Play Steptoe and Son GamesContact Us about anything do to with Steptoe and Son

hello all

Your chance to update other users on forthcoming events. Is a new DVD about to be released ? Any special documentaries planned ? Anything you feel would appeal to Steptoe fans

Moderators: Archie, Dirty Old Yank, PhilGlass

Watching Steptoe & Son For The First Time And Loving It!

Postby borehamwood » Sun Apr 25, 2010 11:55 pm

Greetings All...

I live in California and am a huge fan of British Television (though I loathe Little Britain, how did that get so popular?). I have purchased a number of DVDs from amazon.uk having never even seen the program and am seldom disappointed. I had heard of Steptoe & Son in regards to its US remake Sanford & Son, but as I never really cared for the latter I was in no hurry to view the UK original.

What a mistake!!! I have watched the first two seasons and am in the middle of the third and I absolutely adore this show. It is so darkly funny and pleasantly depressing. I love the chemistry between the two leads and usually get a bit soft when they actually express any love for another between insults. And again, the bleakness of this COMEDY (I dont know yet if it stays in black and white or changes to color at some point, but i think the black and white really adds to the atmosphere of the show) seems to me to be way ahead of its time for the early sixties. It is almost as if the creators were trying to adapt Sartes 'No Exit' into a situation comedy.

As an admitted British telly junkie I do feel a bit ignorant for having never seen the show before this year, but I take pleasure in knowing that I still have several hours of unseen brilliant tv yet to look forward to...
User avatar
borehamwood
 
Posts: 9
Joined: Sun Apr 25, 2010 1:49 am
Location: California, United States

hello all

Postby harold » Mon Apr 26, 2010 6:45 pm

welcome borehamwood i live in virginia and i too am a british telly junkie you are right steptoe and son is better then sanford and son
A TOTTER 4 EVER
User avatar
harold
 
Posts: 334
Joined: Wed Apr 05, 2006 7:27 pm
Location: virginia beach

Postby bob » Tue Apr 27, 2010 6:02 am

Welcome borehamwood

I knew Harold would give you a nice welcome.

Perhaps you could both help me to answer an email I have recently received from somebody in the US. They were explaining that they cannot buy the Steptoe DVDs in their region format (1 I assume). However it is obvious that the pair of you are able to watch the DVDs. Can you buy them in the US or are you using a multi-region player? If you have a link to any stores, that would be great.

To answer a question about colour and black and white, the series did turn colour in Season 5. However due to the fact that the BBC decided to wipe all the tapes, you won't get full colour (apart from the odd episode) until Season 7.
User avatar
bob
Site Admin
 
Posts: 991
Joined: Fri Feb 17, 2006 12:04 pm
Location: Bradwell on Sea, Essex

hello all

Postby harold » Tue Apr 27, 2010 7:15 pm

i do not think you can get them region one i am still watching them on computer but will be getting boxset sometime next month iam glad to see another transatlantic totter join the forum and i do have a multi region player
A TOTTER 4 EVER
User avatar
harold
 
Posts: 334
Joined: Wed Apr 05, 2006 7:27 pm
Location: virginia beach

Postby borehamwood » Wed Apr 28, 2010 6:49 am

Thanks for the warm welcome.

Unfortunately Steptoe & Son is not yet available in a US dvd release. I purchased the boxed set online and use a multi-region dvd player. I bought the player from Amazon and it has greatly expanded my British television horizons as so many good shows are not available on a US dvd.

Thank the gods for PBS or I probably never would have seen Monty Pythons Flying Circus as a youth, or Red Dwarf when I was in high school, or Absolutely Fabulous or Blackadder or any of the other phenomenally funny programs that have so enriched my admittedly dull life.

I was wondering recently about something. Why is it that US shows are imported to the UK but UK shows are remade for an American audience? Are my fellow Americans so closed minded that they cannot enjoy a program unless the characters are "just like them"? I cant imagine that it would be less expensive to remake a show than to import it. I for one would much rather watch Steptoe and Son than Sanford and Son, The Office with Ricky Gervais than The Office with Steve Carrell, etc... Did anyone see the US version of Life On Mars...complete rubbish! The only US remake I have ever seen that I enjoyed more than the UK original is All In The Family (Till Death Do Us Part in the UK), and that was simply because the characters in Till Death Do Us Part are so unlikeable and abrasive (though still very funny).

