Let’s dive into some Friday Questions, shall we?
Igor is up first.
About "Coupling", which I really liked. Great characters and casting. And as with Seinfeld and Curb, it always circled back around (in its own way) to cleverly bring everything together at the end. (Yes, the remake here failed quickly.)
Why do shows like that have to be remade for the US? Why not a sitcom that's set in the UK _and_ intended from the start to also play in the US? Yes, some jokes are "local", but (1) so what, and/or (2) could some scenes be shot twice, or do cut-ins?
British humor (mostly) works here. (And Downton Abbey sure works here.) I'd like to see a first-run British sitcom here w/ actual British actors speaking with their native accents. Can't happen?
You’re preaching to the choir. I’ve long maintained that the original COUPLING by Steven Moffat would be a hit in the US if given a proper platform. It has aired in the US but on a BBC channel. COUPLING is one of the smartest, funniest sitcoms EVER. Period.
I should also note that the reason the U.S. version of COUPLING failed is because of casting and network interference.
British dramas like LUTHER and DOWNTON ABBEY do very well across the pond. I would think a well-constructed truly funny comedy would as well. And if not, I would sure put COUPLING on Friday night over DR. KEN.
Shea Griffin has some CHEERS FQ’s.
Had Shelley stayed for season 6, how would their relationship have progressed? Marriage? Kids? Status quo? And could Cheers have carried on for 11 seasons with the Sam-Diane relationship as the cornerstone?
Hard to say because the Charles Brothers always resisted the idea of them becoming a married couple and turning the show into MAD ABOUT YOU.
So the question becomes how long could we keep them on-again/off-again? How many different twists and turns and arcs could we devise?
I honestly don’t think we could have gone eleven seasons with that as our primary engine. I’ve always maintained that Sam & Diane was the heart of CHEERS, but Rebecca revitalized the series and kept it going a few more years than it otherwise would have.
But that’s just one man’s conjecture. There was never any long range storyline in place. There’s no telling what might’ve been had Diane stayed and in season seven or eight we introduced a new character and that character took off allowing the show to go in a different direction and stay on the air for fourteen years. You just don’t know.
Here’s an unusual question from Peter:
If you could bring back to life three celebrities who died prematurely, who would you bring back and why? I don't mean celebrities who lived a full life and passed at a grand old age, I mean those who went before their time. I know Natalie Wood is a given, so what three OTHER celebrities?
I find it difficult to just pick three, and they keep changing all the time, but my current three I'd bring back are Robin Williams, Heath Ledger and Dominique Dunne.
Interesting question for you readers as well. Unfortunately so many choices. Like you, mine might change from day to day but for today I’d say Natalie Wood, Grace Kelly, and John Lennon.
Is Larry Gelbart considered a celebrity? Because if so then him for sure.
And finally, from The Bumble Bee Pendant:
Improving...or even pitching jokes in a writers room... Many people have small short term memories, and the last thing they've heard is the first thing they remember. Probably why there are so many Bachelor jokes, or topical jokes in today's sitcoms. I'm worried that would be me...I'd just freeze and blurt something about Adele.
Ken, As you're going into a Sitcom room or Improv room, do you go in trying to access every memory file in your life, because other wise, all your answers would be "Beiber" or "Trump"?
I’m not saying never do it, and sometimes a well-placed name reference helps establish the time period, but for me the best jokes come out of attitude and characters. Relatability and human foibles never go out of style.
What's your Friday Question? Or three celebrities you'd like to see take one more bow?