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When Other Countries Copy Your Favorite TV Shows, Things Get Ridiculous

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What does TV seem like in other nations? It seems quite similar, with plays, comedies, and the everpresent soap opera. Yet occasionally, like in case of these eight shows, they seem actually similar. That”s generally because they”re clones, so to speak, of shows from the U.S. or U.K., tailored to a different state”s preferences. This really is nothing brand new, as well as the U.S. isn”t exempt from the practice. The U.S. is understood to import foreign assumptions, cast American performers, and rework the scripts for an American audience; Big Brother was initially a Dutch show, while The Killing comes from Denmark. Countless others are lifted from the U.K.

But who”s reproducing the U.S.? A lot of folks. And occasionally it gets a bit strange…

Powerpuff Girls Z

<i>Powerpuff Girls Z</i>

The Powerpuff Girls, Cartoon Network”s threesome of rear-kicking girls, got the anime treatment within their Japanese counterpart. The girls still keep their fundamental features (clever, cunning, tough), but they”re also given some more stereotypical anime girl peculiarities like boy-craziness, love for sweets, and super-irritating sounds. They”ve also grown up a bit, being preteens. Their origin story is, in addition, distinct, too, also it conforms more to what Japanese crowds search for in animated shows, and contains a Sailor Moon-fashion transformation picture.

Netherlands: Golden Girls

<i>Netherlands: Golden Girls</i>

The show about the four sassy retirees was so popular that it really spawned multiple international shows, including ones in Turkey, Russia, Spain, and Greece. The Dutch variation, however, keeps the first “Thank You for Being a Friend” as its theme song, only with a Dutch translation.

It”s Always Shining In Moscow


Yeah, only a few folks think of Moscow as being bright. What’s more, it resembles Danny Devito”s character has been replaced with a girl, based on this particular poster. (She”s really a variation of The Server.) For a show that”s all about being as appalling as potential, the Russian variant is quite a bit tamer because of the state”s censorship laws. So while binge drinking is fine, questioning societal traditions and sex aren’t. They do give a nod to their source content though: instead of Paddy”s Pub, the gang runs a pub called Philadelphia.



Metastasis was a Spanish language remake of the acclaimed Breaking Bad, in which a chemistry teacher with cancer cooks meth to settle his hospital bills, and, naturally, digs himself into a dangerous area. Everything is pretty much identical, down to the protagonist”s names: Walter White becomes Walter Blanco, and his wife, Skylar, becomes Cielo, Spanish for “heavens.” Univision, who intends to spread it across the U.S. and Latin America, appears to have made it a fairly close replica of the original, seemingly expecting to bank on its success.

The Theorists

<em>The Theorists</em>

Belarus didn”t even attempt to hide the reality they reproduced the assumption, storylines, and, in a few instances, the entire scripts of The Big Bang Theory. Don”t worry, however; the nerds are just as irritating in almost any language.

Project Popcorn

<i>Project Popcorn</i>

This is Russia”s variant of Mystery Science Theater 3000, and follows substantially the same structure of showing awful films (the upper left corner is a still from Manos: The Hands of Fate, one of the worst films ever made) and supplying snarky comments. The assumption is the fact that a guy is made to observe horrible B movies for science, and he”s got some puppet pals. This show is truly buff-made, so it”s less an official show and more of a court, only using pictures from Russia as well as the encompassing region.

All the Offices

All of the <i>Offices</i>

The American Office with Steve Carrell is really itself a ripoff of the U.K.”s first with Ricky Gervais. Nevertheless, it”s been replicated many times over in many states. They comprise France, Germany, Quebec (not a state, but the show was broadcast in Quebecois, not English), Chile, and Israel. Seemingly strategies are in the works for more variations in other states too. Office banter and pettiness is quite worldwide, as well as the show is open ended enough to allow for ethnic tweaks, so it stands to reason that The Office has been recycled so much.

Haft Sang

<i>Haft Sang</i>

Haft Sang is the Iranian version of Modern Family, although naturally, given Iran”s societal climate, specific changes are made. Instead of a homosexual couple, it”s a straight couple. Rather than coping with adolescent girls, they are switched by the Iranian show to sons. Relationship is prohibited, so instead of a girlfriend, the son has a male closest friend. All this to make sure that the family isn’t overly modern. Not one of that matters anyway, because everyone in Iran only sees prohibited episodes of the real Modern Family.

(via Dorkly)

There are probably countless other shows out there that bear some uncanny similarities to shows you understand and adore. Yet, in this age of instant information exchange, it appears like what we”re actually seeing is that folks all around the globe have (nearly) the same preference in amusement.

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