling of inferiority compared with other men who are more successful, and Albert his past which holds hims back.
posted by Jehan at 11:06 AM on January 30, 2012 [4 favorites]


Having watched only a couple of the US Office, one of major differences between Michael Scott and David Brent is that whilst both are losers, Brent is also a complete and utter failure whereas Scott seems to be able to do some things right.

Ultimately Del Boy and Rodney are also losers (a lot more loveable than David Brent) but as Jehan says, also failures and this is what makes them funny. Not sure how far that idea of failure as the central premise will go in the US.
posted by jontyjago at 11:12 AM on January 30, 2012


In a culture where ambition is morally dubious and failure not a sin, that's fine, but in the US?

I know what you mean, but I also sometimes think the differences between UK and US culture are overstated. 'Failure' is actually kinda the norm for US sitcom characters. Well, not in the getting laid off and ending up in the gutter sense, of course, but in the sense of constantly missing out on the big promotion, having all ones airy plans and schemes come to naught. The classic US sitcom is, by definition, about someone who doesn't get the break, who is going to be in the same predicament next week that they were in last week (of course there are exceptions). Sitcom characters who develop ambitious schemes to make a quick million or whatever almost almost get their comeuppance--look at Lucy's endless bright ideas and endless failure--and Americans didn't just excuse her endlessly repeated failures, they loved her for them.
posted by yoink at 11:17 AM on January 30, 2012


In they US version, they'll probably win the lottery and go to Disneyworld.
posted by sonascope at 11:18 AM on January 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


I know what you mean, but I also sometimes think the differences between UK and US culture are overstated. 'Failure' is actually kinda the norm for US sitcom characters. Well, not in the getting laid off and ending up in the gutter sense, of course, but in the sense of constantly missing out on the big promotion, having all ones airy plans and schemes come to naught. The classic US sitcom is, by definition, about someone who doesn't get the break, who is going to be in the same predicament next week that they were in last week (of course there are exceptions). Sitcom characters who develop ambitious schemes to make a quick million or whatever almost almost get their comeuppance--look at Lucy's endless bright ideas and endless failure--and Americans didn't just excuse her endlessly repeated failures, they loved her for them.

I think that's fair.
posted by Jehan at 11:35 AM on January 30, 2012


.
posted by Webbster at 11:44 AM on January 30, 2012


For every Sanford and Son, All in the Family and The Office, there are plenty of Beane's of Boston (Are You Being Served?), Chateau Knavely, Amanda's by the Sea, Payne (Fawlty Towers) and Coupling to soil the nest.

Wikipedia has a farly accurate list of UK shows that were adapted for the US. Of course, it goes the other way, too.
posted by Gridlock Joe at 11:51 AM on January 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


Holy crap: University Challenge is based on a US original? Who'd a thunk it?
posted by yoink at 11:53 AM on January 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


Holy crap: University Challenge is based on a US original? Who'd a thunk it?

Previously.
posted by kmz at 12:02 PM on January 30, 2012


Yes but when do we get a US version of Stewart Lee?
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 12:02 PM on January 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


This is very timely for me. I am about five seasons into watching Fools and Horses right now. I was actually introduced David Jason when I stumbled onto the A Touch of Frost series on Netflix. I was commenting to a British friend how much I enjoyed it, and he said "if you like David Jason, you have to watch Of Fools and Horses".

I've discovered two things so far:

David Jason is a great actor - for someone who has the comedic timing he does to follow up a ten year comedy series with a twenty year drama shows a dedication to craft.

