|Index||6 reviews in total|
In some ways, this was a surprisingly faithful adaptation of the
original British series, right down to the scripts, camera work, music,
and one original cast member (playing the same character but with an
amazingly good American accent).
These stories worked very well in the UK, where the characters were around 18 years old. In Britain, the show was in a time slot clearly aimed at an adolescent audience.
In the U.S. version, however, the characters looked like they were about 25, and it aired in prime time. Since both the actors and the target audience were older than in the original, the stories seemed trashier in the American remake, even though they were the same plots.
Behavior that's acceptable in a teenager can come off as selfish, immature, and annoying when the characters look old enough to have Ph.D.s.
When "As if..." was originally conceived and made by the UK's Channel 4 in
2001 it made a big change to the usual p.o.s programs relating to late
teens/early twenties life. I then had the displeasure of seeing the US's
attempt at imitating the series in 2002 and boy oh boy was it a failure
(which ultimately resulted in it's cancellation ironically).
The Americans have a knack for remaking other countries TV and Movies and generally making them worse we've seen it with movies such as The Ring, The Italian Job and Abre Los Ojos and with UK television series such as Coupling, Trigger Happy TV, Banzai, As if... and undoubtedly this will also be the case with the American attempt at the comic genius that is the office, I just wonder when the TV networks will get the picture that they can't translate British humour to American shores successfully, keep it on BBC World in it's original British format - that's where it's at it's best.
I remember catching this show after Buffy for the 3 episodes that were actually shown. It had a lot of potential, the characters were outside of the lovelorn angst ridden 20 something year olds that plague television today. Derek Hughes as Jamie especially was hilarious and relatable, while the character of Alex was completely wasted becasue of teh early cancellation. I was looking forward to his storyline the most. I'd give it four out of five stars and hope for a DVD release of the unaired episodes.
"As If" got a lot of flack for being a really bad series - generally by
people comparing it to the original UK version.
Re-makes have to walk the fine line of what parts of the original piece they want to use and what they want to make their own.
Generally taking a series from another country and changing it for American audiences will lead to a dramatic change - the simple fact is, every country has their own sense of humour, and they generally don't translate outside of the country (I, for one, just don't get British humour).
The American "As If" offered an new take on the standard and boring American sitcom formula - most uniquely with the editing style. "As If" took more from the music video pages then it did from TV and offered a fast cut, new style look to every episode.
Add to that the series had a really great cast with Adrienne Wilkinson (Xena: Warrior Princess) and Tracie Thoms (Cold Case, Grindhouse) (though both were completely underused in the aired eps). Both actresses can be brilliant with comedy, but neither were used enough to show off this talent.
From bits I've seen from unaired episodes, "As If"'s humour started to improve and pick up.
In the end "As If" suffered from the short sighted view of the network, which killed the series after only three episodes. Quite frankly - the networks need to stop expecting the 'instant hits' and give shows time to get an audience and grow. If you look at any of the really long last series and judge them by their first five episodes only - they never would have lasted in today's "hit in one ep or gone" fever. :P
This is actually a show that with just a bit more time, could have really found its feet and been a cultural phenom or at least a hit. I saw all filmed episodes (not just what aired). With each episode the show got tighter, stronger, funnier- and you loved the characters more. It just wasn't given enough of a chance. It had a really strong cast (they've all gone on to do great work in other projects) and they all gave great performances. The scripts were redone from the British version, with major changes. Some of the scripts could have used more work tweaking some of the rough spots and making it more cohesive. The wardrobe, music, hair and make up, were outrageous (in a good way) - but in later episodes they were able to find a balance that worked better than the first few. See it if you get the chance, its worth it. It really captured the youth culture of that moment and could have been a huge hit if only given the right support and a bit more attention and time.
i was able to see bootlegged copies of all the American episodes created (those that aired, and those that didn't) and i truly think it was a crime that it was taken off the air. The show was a victim of a merger where other programming was cheaper- so it didn't matter what the rating were, the show was getting the axe to save money. Its a shame because all 6 of the characters have stellar moments through out the series. Moments that let their talent really show. Its a terrifically talented cast that manages to show the humor, fun, monotony and tragedy of growing up and figuring out who you are. Learning how to deal with life. I hope they release it on DVD.
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