Every fall, a new TV show arises that millions of people are horrified that it has seen the light of day. The words “American remake” send terror through any anglophile’s heart the same way it does with “cancelled.” While everyone else is cowering in the corner watching some maniac serial killer movie marathon, we watch our beloved British TV shows being butchered by American hands. Which leave us all wondering: are any of these remakes really necessary?
I, like millions of other Americans, have no problem watching British television. British humor is known for being deadpan. Apparently, deadpan is synonymous with “incomprehensible” in the minds of network executives, which causes remakes to dumb down jokes so that Americans can understand them. Having to make jokes more obvious is part of the problem that American remakes fail. We don’t need to be pigeon holed as stupid.
Before Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright made Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, they created the cult TV show Spaced. The show revolves around Tim and Daisy, played by Simon Pegg and Jessica Hynes, who have to pretend to be a couple in order to live in a cheap flat. The two must keep up their faux relationship, while dealing with an alcoholic landlady and a bizarre artist neighbor, or else they will be kicked out of their apartment. In reality, the show is how to bridge that awkward period between being a teenager and an adult. It’s difficult to be an adult when you’re living in a pop-culture fantasy world with your friends, Twist and Mike.
What gave Spaced its cult status was its pop culture references. Some are obscure, like the homage to Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy that involves a fear of Mice Spiders. Some are more in your face, like The Shining, which includes creepy twins speaking in unison. There are so many references that you will feel like you are included in their inside jokes. Don’t let this deter you though because the show is still hilarious if you don’t get any of the references. It’s one of those shows that you can watch over and over again and still find a reference that escaped you the first time.