Sunday, 2 March 2008

SPACED- Why the US version should never happen...

(aka 'What're you Doin?')

This is something that everyone here at Starstore/The Last Picture Show feels incredibly strongly about. Haven’t heard? McG is intent on remaking SPACED for the US market (old news I know, but it seems to be moving forward now), and despite Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg, Jessica Stevenson et al explicitly saying NO to being involved, and indeed saying it shouldn’t happen, it looks as though the damn thing is going ahead. I just read the article over at CHUD and wanted to write something about it myself.

Now lets get something straight. SPACED is about as English as it gets. The humour, the pacing the plots, they are very, very English. Add to that the characters are so British, that any attempt at shoving that into the American market will rob the show of everything that made it so special in the first place. Simon Pegg and Jessica Stevenson (not to mention the marvellous Mark Heap and everyone else in the show) made those fourteen episodes so utterly perfect that not only should a US version never be made, but I don’t think a third UK series should either. Now, I am a HUGE fan of Spaced, I mean, I am pretty much living Tim Bisley’s life myself right now (although my girlfriend is more like Fran from Black Books than Daisy, even though she’s a journalist), and everyone here can relate to every story, pop culture reference and one liner. An American version would not work. It would not work. Do you hear me?

The last time something similar happened was the US version of MEN BEHAVING BADLY, which came out like a poor man’s Friends. A US version of Spaced would come out pretty much the same. The humour would not translate. Plus, can you imagine getting a character like Tyres onto American screens? He’d have straight teeth and everything!

Fair enough, I can see the temptation in remaking it. Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz were huge and made people aware of what had come before, thus the legion of Spaced fans growing so much in recent years. I was there from the start dammit, and I don’t want the characters I love so much to be tarnished by something so crass and cheap as a remake. Everyone here thinks the idea stinks, as do pretty much everyone else that enjoyed the show. Save your money, big American network, try and get something original off the ground.

And if you must get Spaced remade, don’t let McG anywhere near it. Actually, forget I said that. Don’t remake it at all. Watch those episodes. Look at the character interplay. The timing. The direction. That could never be replicated. Leave them be. There is the definite feeling of things going very, very right in those two series. It is one of those rarest of creatures; a show in which literally everything fell into place and there are no weak links at all.

It is also incredibly watchable again and again. I know every episode off by heart, but with every viewing, the show loses none of its humour and none of its pathos. It is a very special thing to us, as well as the people that made it. Please, please, please don’t spoil it. Let us have our Spaced.

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