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Camp vs. Wit/Kitsch vs. Charm

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  #1  
Old 06-12-2007, 07:43 PM
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Camp vs. Wit/Kitsch vs. Charm

I like a show called America's Got Talent. I hate the format and the hosts, but I love the talent. Today I got my first chance to see Britain's Got Talent via youtube. It was fascinating to compare, as both share the same format, same producers, and even one of the same hosts. But the Brit version is so much better!

This got me thinking about what America values as entertainment compared to what the Brits value. We seem to revel in camp and kitsch, while they celebrate wit and charm.

Am I alone in this analysis? I'd especially like to hear from our UK contingent on this.
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Old 06-13-2007, 03:19 AM
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Re: Camp vs. Wit/Kitsch vs. Charm

Can't speak for other Brits. Going by the current trend of "reality" shows on TV, that appears to be what we want to watch (personally I hate them with a vengeance and would happily kick in the screen were one ever to appear on it), or at least it's what the TV companies are increasingly inflicting on us these days.

For me I like mysteries, thrillers and good sci-fi. All need to have well written storylines (increasingly hard to find these days) and to treat their audience as if they have an IQ greater than that of a 10 year old (also increasingly hard to find) and preferably to assume we've got an attention span of over 10 minutes.

I enjoy good comedy shows (Red Dwarf, Black Adder, etc), but over the last few years there's been very little of that on the box.

I'm currently enjoying Heroes.

Talent shows of any kind give me a pain, as most of the contestants inevitably have neither talent, imagination, or ability, and people are only watching for the cutting comments from the self satisfied smart arses that form the panel of judges. The rest is just a well drilled routine to get idiots to phone in and pay for the programme.

I've seen a few American versions of these shows, and were they to show regularly over here I'm afraid I would have to take an axe to my TV set.
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Old 06-13-2007, 04:13 AM
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Re: Camp vs. Wit/Kitsch vs. Charm

Agreed on most of the above Gary. Funny it was assumed quality TV over here was always on ITV and BBC but nowadays I look at Channel 4 and 5 before anything else. A sign of oncoming codgerdom is the DVD's I buy of old seies such as Blackadder etc.
One bit of good news is that the second series of 'Rome' is due.
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Old 06-13-2007, 04:31 AM
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Re: Camp vs. Wit/Kitsch vs. Charm

If I was to put it in words, the British version seems nicer and more heartwarming than the US version. They both have "talent" acts that make you want to groan, but the British version montages over those to focus on the good acts. The US version focuses on the groaner acts and montages the good acts.

Another significant difference is that the US version has one million dollars as a prize, whereas the British winner gets to perform for the queen. So we get a bunch of greedy oddballs, while the Brits get to see people that cry when they learn they might get to entertain HRH.

I'm not claiming these shows have any significance on their own, but I find the differences fascinating.

One of my current favorite shows is Canadian. It's called ReGenesis. A bit sci-fi, but doesn't take place in the future. All about genetic catastrophes and an fictional team of scientists that fight them. The hook is that it's very grounded in real science. A Canadian genetics lab has even added a section to it's website to analyse each episode for what is and what isn't possible (more than you'd expect gets branded "possible, but not likely" or "maybe in 10 years", very little is "no way, ever", and more than I expected is labeled "already exists/has happened"). As with most series it's getting a bit soapy in its 3rd season, the first two seasons are the best (so far).
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Old 06-13-2007, 01:13 PM
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Re: Camp vs. Wit/Kitsch vs. Charm

Sounds like one to look out for, I don't think we've got it over here yet.

Trouble with a lot of good US series, is that they try to spin them out too long and loose the "edge" that made you want to watch them in the first place.

Another criticism of US programming (and UK TV is becoming more and more like it), is that they have a habit of force feeding you with something once they find it works, so you get a whole lot of spin off series. eg CSI, CSI Miami, CSI NY. One would be enough, 3 is just kicking the arse out of it.

One of the reasons I'm enjoying Heroes is that it has a "connected up" storyline that assumes you can remember a plot from one week to the next. It's ongoing, and seems to have a beginning, a middle, and hopefully an end that doesn't leave an opening for another series.
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Old 06-13-2007, 11:47 PM
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Re: Camp vs. Wit/Kitsch vs. Charm

ah, i knew you had good taste, gary. i have most of 'Red Dwarf' on tape 'cat' just kills me! 'fish!'
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Old 06-14-2007, 02:49 AM
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Re: Camp vs. Wit/Kitsch vs. Charm

Quote:
I'm gonna get you little fishy
Yup, like Cat as well, but Kryten is my favourite, especially when Rimmer quotes space corps directives and Kryten corrects him and says what they really are.

Luckily we still get regular repeats of just about all the RD serieses (if that's a word) on Satellite, so I can get my fix.
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Old 06-14-2007, 10:27 PM
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Re: Camp vs. Wit/Kitsch vs. Charm

yeah, kryten is cool. lol. i liked holly too, the computer with an iq of, what was it, 3000?
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Old 06-15-2007, 01:55 AM
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Re: Camp vs. Wit/Kitsch vs. Charm

A good example for my point. Compare the Red Dwarf you love with this.
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Old 06-15-2007, 03:25 AM
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Re: Camp vs. Wit/Kitsch vs. Charm

Hard to tell whether this is a Rob Grant & Doug Naylor piss take (as it fits nicely with their sense of humour), or a serious offering for the US market.

We have a habit of modifying successful British programmes for US TV (no doubt on the advice of US consultants) which bomb totally.

Seems they or the consultants (whichever) underestimate the capacity of a US audience to appreciate British humour. Truth being (in my experience), that the shows that most Americans I've talked to like, are the quintessentially British ones, and not the "Modified for the US" versions.

If this is a serious US Pilot, it looks like all other US adaptations, a flop. The only character that worked was Kryten (suprise, suprise it's Robert Llewellyn from the original) the others just didn't suit the dialogue, which just doesn't compare with the real thing.

Last edited by Gary Richardson; 06-15-2007 at 03:56 AM.
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