5 British Sitcoms That Shouldn't Be Remade in the United States

The ship used in Red Dwarf
The ship used in Red Dwarf
Photo courtesy Flickr user reedwade

It's often been said that "if it isn't broke, don't fix it." However, sometimes Hollywood needs a little creativity when coming up with ideas for shows. Therefore, it seeks inspiration from across the Atlantic -- the United Kingdom -- and, sometimes, in Australia. (The U.S. remake of Kath and Kim starring Molly Shannon and Selma Blair?) Unfortunately, when the U.S. television creators try to do this, it comes across as unoriginal. Sure, there are exceptions to the rule: The Office (original creator and star Ricky Gervais is involved in the U.S. version), Sanford and Son -- which was based off the hit BBC sitcom Steptoe and Son, All in the Family (the UK original is called Till Death Do Us Part) and even Three's Company.

Likewise, British television also borrows from U.S. television -- such as the recent remake of Law & Order. Still, there are some British sitcoms that should remain untouched.

Absolutely Fabulous Comedienne Jennifer Saunders is one of the funniest women in the history of television. Saunders stars as Edina Monsoon -- a self-absorbed, wild party-going, wealthy public relations agent and single mother of straitlaced Saffy Monsoon (played by Julia Sawalha). Patsy Stone (played by Joanna Lumley) is the drug-addicted, hard-partying best friend of Edina.

The U.S. version would be an absolute disaster mainly because, for starters, there is no way the humor would get past the FCC. Also, it would take away some of the biting British humor that makes the show great in the first place -- such as whenever Saffy insults Patsy and tells her that she looks "like a sad reject from Ready, Steady, Go." (a popular BBC live music show from the 1960s)

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There have been many attempts to remake Absolutely Fabulous into a U.S. sitcom, including one created by Roseanne Barr and starring Carrie Fisher. Another remake was announced in 2008, this one starring 3rd Rock from the Sun's Kristen Johnston as Patsy Stone, but FOX decided to not commission a full series.

Spaced Spaced is about two friends, Tim Bisley and Daisy Steiner, who meet at a cafe and are on a search for a flat. However, the flat they want has one minor contractual caveat -- they must be a "professional couple." So Tim and Daisy come up with a plan: pretend to be a "professional couple."

However, what makes this sitcom interesting is that it uses the characters' imagination -- which makes it rather vivid. But it doesn't really translate well due to the references to American pop culture being done by the characters, who are London residents. (A prime example of this would be when Daisy refers to The Dukes of Hazzard.) Also, we have already had one rapid-fire dialogue show that uses pop culture references: Gilmore Girls. We do not need another.

There were talks of a remake in 2007, but the project was ultimately abandoned in 2008 due to negative reaction from both the fans and creators. Furthermore, according to The Guardian, the stars and creators of the show had even expressed their disapproval of a U.S. remake, including co-creator Jessica Hynes going as far as warning American viewers not to watch the U.S. version on her own blog.



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