Last week, I was watching “Being Human”, which is a US relaunch of a (reportedly superior) UK show. With the exception of “The Office”, I’ve preferred the UK originals of shows like “Life on Mars” and “Kitchen Nightmares”, and I’m sure that once I see the UK version of “Being Human”, I’ll feel the same way. It seems like every time that a brilliant television show crosses the pond, it gets watered down, dumbed down, and given Downs Syndrome.
This made me wonder what some of our popular shows would be like if they were completely rejiggered and relaunched in other cultures:
FRANCE: La Théorie Du Big Bang
Four well-dressed male bisexual college students spend most of their days smoking cigarettes and discussing philosophy while sharing the beautiful but stupid blonde American woman who lives across the hall. The breakout star, ‘Chelle, is known for his catchphrase, “Bozhe, Carja hrani (Боже, Царя храни) which is Russian for “God Save the Tsar”.
Stock footage of threshing machines is interspersed with shots of the Royal Family tripping or blowing their nose while the audience titters politely.
GREECE: Vouliagmeni Shore
This reality show follows six Athens men around as they spend the summer in one house on the beach. There’s Nicodemus “Snooki” Papadopolous, Petros “P-Woww” Gaffinafikas, Spyros Fancypantsis, Remo “Strong Guy” Snuffalupagus, Zorba “The Condition In Which You Find Yourself” Nachopantalones, and Aleksandar Adrogynicus, all men who love to lay out, go to the gym, give each other blowjobs, and tan, or as they say “LGBT!”
JAPAN: Opura Wuinnfrai Show
In this gameshow, contestants are chased around a couch by a sumo wrestler in blackface. If he catches them, they must go through the dreaded “VaJayJay” gauntlet, where they will be punished until they cry. If they can keep out of his grasp for 90 seconds, the contestant and a random audience member will win a free car.
RUSSIA: The Great Hoarding of Supplies
A camera crew is accompanied by a psychologist, recording the lives of hoarders and attempting to help them with their disease. Episodes have included the 70-year old woman who lived with her 90-year old father, and between the two of them had accumulated 36 plastic bags, 14 cans of beans, and six unused rolls of toilet paper!
MALAWI: The Malawi of Tara
This show centers around a woman who is raising two children alone in Malawi. She also suffers from a dissociative personality disorder, and at times of stress, her other personalities surface. In the season finale, one of her personalities surfaces in front of a magistrate and she is summarily executed for being a witch.
Pretty much the same show as the US version, except every character is played by Bjork, except for Kramer who is played by a midget wearing a swan costume.