Josh Schwartz, the man behind such TV series as The OC, Gossip Girl and Chuck, is shopping around a spec script for an American remake of the British television series, Misfits. For those unaware of Misfits, it’s a show about a group of people in their 20s that are forced to do community service work for crimes they’ve committed. In a freak storm, they find themselves with new powers that they must learn to deal with, which is not always a positive thing for each character. The show has had two seasons and is currently airing its third season in the UK. It’s available to watch stateside on Hulu Plus.
This seems absolutely unnecessary. I know there is nothing new about bringing TV shows from the UK and americanizing them for audiences here. It just seems like a fairly pointless exercise, in my view, as the thing that makes Misfits work, besides its great cast and writing staff, is the fact that it is set in England. To me, this would be like making an American version of the movie Attack the Block. It just wouldn’t work the same way. I actually have nothing against Mr. Scwhartz, from what I’ve surmised, he appears to be a pretty big geek himself and the chance to do a super-powered people story would no doubt be exciting for him. I just think he’s chosen the wrong thing to pursue. He’s a smart guy, if he’s interested in doing something like Misfits, create something new that we haven’t seen before, don’t recycle something that works (and is still working).
The bigger question is if something is a hit over in England, where they speak the same language as we do but with slightly different vernacular, why do we feel the need to americanize it? Why not just import it and air it on a cable network? Wouldn’t that be cheaper than starting from the ground up? I don’t think England remakes American TV shows, they just broadcast them. I’ve never heard of a British version of Buffy the Vampire Slayer or The X-Files. So what is this need to Americanize everything? Really, I want to know.