Great post-mortem on The Inbetweeners USA vs. UK

Mind you, I’m not complaining. Even with things a bit worse than Sturgeon’s adage that 90% of everything is crap, there’s still way more good stuff than I have time to get to, particularly given that I have to divide my “leisure” time between reading, viewing, my assorted arts and crafts, and going out once in a while.


Generally true.
But All In The Family and Sanford and Son were improvements over the British originals.


That’s fighting talk.

You can have Three’s Company, if you like. I don’t much care about Man about the House.

I should watch this to see if it’s as bad as I heard:

Oh, thank you, no. That’s alright. You can have it.


Sure? I’ll throw in the British remake of Golden Girls…


Maybe this is why I find The American copy of “Shameless” to be such a rare success. The horribleness is intact and on display, not neutered.

That said, I need to go and find a source for the UK original now, I didn’t catch more than a few episodes when it aired…

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Wait what?

This is new information entering my noggen. To be fair, Red Fox was a comedic genius and the rest of the cast was solid on Sanford. I have no idea why all in the family worked. I really don’t even though I find myself laughing at material if recast and put into modernity I’d be going ‘dude you are a deadbeat motherfucker that’s abusive and small minded because you are weak and afraid and try not to look it so much you reek of desperation. Go fuck yourself.’

That was the point of “Till Death Us Do Part”. Racists tended to miss it though.

Alf Garnett’s socialist son in law was played by Tony Blair’s father in law. I don’t want to think what Alf would have thought about that.


I thought Hollywood was the only one that blatantly stole shit and tried badly to copy it.

No The Inbetweeners was pretty shit in the UK as well.

It was shit when Harry Enfield was doing his Kevin bits, and it is still shit.



For me the points of failure* are more specifically MTV flaws than anything more generally U.S. related. This doesn’t invalidate the video’s points - it’s a great dissection which I’m glad I watched - but seeing anything associated with the MTV logo should be a big warning sign to would-be viewers, earning two out of a possible three strikes in advance.

I’d cite my favorite go-to example of bad translations-where-no-translation-was-needed : season one of Skins. I didn’t buy into the later seasons - honestly only got through the second one before packing it in - but that first one nailed every note it went for IMHO. When I heard MTV was going to cover it I was skeptical, if only because the main character’s flaw was narcissism, the promotion of which is MTV’s stock and trade. And I was right - one episode in and you could tell it was an unwatchable train wreck.

On the flip side, I thought they tightened up the plot of Being Human when it jumped the pond improving it considerably.

  • pacing, language, insertion of and overuse of music

i have just wasted half an hour of my life.


From what I’ve read, it seems like the US adaptation of Shameless did actually shave off a few rough bits, but that seems to be true of even the best, most faithful UK to US adaptations. Sometimes they smooth some things out but add a bit of their own, American grit just to localize things.

Also Veep, which is wonderful, because EVERYONE is unlikeable in it.

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Words to live by.

It’s not meant to help the kitten. The kitten was DOA. We dissect it to learn more about kittens, so that fewer kittens will die in the future. Or comedies.


The UK Shameless was great at first, but it went on for so long after…

I loved the UK Shameless (though as devophill says, the latter series were a bit shit) and really liked the US version (though I’ve only seen the first series). It’s a remake that works and like you say, it’s mainly because it retains the grit and semi-bleakness. It’s also very well cast and the characters totally work.

Anyway, I definitely recommend watching the first five series of the original.

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