A (random) question to American viewers of Ramsey's Kitchen Nightmares

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by joefinan, Jan 25, 2008.

  1. joefinan macrumors 6502a

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    #1
    We've had Gordon Ramsey's Kitchen Nightmares in the UK for a good few years and now Channel 4, the broadcasters of the show, have started a new series - Ramsey's Kitchen Nightmares USA.

    Within the first few seconds it was obvious that Ch4 were pulling the wool over our eyes! The format had clearly been sold to the US and Ch4 had now bought the American season and was showing them to us as a 'new series'.

    But it got me thinking about the way Americans and the English make their TV shows. After a few minutes I had to turn it off as it just was not what I was used to - it was like one long trailer; endless sound bites, an endless bed of music, very fast cutting etc.

    This seems to be the way Americans like their shows which is also demonstrated when I watch other American versions of shows originally shown in the UK - American Idol, How Clean Is Your House, Wife Swap etc.

    So here's the question: Do you guys get fed the UK versions in the same way we get the American versions and, if so, what do you guys think of the way we make our shows?
     
  2. furcalchick macrumors 68020

    furcalchick

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    #2
    we usually get our own version of shows here in the states. they don't want us to watch foreign stuff (at least on the broadcast nets), and want us to think that everything comes from america. if it's foreign, it would be boasted in the promos, like 'all the way from france', or something.

    and i do remember talk during the strike of the us networks trying to get the uk version of the office and other uk shows to keep us watching instead of watching repeats, but i haven't heard about that in a while, so i doubt it's happening now.
     
  3. it5five macrumors 65816

    it5five

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    #3
    No. Most people don't get the UK versions of any show unless they subscribe to certain channels that show them. And there aren't a whole lot of those channels.

    I hate most American television, though, so you aren't alone. I've only seen a handful of UK shows, but the ones I have seen are many times better than American ones.
     
  4. joefinan thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #4
    Actually, I'd say The Office was fairly faithful to the original...
     
  5. oddnendz macrumors 6502

    oddnendz

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    #5


    BBC America At least that the way I've been watching most British TV shows. .. that and my local PBS station.
     
  6. joefinan thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #6
    That's interesting. Not only do we get all the 'usual' US shows fed to us by the main, non-subscription channels (Lost, Heroes, Just Shoot Me, Friends, Frasier, Simpsons, CSI, 24 etc.) but we get all of our exports sent back too.
     
  7. Unspeaked macrumors 68020

    Unspeaked

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    #7
    You must not watch Torchwood...
     
  8. joefinan thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #8
    Ah! I don't! It does look fairly crap though.
     
  9. Unspeaked macrumors 68020

    Unspeaked

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    #9
    What's funny is that it's a BBC Production that's filmed in the exact style you stereotype American shows as following, and it does fairly well ratings-wise in the UK but it's the most popular program (by far!) on BBC America ;)
     
  10. joefinan thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #10
    You're kidding! I believe that Torchwood goes out only on BBC3. BBC America cannot be a very popular channel!
     
  11. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #11
    British televlsion is better because it doesn't assume that viewers won't pay attention unless they do something stupid to keep our attention (ie: flash stuff on the screen, huge laugh-track, quick cuts, cheap laughs). American television stations also assume that everything (other than violence) will offend Americans, so they decided to take out some of the elements that really could make the show a lot better.
     
  12. Brianstorm91 macrumors 65816

    Brianstorm91

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    #12
    American TV angers me greatly.

     
  13. OttawaGuy macrumors 6502a

    OttawaGuy

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    #13
    My wife and I watch both versions here in Canada.
    We prefer the British version.
     
  14. r1ch4rd macrumors 6502a

    r1ch4rd

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    #14
    I wish I had turned it off. The UK version is so much better! There must have only been about 10 minutes footage in the entire hour with them constantly recapping what had already happened and telling you what was about to happen next.

    I think one of the contributing factors is that we don't have as many adverts. Where the programme has been edited to fit around an ad break it always seems a bit weird when we don't have one.

    It's been promoted to BBC2 now. It's nowhere near as good as Dr Who though.

    ++
     
  15. mouchoir macrumors 6502a

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    #15
    'Reality' shows are done very differently in America.

    Ramsey's American Kitchen Nightmares is very different –*one thing I can't believe is that they seem to always give the restaurant a free makeover and brand new kitchen?!

    But over all, you can't accuse all of US TV as bad. I mean, they gave us 'The Wire'!
     
  16. QuarterSwede macrumors G3

    QuarterSwede

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    #16
    I much prefer the British shows compared to the US versions. I'm not sure why they think we only have a 3 second attention span and are dumb as bricks. That's one of the reasons why Top Gear is my absolute favorite show, even if I get the US version that's edited for time.

