Out of sheer morbid curiosity I have spent the last few months searching for that infamous Fox remake of Spaced, going even so far to stalk Edgar Wright on Twitter and persuade the already heartbroken young chap into handing over the link.
This evening purely through chance I was able to witness the damned thing. I thought I was prepared. I knew the concept was untransferrable to a US format as it was. I knew the performances would be pallid in comparison. I knew it was not for me. Now I know how those victims in The Ring felt. Frightened, confused and compelled, all to their demise.
It shakes me to my core that even a man who assigns himself a three-letter name with no vowels can fuck something up quite so badly. McG? McGimp. McGreatBigWankshaft. The list goes on. I take a number of issues with this whole thing. This will be a long article. Those who know me, know why.
Firstly, I am confused about this human's ability to call himself a fan. A man who effectively stole a format and the publicity of the creative team in order to further his piracy. Worse still, in an act of misogyny not out of place in... the Fox Network, denied all knowledge of Jessica Hyne (née Stevenson)'s creative influence.
On to the piece, I realise I am defending the genre with terminal intensity, however bastardisation would be an innappropriately mild way of describing this. Well, we have to trust this man's creative interpretation. He was the brains behind Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle after all. However, I am genuinely impressed with this gentleman's ability to strip away all the good bits and stick with... the dialogue. Snappy jump-cuts and ethereal imagery was well-replaced with a tram disappearing for no particular reason in a Friends-esque interlude, complete with a 4-second musical sting from the Rembrandts or some other 'commercially indie' bullshit. Turning Mike into a real-life Homer Simpson simplified to a love of doughnuts and guns (in that order) I'm sure was an effective way to get the fat jokes across to the salivating drones.
I can see where there would be difficulty conveying a platonic friendship between members of the opposite gender without marriage and children ensuing, so it has been duly simplified to make whoever the hell these people are hate each other but inexplicably live together. I guess it ticks enough boxes for the Christian Mothers association to not find fault at least. This remake is one of the most redundant examples of cross-Atlantic plagiarism I've seen since birth. The 'odd couple' pretence has been around for as long as The Odd Couple. The bare bones plot was not the point of the original, it only anchored the opportunity to push the boundaries of television. Now, like everything else is and will be, it has been reduced to stereotypical storylines, transparent and unlovable characters, and meaningless half-hour voids to fill our sorry lives.
Welcome, dear friends, to the world Fox and McG would have us live in. And worse still, this is what they describe as 'edgy'.
Support the independent arts or invest in a shotgun. You're going to need one of them.