Perhaps someone out there can help with my "research" by letting me know what US programs have been remade for the British audience (and if they were any good).

Be Seeing You
User avatar
borehamwood
 
Posts: 9
Joined: Sun Apr 25, 2010 1:49 am
Location: California, United States

Postby bob » Wed Apr 28, 2010 11:38 am

Oohh good question.

I would bet that either Phil or long lost member Graham, would be the best placed to answer.

I can't recall any Bristish remakes of US comedy.

I think it is sad but true that the majority of US viewers are more likely to watch a show if it features americal actors.
User avatar
bob
Site Admin
 
Posts: 991
Joined: Fri Feb 17, 2006 12:04 pm
Location: Bradwell on Sea, Essex

Postby PhilGlass » Wed Apr 28, 2010 12:08 pm

Hi Borehamwood...

Very interesting topic.

The only US one which springs to mind which was remade for Britain was 'Married With Children' which was made here as 'Married for Life' and starred Russ Abbott. It ran for just one series. Since there are many, many more episodes of the US version, I should imagine ours wasn't very good if it was cancelled after just 6 or 7.

Interestingly, last night I was watching John Cleese talking about the THREE american remakes of 'Fawlty Towers'. He said that for the most recent he was told they bought the rights and wanted to make it, but had decided that they had 'written Basil out'. Apparently, Basil doesn't feature at all and 'Sybil' gets all his lines!!

I don't think a lot of it is that Americans are 'closed minded', perhaps it's just that there are culture differences which need too much explaining. With respect, it seems easier for us to understand American slang as the American language is taking over our own, so it's not that alien to us. Where as some of the cockney slang might not make sense to US viewers.

I love that Steptoe has reached an international audience and it is a shame you can not get the episodes over there.

As far as I am aware, US sitcoms are made differently - we will have 1 or two writers. In the US you use 'table' format - although an episode might credit 1 or 2 script writers, the ideas were actually put together by staff writers, usually 10 or 12, all throwing ideas into the pot. They put together a basic script outline. They then give THAT to the writers who polish it off. This is needed in the US because you will say run a season of 22-26 episodes... Steptoe made 57 episodes over 8 years. This would have only been 2 seasons worth in the American way.

I am sure there will be a lot more US comedies remade for us, it is something you have me curious about and I feel a little research coming on...

As for the Russ Abbot one... I haven't seen it, but I know of it's existence... But I'm not rushing out to find a copy...
"What do I want to go and see a film about Lesbians for?"
User avatar
PhilGlass
 
Posts: 1124
Joined: Thu Mar 20, 2008 1:41 pm
Location: Down the football club pulling a stripper!

Postby borehamwood » Thu Apr 29, 2010 1:53 am

Thanks so much for the response!

I had no idea that they remade "Married With Children" in the UK-I was a big fan of that show when I was younger (though after the first couple of seasons it quickly lost its charm). It was considered pretty coarse and crude in its day and I'm not sure how it would hold up even after this little time has passed.

Great point about the different writing formats between US and UK shows. This would help to explain why UK shows seem so much better. Having a single writer or pair of writers would give the show much more consistency of vision, and having fewer episodes would keep the writers from being spread too thin. I have always said that UK shows are all about quality (in my experience) whereas US shows seem to delight in quantity.

Thats hilarious how many times Fawlty Towers has been remade. I personally have only seen the John Larroquette remake "Payne", and the episode I saw was practically a carbon copy of 'The Wedding Party' episode. This new one you spoke of sounds ridiculous.

And I suppose I can excuse my countrymen for finding difficulty in deciphering British slang-were it not for my immersion in British television I too would find it tricky. Another issue seems to be the accent-one of my friends couldn't watch The (original) Office without the subtitles.
User avatar
borehamwood
 
Posts: 9
Joined: Sun Apr 25, 2010 1:49 am
Location: California, United States

Postby bob » Thu Apr 29, 2010 6:39 am

My Brother in law who lives in NYC is stayting with me at the moment. I discussed this with him.

