There is, for instance, going to be a spinoff of the US Office; details are unknown, so it could either be something featuring a few of the characters from the show, or it could be using the same format in a different Dunder Mifflin office somewhere else in the country. Which could make for great cameo opportunities if used well, I feel (unless David Brent shows up for an international conference, at which point I will throw things at my TV screen until he goes away), and would without doubt be the better option. We shall see. Either way, hour-long episodes of the Office proper are going out in September and last I heard, Jane Espensen was suspicious of how well they’ll do. So am I. Hm. Hm. Hmmmm.
Speaking of American remakes, y’all are remembering to boycott the remake butchering of Spaced and look out for the UK version on DVD, right? Goodgood. Excellent. Carry on.
You know what, though? ABC have ordered remakes of two other British comedy shows recently, but those could be, in my view, well done over there. Roman’s Empire is about a self-made rich businessman family man. The family is dysfunctional! The daughters have boyfriend problems! The wife’s an ex-glamour model! They all have an obscene amount of money and use it to their advantage! Now that’s a comedy American writers could do really, really well. In the right hands, it could say so much about the culture and social perceptions and importance of wealth. Ashton Kutcher’s executive producing, but I’m not familiar with his work so I can’t tell if that’s a good thing for it or not. I’ll assume good. And then there is Never Better; this one … hmm. It’s about a recovering alcoholic, so there’s a workable theme, but. I don’t know how the Americanisation of that character, and in particular the AA meetings, will go. It all depends on the writers; it could be great. It could also be a disaster. The thing about British culture vs American culture, you see, is that British people don’t talk about their feelings in public. We don’t talk about ourselves, how we’re doing, how our families are doing; this is why we embrace small talk as a national pastime and identity. The weather, the tardiness of the bus, complaints about shoddy service, traffic jams, whatever’s on the news — these subjects are all far, far safer to us than an honest answer to the question “So how are you?” It’s a cultural thing, and it differs wildly from the American culture of embracing and expressing your feelings in front of strangers, coworkers, family, whoever! Let it out, let it be free! Own how you feel! All this is lovely and everything, but to the British, rather uncomfortable. So transplanting a comedy that in part revolves around group therapy from British to American culture seems, at least to me, rather problematic. But like I said; in the right hands, it could be great.
I want you all to know that this is horrifying. Not the video itself, nor the song, they’re both really sweet; it’s the fact that Russell Brand is having a ~rock career~ now. This, coupled with his My Booky Wook follow-up, is All About The Publicity. “Oh hey, this guy’s really popular right now! How much milk can we squeeze out of this cash cow?” It leaves a bad taste in my mouth, frankly. I’m glad he’s getting attention and all, but … the shrewd marketing isn’t even trying to be anything but completely transparent. Sigh.
In conclusion, I totally and utterly adore Mark Watson.