    On a side note: I don't watch Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares because he's downright aweful to the restaurant workers. I don't care if they asked him to come help. All he does is spew profanity, nobody deserves that. It's like any show on the American HBO channel. Just plain crap.
     
  17. it5five macrumors 65816

    it5five

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    #17
    Are you serious? HBO is probably the only redeeming channel in the US. Some of the best American TV shows are/were HBO shows:

    Curb Your Enthusiasm
    Six Feet Under
    Big Love
    Real Time with Bill Maher
    The Wire (I've never watched it, but it has a strong fan base)
    The Sopranos (Again, never interested me, but tons of people loved it)
    Flight of the Conchords

    Any one of those shows is far better than any network TV show.
     
  18. NEENAHBOY macrumors 6502

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    #18
    I've seen both the British (through torrents, not BBCA...I prefer it uncensored) and American versions, and I can say without hesitation that Fox has butchered the US version unmercifully. What a pile of utter crap.

    The most recent season of the British version was spectacular.
     
  19. ReanimationLP macrumors 68030

    ReanimationLP

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    #19
    Yeah, the US version sucks butt compared to the UK version.

    I didn't know there was uncensored versions available.

    *Runs off to torrent em!* :D
     
  20. Roger1 macrumors 65816

    Roger1

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    #20
    American TV sucks (mostly). History Channel, Military Channel, and the science channels are the best. Comedy Central is pretty good (Futurama YAY!). Cartoon network is also really good. Regular TV programming-Law and Order, SVU, Married with Children. Otherwise, bleh.

    Reality Shows-Biggest loser (in very small doses). Every other "reality" show should be cancelled for dumbing down America.
     
  21. zflauaus macrumors 65816

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    #21
    I agree, American TV sucks. Not that the writer's strike is helping either.

    The only channels I turn on and pay attention to (active watching vs. passive watching) is the Discovery Channel and the SciFi Channel. I love Doctor Who, and I love Battlestar Galactica (even though that's produced in Canada, it has British actors). Canada-produced programming is just much better than American programming for the most part.
     
  22. joefinan thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #22
    So what is HBO and what is a 'network' channel? What's the difference?
     
  23. Unspeaked macrumors 68020

    Unspeaked

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    #23
    Yeah, previous to Torchwood breaking their ratings record, the highest rated BBC America show had been the premier of Robin Hood, so that gives you an idea of what Americans look for on TV.

    The channel's ratings are very low for a cable station, but that's partly due to how few households get it. Unlike MTV or Comedy Central or even SciFi, it's only offered by select cable companies in select packages.

    Sadly, I think one of the reasons Torchwood is so popular is because the star is American, and it makes people more comfortable hearing his voice.

    No joke, BBC America has a completely serious bit that runs before most programs informing users that if they have trouble understanding the dialogue, they can use the Closed Captioning button on their remote to get the words to appear on the bottom of the screen. Now, I can think of a few highland accents that might be the slightest bit difficult to decipher (and even those aren't that bad) but 99.9% of the accents on BBC programs are completely understandable, and the fact that they air this disclaimer is just ridiculous (or sad, or a combination of both).



    I totally agree, which is why I can't understand how it pulls better ratings than Dr. Who on BBC America. They're both equally promoted (in fact, Dr. Who may get a little more promotion) and it already had an established fan base in the US for many years, whereas Torchwood is a new show. Go figure.


    HBO is a premium channel which one pays an extra monthly fee for - like, an extra $10 a month or something, and they get access to HBO and its sister channels (maybe 4 or 5 in all). They air almost no commercials, so it's much like the BBC in that programs run without interruption.

    HBO was one of the first to do this concept back in the 80s, and Showtime followed. For a long while, those were the only two (well, besides adult channels) but now there's literally dozens - if not hundreds - of pay-per-view stations.

    A network channels is generally one of the big four - ABC, NBC, CBS and FOX. Those are the channels that you can get over the air without cable. They're the ones that 95% of Americans have access to, and even their lowest rated shows pull in many, many times what the cable channel's highest rated shows do.

    Inbetween network shows and pay-per-view is basic cable, the stations you need to subscribe to cable to get but which you don't pay anymore beyond your regular monthly cable bill for. These do air advertising. They include MTV, the Cartoon Network, BBC America (in some markets!), SciFi, USA, etc.
     
  24. ReanimationLP macrumors 68030

    ReanimationLP

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    #24
    I miss my weekly helpings of Smallville and Heroes. :(

    Please sir, may I have another?

    I mainly watch a lot of Japanese TV. :3

    Of course, I have to torrent it and wait for someone to subtitle it.
     
  25. AdeFowler macrumors 68020

    AdeFowler

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    #25
    So true. I've been watching a fair amount of American news channels during the current economic crisis... every new graph on the screen, or name caption appearance, is accompanied by a swoosh and a flash. Why oh why?
     

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