Thursday, October 18, 2007

All singing, all dancing, all shameful

Today's column reviews CBS' self-loathing musical "Viva Laughlin":
I try to be good. I try to not be one of those unbearable media snobs who declare that a remake fundamentally can't be as good as the original or that British works of art are inherently superior to American. But a 15-car pile-up of a TV show like CBS' calamitous new musical/mystery hybrid "Viva Laughlin" makes it awfully hard.

If NBC's "The Office" represents the best-case scenario for adapting a great British series, than "Viva Laughlin" represents the worst. A remake of the marvelous BBC miniseries "Viva Blackpool," it gets every possible thing wrong in translation. Where the original was cheeky and light on its feet, the remake is earnest and clumsy. Where the original reveled in its blend of song and dance with murder and relationship drama, the remake is apologetic and self-loathing about its musical side.
To read the full thing, click here.

9 comments:

Adam said...

In other words, it's not "so bad it's good"; it's just "so bad".

Page said...

Maybe I'm a masochist, but I kind of want to watch it just to see how awful it is (plus I do love Jackman). But what your review really made me want to do is to see Blackpool. David Tennant and Sarah Parish? Count me in! Not sure how I missed it. Any idea if BBCA has plans to rerun it?

And speaking of Brit TV -- Alan, have you caught any of Five Days? I have loved it so far (seen the first two eps). The acting is fantastic.

matty said...

maybe it helped that i had no idea what the show was when i watched the pilot. when people started singing, and then hugh jackman showed up, i was pretty surprised. i really enjoyed the show, and i'll probably keep watching it until it's cancelled next week. i'm actually kinda surprised that absolutely everyone seems to truly hate this show.

LA said...

Good news for "Brothers & Sisters." When "Viva Laughlin" is canceled, Eric Winter can go back to playing Rob Lowe's gay minister brother.

Filipe said...

I loved how Brothers and Sisters seems so sure that they will get Winter back for the last part of the season.

It's funny how CBS greenlighted so many unusual concepts, went on making very CBS-like show out of them and in the process ended up with a bunch of new shows that nobody likes.

Dan Coyle said...

Even if the show survives, I don't see Winter lasting long on it, because he's AWFUL. I assume he was much better on Brothers and Sisters but on this show he sucks what little life is already on the screen in every scene he's in.

Dan Coyle said...

Okay, I finished watching it.

I... I... sort of kind of... except for the cop parts I...

I liked it enough to wish it was better than it was.

Or maybe that 12 year old Dan who wanted to rescue Shelly the waitress from that jerk Bobby just won't leave me be. Viva Madchen!

Anonymous said...

Dan: Winter is much better on Brothers and Sisters but to be honest, I don't think this one is his fault. He's miscast for starters . He's a good actor, but this show makes everyone look bad. I was especially embarrassed for Hugh Jackman. He's a great actor but he was terrible here too.

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