Wednesday, 3 March 2010


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.


  1. Oh GOD it's terrible! Take it away! Take it away and BURN IT! Kill it! Make it never exist! Create time travel and go back in time and prevent it from happening! PLEASE

  2. Ugh...awful as that was, I think I'm more disappointed (though not surprised) that the wonderful Jessica Hynes has been ignored.

  3. You are fantastic. This... is not. I too have spent an inordinate amount of time searching for the elusive McSpaced, knowing all along that it would hurt my heart. Sweet jeebus, how it burns.

    Indian Brian has been reduced to an almost-Kramer, and as if that verbatim 'anger, fear, aggression, pain' dialogue wasn't toe-curlingly awful enough, it looks like the cutaways were filmed in about 11 seconds.

    I am thoroughly and appropriately disgusted.

    By the way, McG - is that that stupid fucking invisible tram supposed to be an utterly inexplicable Predator in-joke? Because, y'know, that's definitely how those pop-culture references work. You fucking plum.

  4. But if it hadn't been so very horrible,
    it wouldnt have inspired this rant.
    and it made me laugh lots,
    which eases the pain considerably.

    every cloud i guess..

    thanks for the giggles.

  5. I can't help feeling, to the depths of my being, that everyone involved in that travesty is a very bad person. In a less lazy mood I might take down all their names to ensure that I never watch a film or tv programme they're involved in ever again.


    I got a few seconds in, but had to kill the browser. That is turgid old c7ap beyond all previous turgid rubbish. How is this allowed to happen. How are these people given time, money and even oxygen to produce this hellish b@$tardisation.

    Stuff 6 Music, save all that is sacred in the world of Spaced. Then save 6 Music if there's still time before tea.


  7. More to the point, WHO sold this at vast profit (i.e. their souls) against the wishes of all those involved in creating near perfection on film?

    And what is their address?

  8. Just try and be positive people. At least this is just another confirmation to us that we British are fucking brilliant and Americans are shallow, empty, dumb-ass, embarrasments to the human race.

  9. That does actually sound like 90s indie like The Rembrandts. How do they manage to be so irrelevant.

    Is it just me or is that supposed to be 'kooky' Indian music in the tram shot after we meet Brian?

    Man, that's awful. No wonder I've only ever heard the 'name' McG spoken about in general derision.

  10. McG is to Television and Cinema what Uwe Boll and Brett Ratner are to Television and Cinema


    no, no, I'll stick with that

  11. I don't think I can expres in words how sad this makes me. Can someone please invent a time machine so we can go back, erase al those involved, and then get on with our new lives?

  12. Excuse me, but I'm American and I love Spaced. This was utterly repulsive and made me want to cry out in pain. How was Jessica completely left out? I mean, really... and in what world does THAT guy even begin to compare to Simon?! I am ashamed of my country. But, to be fair, not all Americans are like that. Those of us who have some sense aren't deserving of the hateful stereotypes.

    Was this abomination actually on TV??

  13. Hello, American who loves Spaced here.
    No, to my knowledge this has never aired. I'm not sure if it ever will (doubtful based on the types of responses it's eliciting). A lot of you folks are being ridiculously hyperbolic in your criticisms of this pilot. Yes, it's terrible, but the main reason you think so is because of how poorly the source material is adapted. On the other hand, if it were identical to the original, you'd all cry foul as well for that reason. I'm not trying to say I enjoyed this. I most certainly did not. But I did not develop retinal cancer as a result of viewing it either.
    There's plenty of dumbasses and terrible TV programs in Britain as well. Your own Ricky Gervais had this to say in July 2009:
    "I don't watch TV comedy in the UK anymore," he said. "We've got some poor copies of 'Curb Your Enthusiasm,' some poor copies of 'Entourage,' and some poor copies of 'Seinfeld.' With a few exceptions the Americans seem to be ahead of the game... In Britain it's like you shouldn't put your head too high above the other poppies."

    Read more:

  14. this is so wrong. like some kind of evil, demented parallel universe.

  15. this makes me sad

  16. @a.shoe:

    Fair point on the poor copies of comedies being all over the place.

    However, you can't be telling us that if you saw something you LOVED be scrunched up into a little ball, wiped on a big old arse and then snuck into your plate of sandwiches, you wouldn't be a little bit outraged about the whole thing?

    The fact it was scrunched up into a ball and wiped on an arse in the first place is the bad part. The fact we have just managed to find it among all the other sandwiches and see how horrible it really is, is really just fuel on the already raging fire.

    Those 4 minutes made my heart hurt.

  17. Another American Spaced fan here:
    I disagree with the previous American fan. This pilot was awful. They cut out any loveability of the original characters, stripped it all down so that it felt more like a high school acting troupe who was given the prompt "Two strangers are pretending to be married. They find an eccentric artist. Go!" There's no feeling, no life, no substance. It's pathetic, frankly. The reason the original Spaced was so phenomenal was that it hit on something basically human: that anxious period between youth and "adulthood" (whatever that is) and how to get through it with friends. Also, the geeky aspect on top makes it complete. This abomination, though? It just makes me uncomfortable. There's nothing to relate to. It just makes me feel on edge. And where's the geek? Nowhere to be found. At all.

  18. This is as bad as the US remake of Red Dwarf.

    To the people who made this I will quote The Operative in Serenity, "You know, in certain older civilized cultures, when men failed as entirely as you have, they would throw themselves on their swords. "

  19. Also, to the anonymous Brit who slammed Americans early on: Ouch. Seriously uncalled for. We're up in arms about it, too, y'know.

  20. I agree with Indian Brian. I have no idea what's going on here.

    I do like Sara Rue, though. I feel bad that she's mixed up in this travesty.

  21. Bloody hell what is this shit?! Why take perfection and try to remake it? I am ashamed to be an American right now if this is how we are going to treat masterpieces.

  22. Given the choice, I believe I would skip this and go watch a back alley abortion instead. It would be less painful. And probably funnier.

  23. *retches*
    I'm writing an angry post later.

  24. It's just not the fact that it's not funny in the same way that zombies are not dead but undead. It's anti-funny.

  25. I liked the bit where he switches the safety back on, "Hey, that's the safety!", and how not-brian looked genuinely hurt when not-tim screamed at him as he came through the door. God-knows what they though they were doing, though.