Saturday, June 13, 2009


The concept of Toobworld isn't limited to just American shows; not even to shows from just English speaking countries. It should encompass the TV output from all over the globe, and we try to bring some of it to your attention. Of course when it has sexy Thai stewardesses in a cat-fight, that always helps!

A lot of the time, you'll probably never see those shows produced in foreign countries; you probably don't know so many of them exist. But they have every right to get a shot at being part of the Earth Prime-Time dimension... even if their creators couldn't give a daggit's ass one way or the other.

But if this is so, what are we to do with shows from one country being exported so that new versions can be developed for new audiences. Can the same dimension contain the different versions?

In some cases, no. When a specific character is reproduced in its entirety right down to the name, then of course we have to shunt them off to new TV dimensions. Good examples of this would be Inspector Maigret, Hercule Poirot, and Sherlock Holmes. Not that it's limited to detectives, of course, but they prove to be the most popular characters, perhaps due to their literary origins.

But if it's the basic premise that's being copied, in which the characters may have similar traits but who are still different individuals, then Toobworld doesn't have a problem with that speading across the globe.

The O'Bvious example is, of course, 'The Office'. The same premise exists, and the same situations, following the blueprint of the British original - at least for the first dozen episodes. But David Brent can only be found in England. America has Michael Scott, and Germany and France and Peru (?) have different characters at their paper companies. Other shows that have "echoes" in other lands include 'Desperate Housewives', 'Law & Order', and 'Ugly Betty' - which started in another country and also is an exemption to that idea that if the doppelgangers all have the same name, they have to be sent off to another dimension. (I'm fairly certain Betty's last name is different in each country.) And now it's happening again; this time with HBO's 'In Treatment'. It's a remake as well, of an Israeli show called 'Bi'Tipul'. And now HBO is planning to take this strip-format show about a psychiatrist and his patients and translate it for a Romanian audience. Should that prove successful, they have plans to bring adaptations to Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic.

"We want to make the series feel local," Linda Jensen said. (She/s the chief executive at HBO CEntral Europe.) "I think it is a great format, and it gives us a lot of flexibility to work with." As an example, she said that the Romanian producers of the series will decide how closely this version will adhere to the 'In Treatment' format. Certain characters, such as the military pilot, may have to be adapted to local circumstances.

Which, of course, is perfect for Toobworld's purposes.


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