Adaptations Galore

Of course, the Americans aren’t the only ones adapting other countries’ shows. American shows get adapted too. For example, you might have heard a couple of years ago that there was a planned Russian version of Perfect Strangers, with the culture clash now focusing not on different countries but on different parts of Russia (a nerdy guy from Moscow rooming with his crazy relative from the part of Russia where they still wear those big furry hats). Well, I just found a clip from the Russian Perfect Strangers, and you know what? It actually works, though I don’t know how successful it was or wasn’t in Russia. Even without the subtitles, you cannot stop the Dance of Joy.

The U.S. sitcoms that work in foreign adaptations tend to be the ones that have class issues built in, since class is so central to a lot of the humour in Europe and elsewhere. That’s why Who’s the Boss was successful in its British adaptation, The Upper Hand; the original show didn’t deal with the class issues that much, but the premise was all about class differences, which the British show then played up.

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