Notes on Media Imperialism

Saw “Babel” last night – which is kind of like Crash, in that it’s a cinematic attempt to show that our difference makes us the same; we all suffer, grieve, make mistakes and are betrayed.  Everyone’s human and everyone’s connected.  All that shite.

Except for the Brits.  The only Brits in the movie are a bunch of cowardly English arseholes who want to leave Cate Blanchette to die in the middle of the desert so they can go back to their hotel before the buffet closes.  And, I mean a whole coachload of them; all arseholes, all English, not a redeeming feature among the lot of them.

***

Tangentially, British cult hit “Life on Mars”, a cop show about a police officer who believes he has travelled back in time to the less politically correct 1970s, is being remade for the US market.  For every UK to US remake success (The (American) Office, Pop (American) Idol), there are a dozen or so complete fuck-ups.  The US version of Cracker, for example (not edgy enough)  or Coupling (not edgy enough) or Fawlty Towers (just crap). The really odd thing about this remake is the casting.  Colm Meany and Jason O’Mara, the leads in the US version,  are a pair of Irish guys.  Not pretending to be Irish, plastic shamrock, extra cold Guiness drinking “Irish” Americans either; they’re proper Dublin born and bred.  

Why?

Maybe the TV executives think that if they have a cop show with a pair of English leads, Americans will get confused and start wondering where Jack Bauer is and why he hasn’t shot them yet.  

***

Perhaps I’m being a little hasty in my condemnation of Stateside media.  After all, I can think of two current acclaimed US TV shows, and a promising new one on the schedules where the lead role is taken by a Brit.  Hugh Laurie in House, Dominic West in The Wire and Michelle Ryan in The Bionic Woman.  All British. 

And all pretending to be American.

OK – maybe they’re not such good examples…

Culture, Current Events

Leave a Reply