Of Fools and Horses is a superb character-driven comedy. I don't hold high hopes for it translating well.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 12:12 PM on January 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


American kids growing up watching Nickelodeon also might remember David Jason, or his voice at least, from a different series.
posted by Spatch at 12:18 PM on January 30, 2012


Oh magiiiic...
posted by howfar at 12:28 PM on January 30, 2012


I wonder how long it will be before we have a US version of Peep Show and the IT crowd. I will never forget watching the pilot of the US version of Coupling. It was never good at all.
posted by RedShrek at 1:54 PM on January 30, 2012


That Del Day sketch ('Allegedly' link) is pure brilliance.
posted by Kattullus at 2:07 PM on January 30, 2012


Will there be a US version of "Episodes"?
posted by John Shaft at 2:11 PM on January 30, 2012


Stewart Lee takes ages to tell a joke. Doesn't he? He takes ages. That Stewart Lee. He'll start telling the joke, and then he'll make a little aside. Possibly towards the audience. Or the people watching on TV. Or maybe even you reading this paragraph. This paragraph that I'm writing here. Then he'll tell a bit more of the joke. Oh wait, he's off on another tangent. That Stewart Lee, he does love a tangent. Funny though.
posted by afx237vi at 2:13 PM on January 30, 2012 [3 favorites]


RedShrek, you;ve had your IT Crowd pilot. That you don't know about it is a *good* thing. I refer you to creator Graham Linehan's thoughts on why the US Pilot failed... "Because, really, when I looked closer at ‘Big Bang Theory’, it was just a checklist of modern geek references, and I think an American ‘IT Crowd’, if done right, could show those trespassers who the fucking daddy is."
posted by ewan at 2:27 PM on January 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


Awesome jubbly!
posted by rollick at 2:43 PM on January 30, 2012


Having just reached the "Dinner Party" point of the US Office, I would heartily disagree with anyone who thinks the show was sullied in its Americanization -- if anything it got slightly better (I hated The Office Special pretty much, for example). Yes, there are cultural differences between the UK and US, but that doesn't make TV shows automatically worse when they cross the pond. I was in stitches every minute of The IT Crowd, but I've been seriously underwhelmed by Red Dwarf, which has geek jokes, to be sure, but little actual humor from my point of view, even if it shares some of the same absurdist sensibility (and yes, I get the Sartrean claustrophobia bit). Nor am I unaware of the shortcomings of, for example, Downton Abbey. So I get tired of this diamonds-dropped-in-mud narrative that gets told.
posted by dhartung at 2:46 PM on January 30, 2012


Cos-mic.
posted by metaxa at 2:53 PM on January 30, 2012


Just show the original show, with subtitles if necessary.

It's in English already. Why do Americans need subtitles? It's not like American shows are subtitled in other English speaking countries.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 4:06 PM on January 30, 2012


It's in English already. Why do Americans need subtitles? It's not like American shows are subtitled in other English speaking countries.

Many Americans have a great deal of difficulty understanding British accents, mostly due to a lack of exposure.
posted by Quantum's Deadly Fist at 4:09 AM on January 31, 2012


Alright Dave?
posted by DanCall at 5:11 AM on January 31, 2012



It's in English already. Why do Americans need subtitles? It's not like American shows are subtitled in other English speaking countries.


A lot of people I know watched The Wire with the subtitles turned on, although it's not really the accents in OFAH that might cause trouble... more likely to be the lingo. Even the theme tune will probably require non-Americans to sit there with urbandictionary.com open in a browser window.

Stick a pony in my pocket?!
posted by afx237vi at 5:59 AM on January 31, 2012


The Wire was full of slang but I managed it. You had to pay attention, and make some educated guesses at times, but it was possible. Not easy, all the time, but possible. And if I can understand The Wire, Americans can damn well understand Only Fools and Horses.
posted by salmacis at 8:14 AM on January 31, 2012


It's in English already. Why do Americans need subtitles?

Not for The Office or Only Fools and Horses, but I did turn the subtitle track occasionally the first time I watched Vic Reeves' Big Night Out, until I got attuned to his northern dialect (which he played up quite a bit in that series compared to later stuff).
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 5:16 AM on February 1, 2012


I will only support this if it's on a new US channel called Rodney.
posted by howfar at 12:26 PM on February 2, 2012


John Leguizamo cast in the Del Boy role
posted by rollick at 11:19 AM on February 21, 2012


« Older The Story of a Suicide: a fantastic array of updat...  |  FML Listings... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments