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2005年NPR美国国家公共电台三月-British TV Crosses over the Pond

时间:2007-07-17 02:36来源:互联网 提供网友:atm009e   字体: [ ]
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NBC tonight launches a new series-The Office. It's the American version of a British comedy series. The original has a small but dedicated1 group of fans in the United States. Remaking British series for American audiences is not new, but as NPR's Kim Masters reports, at this point, it seems like a risky3 proposition.

The British version of The Office has no laugh track. It's a dark comedy that might make you cringe as much as it makes you smile. The show is a pseudo documentary about a clueless boss who, here , describes his proudest moment :"It's a young Greek guy, first job in the country, hardly spoke4 a word of English, but he came to me and he went,‘Mr. Brand, will you be the godfather to my child? Didn’t happen in the end. We had let him go. It was rubbish. He was rubbish.'" And now comes the American version, which mimics5 the British original, very closely. “ It was a young Guatemalan guy, first job in the country, barely spoke English, came to me and said,‘ Mr. Scott, would you be the godfather of my child?’Didn't work out in the end. We'd let him go. He sucked.”

Bringing British comedies to American television is hardly a new idea. The seminal6 70s' hit "All in the Family" was based on a British series called "Till Death Do Us Part". And "Sanford And Son" was based on the series "Steptoe And Son". But lately most sitcoms7 have failed in this country. And the U.S. versions of British shows have hardly managed to buck8 that trend. The American version of the English hit "Absolutely Fabulous9", wasn’t. And the most notorious attempt was the much hyped racy comedy -"Coupling", Which was kind of a Friends’ knock-off in its own right."The last time I dumped her, we had amazing fantastic borderline illegal sex, now she thinks we’re back together""Ha-ha…""The woman is insane! I know!”

Ted2 Harbor, now the head of the e-Entertainment Network, was president of NBC Studios when it brought Coupling to the U.S. airwaves."I was not…umm… sounds convenient now, but I was not a fan of bringing Coupling over, only because I just didn’t think, and don't think that we translate British humor very well." Harbor says it was a lot easier to sell a remake like "All in the Family", in the days before the explosion of cable, then people in this country had not heard of, much less seen the British originals. But that's changed. It's not that many Americans had seen the British version of Coupling, Harbor concedes, but among those who did watch it, were critics."The critics love the British show, and so this was just right for the killing10. They were going to come and get this ’cause it…it wasn’t as good, it wasn't the same as the British show'. So it was easy for them to kill:‘Look at these stupid Americans who have taken a good British show and ruined it, on both sides of the pun', that was the comment. And so, I think it had a couple of strikes against it.” Harbor says NBC has been more cautious about The Office, ordering only 6 episodes and launching it in midseason. But as a rule, he still doesn't think British comedies translate that well. "There is a real appreciation11 for frankly12 the smaller and smarter joke, in England, whereas American comedy is bigger and more obvious."

American television tends to do much better with make-overs of so-called reality shows and contests like "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire". Tom Gotarage runs Freemantle, which produces the hugely successful "American Idol13", based on the British show "Pop Idol". He says when it comes to sitcoms, the American approach is to work with a group of writers, while British shows tend to be written by one person."The result is that our comedies and our scripted shows, are very idiosyncratic. They're very personal to the writer. That's why they don't translate. Because the British psychology14 of the individual writer is not an American one. And I think that's probably the problem that they are having."

At a recent gathering15, critics asked NBC Entertainment president Kevin Reilly why he thought The Office might overcome that problem."It's the kind of show you're gonna the office the next day, and someone says:‘My God! I just saw the best thing I’ve ever seen!’And a guy said...and the next guy says…I…‘That? I don’t even get it! That was awful!’ And that debate is what fuels it. And it's exactly what happened in Britain. I mean the show was not enough to get a hit. People were very confused at first. So, NBC, it does have a history. If I can dare to dream, this would go the Seinfield route.”

NBC is struggling to regain16 its footing without Friends and Frasier, if American audiences embrace The Office, it would indeed, be a dream come true for the network.

Kim Masters, NPR News, Los Angeles.Kim Masters, NPR News, Los Angeles.


点击收听单词发音收听单词发音  

1 dedicated duHzy2     
adj.一心一意的;献身的;热诚的
参考例句:
  • He dedicated his life to the cause of education.他献身于教育事业。
  • His whole energies are dedicated to improve the design.他的全部精力都放在改进这项设计上了。
2 ted 9gazhs     
vt.翻晒,撒,撒开
参考例句:
  • The invaders gut ted the village.侵略者把村中财物洗劫一空。
  • She often teds the corn when it's sunny.天好的时候她就翻晒玉米。
3 risky IXVxe     
adj.有风险的,冒险的
参考例句:
  • It may be risky but we will chance it anyhow.这可能有危险,但我们无论如何要冒一冒险。
  • He is well aware how risky this investment is.他心里对这项投资的风险十分清楚。
4 spoke XryyC     
n.(车轮的)辐条;轮辐;破坏某人的计划;阻挠某人的行动 v.讲,谈(speak的过去式);说;演说;从某种观点来说
参考例句:
  • They sourced the spoke nuts from our company.他们的轮辐螺帽是从我们公司获得的。
  • The spokes of a wheel are the bars that connect the outer ring to the centre.辐条是轮子上连接外圈与中心的条棒。
5 mimics f8207fb5fa948f536c5186311e3e641d     
n.模仿名人言行的娱乐演员,滑稽剧演员( mimic的名词复数 );善于模仿的人或物v.(尤指为了逗乐而)模仿( mimic的第三人称单数 );酷似
参考例句:
  • Methods:Models were generate by CT scan,Mimics software and Abaqus software. 方法:采用CT扫描,Mimics软件和Abaqus软件的CAD进行三维有限元模型的创建。 来自互联网
  • Relaxing the mind and body mimics the effect that some blood-pressure pills would have. 放松身心会产生某些降压药才能产生的效果。 来自辞典例句
6 seminal Qzrwo     
adj.影响深远的;种子的
参考例句:
  • The reforms have been a seminal event in the history of the NHS.这些改革已成为英国国民保健制度史上影响深远的一件大事。
  • The emperor's importance as a seminal figure of history won't be diminished.做为一个开创性历史人物的重要性是不会减弱的。
7 sitcoms e9efe427c2759f3f06d1cd5efe314cd3     
n.情景喜剧( sitcom的名词复数 )
参考例句:
  • This is the stuff most stadard TV sitcoms are made of. 这是大多数标注的电视幽默剧所采用的题材。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • In most countries, prime-time Monday night television is dominated by sitcoms. 在大多数国家,周一晚上的电视黄金时段都由连续剧所占据。 来自互联网
8 buck ESky8     
n.雄鹿,雄兔;v.马离地跳跃
参考例句:
  • The boy bent curiously to the skeleton of the buck.这个男孩好奇地弯下身去看鹿的骸骨。
  • The female deer attracts the buck with high-pitched sounds.雌鹿以尖声吸引雄鹿。
9 fabulous ch6zI     
adj.极好的;极为巨大的;寓言中的,传说中的
参考例句:
  • We had a fabulous time at the party.我们在晚会上玩得很痛快。
  • This is a fabulous sum of money.这是一笔巨款。
10 killing kpBziQ     
n.巨额利润;突然赚大钱,发大财
参考例句:
  • Investors are set to make a killing from the sell-off.投资者准备清仓以便大赚一笔。
  • Last week my brother made a killing on Wall Street.上个周我兄弟在华尔街赚了一大笔。
11 appreciation Pv9zs     
n.评价;欣赏;感谢;领会,理解;价格上涨
参考例句:
  • I would like to express my appreciation and thanks to you all.我想对你们所有人表达我的感激和谢意。
  • I'll be sending them a donation in appreciation of their help.我将送给他们一笔捐款以感谢他们的帮助。
12 frankly fsXzcf     
adv.坦白地,直率地;坦率地说
参考例句:
  • To speak frankly, I don't like the idea at all.老实说,我一点也不赞成这个主意。
  • Frankly speaking, I'm not opposed to reform.坦率地说,我不反对改革。
13 idol Z4zyo     
n.偶像,红人,宠儿
参考例句:
  • As an only child he was the idol of his parents.作为独子,他是父母的宠儿。
  • Blind worship of this idol must be ended.对这个偶像的盲目崇拜应该结束了。
14 psychology U0Wze     
n.心理,心理学,心理状态
参考例句:
  • She has a background in child psychology.她受过儿童心理学的教育。
  • He studied philosophy and psychology at Cambridge.他在剑桥大学学习哲学和心理学。
15 gathering ChmxZ     
n.集会,聚会,聚集
参考例句:
  • He called on Mr. White to speak at the gathering.他请怀特先生在集会上讲话。
  • He is on the wing gathering material for his novels.他正忙于为他的小说收集资料。
16 regain YkYzPd     
vt.重新获得,收复,恢复
参考例句:
  • He is making a bid to regain his World No.1 ranking.他正为重登世界排名第一位而努力。
  • The government is desperate to regain credibility with the public.政府急于重新获取公众的信任。
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TAG标签:   npr  公共电台  british  cross  pond
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