Gavin and Stacey: an American adaptation

I don't know whether I've talked about it here before, but Gavin and Stacey is/was a British comedy series about a couple meeting up after a long distance relationship, and the culture clashes between a guy from just outside London and a girl from Wales.

 

Apparently, they're adapting it to an American version.  That link covers all the major facts of the remake.

I have no idea how the hell this adaptation is supposed to work.

I mean, I don't deny the possibility that the remake could be good.  I don't think remakes are inherently awful.  But, and maybe this only seemed like this because I'm an American watching a show from the UK, but it seemed to me the central plot of Gavin and Stacey is the culture clashes between working/middle class Wales and working/middle class England.

There have, apparently, been previous attempts to remake the show in America.  The attempted NBC version was going to cast Gavin in New Jersey and Stacey in South Carolina.  This upcoming one is via Fox, and production "is tentatively set to begin in Los Angeles in March 2013," but Wikipedia doesn't say anything about where the main characters are going to be from.

And, again, this show could be good.  I'll certainly give it a shot.  I just don't know in what sense it would be a remake of Gavin and Stacey.  It seems to me like the only thing the remake status could do is hold it back, forcing the cast to repeat stale and out-of-place jokes rather than develop themselves as characters native to their own story.

I hope that doesn't happen, because I regret the fact that Gavin and Stacey ended after three seasons, and I want there to be a new series that's engaging and satisfying in a similar way.

And whoever Stacey's friend is, it'll definitely hurt the show that, rather than being however good a character she is in her own right, she'll come off, at least at first, as a disappointing Nessa.

Slate's Spoiler Rules

I love reading rules for spoilers.  Working out an etiquette for when, and where, and how much it's okay to talk about art that came out recently, or art that isn't too popular, isn't the biggest ethical debate on the internet.  It's not the biggest problem posed by the changes in media over the last ten or twenty years.  But, maybe for that reason, I think it's the most fun. Slate is tackling this question specifically as it relates to the new Netflix original series, House of Cards. House of Cards was released all at once, today.  There are 13 episodes, apparently 1 hour each.  It seems to me that makes this show, as far as consumption etiquette is concerned, more like a book than a TV show or a movie.

Sam Adams, the author of the article, draws a distinction between "Push" and "Pull" messaging that I hadn't thought much about before, and that I really like.  Posting on Twitter or putting a spoiler in a headline is a push.  writing in the middle of an article or deep in a comment thread is a pull.  I feel I was intuitively aware of this difference, but it's nice to see it spelled out.

The usual discussion of expiration dates turns up in the form of "by next Thursday, it’s fair to expect that those who care most about not having any detail of House of Cards revealed in advance will have worked their way through the entire thing."

The other two bits are just basic rules about life and art:  Don't be a jerk, awesome advice, and great art can't be spoiled.  Or, great art can't be ruined by spoiling.  It might lose a little bit, but experiencing a good story is worth it even if you know how it ends.  Nobody watches a show just waiting to find out what the last plot point is.

Relatedly, Slate is starting a podcast explicitly about spoiling movies for the purposes of discussion.  Now, they're doing Warm Bodies.  If you've seen it, check it out.