Tuesday 18 January 2011

Can't Wait Can't Wait Can't Wait.

Well, in a time where seemingly every British, Australian, or Canadian show with a vaguely interesting premise is getting remade for the American audience, we might as well start asking that question of television remakes, too. Just eight days ago, we saw an interesting remake of the British series Shameless, one that is struggling a bit to get on its own two feet, but one that is clearly finding lots of fun in adapting the series it’s based on. Tonight, remakes of both Being Human and Skins launch, and the similarities between the two are so striking that if we had a system that easily allowed for posting dual reviews of TV shows, I’d just write one piece for the both of ‘em. They’re both promising. They both have moments when they seem like they’re finding their footing and escaping their parent series. They both struggle with moments that are pretty much shot-for-shot remakes. They’re both shot in Canada. And so on.

Strangely, when I watched the original pilot for Being Human which was re-shot with (mostly) different actors later, I couldn't picture anyone but Andrea Riseborough and Guy Flanagan play the roles of Annie and Mitchell - and it was especially hard to imagine Lenora Crichlow in a role that is the exact opposite of Sugar in Sugar Rush (the only other thing I've ever seen her in) - but it took me about half an episode to completely forget about Sugar, and about the performances in the original pilot. I guess (since the first episode of Skins is probably going to be an almost exact remake of the first UK episode, judging from the trailers) the success of these shows is going to depend on how long it takes me to forget about how the original cast played the characters, how soon I stop thinking about it as "Britne Oldford playing Hannah Murray's Cassie", which I will do even if I try not to.

Showtracker: 'Skins' creator Bryan Elsley on why the MTV show isn't 'dangerous' for teens (despite the sex and drugs)

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