His view was that the edge needs to be taken off the British comedy to make it more acceptable to a US audiance. He gave the example of "The Office". His view was that some of the things said in the UK version would not be acceptable in the US.

And we still moan about PC !!!
User avatar
bob
Site Admin
 
Posts: 991
Joined: Fri Feb 17, 2006 12:04 pm
Location: Bradwell on Sea, Essex

Postby PhilGlass » Fri Apr 30, 2010 7:28 am

Bob - yes, I have heard that in America they can't say half of what we do. You would have thought it would be the other way round. You often see American guests on british talk shows saying things like 'can I say that'?

Although it is getting rediculous now... Matt Smith was told to apologise for saying something was 'crap' on The One Show at 7pm. I dont class that as swearing in the least.

So far no luck in finding other US shows, but there will have been more!!
"What do I want to go and see a film about Lesbians for?"
User avatar
PhilGlass
 
Posts: 1124
Joined: Thu Mar 20, 2008 1:41 pm
Location: Down the football club pulling a stripper!

Postby borehamwood » Sat May 01, 2010 1:05 am

US network television is much more conservative than that of the UK. In "The Office" there are several episodes that could never be shown here on network without heavy editing.

After some searching I have found mention of a couple of US shows that were remade for the UK. Perhaps someone on this board is familiar with them..

"Who's The Boss" was remade as "The Upper Hand".

"The Golden Girls" was remade as "Brighton Belles".

"Good Times" was remade as "The Fosters".

"Mad About You" was remade as "Loved By You".

"Maude" was remade as "Nobody's Perfect". (Maude was a spin-off from "All In The Family" which was a US remake of the UK show "Till Death Do Us Part"!!!

Frankly I am shocked that any of these shows merited a British remake (though I suppose "Maude" and "Good Times" were all right). "Who's The Boss" and "Golden Girls" ran for a long time but were both rubbish in my opinion.

Also, why in Dogs name would anyone anywhere want to WATCH let alone remake "American Gladiators"!?!

:P
User avatar
borehamwood
 
Posts: 9
Joined: Sun Apr 25, 2010 1:49 am
Location: California, United States

Postby PhilGlass » Sun May 02, 2010 12:17 pm

Thanks for that wonderful information - very interesting.

I used to love 'The Upper Hand', but had no idea it was from US show, when I was a kid it was essential viewing for my parents. It was a gentle sitcom, don't expect any huge belly laughs or people dressing up as women to con the tax man, but it was very good to watch.

I used to remember each series being really long, and that will explain it, if it was adapted from a US sitcom. Though since your post I looked it up and some episodes were specific to the UK as we took it further, seeing the characters actually live as husband and wife in the final series.

Apparently series 1 just had a dvd release too. I would actually recommend this, although I havent seen the American original. But I liked it...

Lots of American sitcoms are shown here - we have a channel called E4 which basically plays FRIENDS on a loop!!

American sitcoms I like are:

The Simpsons - for obvious reasons, it's genius.

8 Simple Rules - I discovered this by accident but I like that it is not afraid to go a bit serious, which is what I like.

FRIENDS - When I hadnt seen them a squillion times (hmm, look at the last two entries, am I a girl????)

THE PHIL SILVERS SHOW (Bilko)

TOP CAT (Wasn't that just an animated Bilko?)

THE MUNSTERS.

THE FRESH PRINCE OF BEL AIR - Again, it has some pretty serious episodes. I like a comedy that can make a smooth transition that way.

Anyhow, that's my 2p's worth.
"What do I want to go and see a film about Lesbians for?"
User avatar
PhilGlass
 
Posts: 1124
Joined: Thu Mar 20, 2008 1:41 pm
Location: Down the football club pulling a stripper!

Postby bob » Mon May 03, 2010 11:42 am

I'm sorry borehamwood, but I don't recall any of those shows !!!

Maybe that says it all
User avatar
bob
Site Admin
 
Posts: 991
Joined: Fri Feb 17, 2006 12:04 pm
Location: Bradwell on Sea, Essex

Previous

Return to Share your news

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron

 

 

Testing