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By Felix Vasquez Jr. | November 2, 2007

No, I’m serious, who are you kidding McG?

You actually think you can have an American remake on television with actual American actors, and hope to reach the actual brilliance of Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, and Edgar Wright.

What made “Spaced” such a brilliant show was that these British men were pop culture junkies who integrated pop culture references better than Kevin Smith could ever hope to, and now you want to replicate it, McG?

Better men have tried and failed. “Coupling,” anyone? “The Office,” anyone? Come on. Yes, I hate the latter US version.
And Edgar Wright is none too happy either, and who can blame him?

Says Wright:

“I have just been through a good 32 hour period of e-mails from friends and colleagues that all pretty much contained the same sentiment, “They’re doing an American Spaced. What the f???” (And yes they did, on occasion, use multiple question marks).

I have moved to comment on it further for two reasons. The first, and this is the lousy part, is that I’m thoroughly miserable about being dragged into the whole process.

As I said in my previous blogs, I don’t personally have any format rights to the show, they belong to Granada USA and I’m pretty sure that while Simon and Jess would get paid for the reversioning of their original scripts, they don’t necessarily have the power to call the whole damn thing off. (And I can confirm that Simon at least, would like nothing more than to pull the plug).”

“Spaced,” for the uninitiated is probably one of the funniest shows ever created by the people who brought you “Shaun of the Dead” and “Hot Fuzz.” Simon Pegg plays an aspiring comic book artist who lives with a girl he met one day on the street. They move into a flat that only allows couples, so they pretend to be a couple while living together and facing generally weird situations, including various weird characters like a chain smoking landlord, an art savante neighbor, and Tim’s military nut best friend Mike, played by Nick Frost.

It’s a very hard to find series in the States, but “Spaced,” once you discover it, injects pop culture fanaticism so well that it takes a keen observer to catch all the films and TV shows they’re referencing.

In the world of “The Big Bang Theory,” and “Two and a Half Men,” what can we really expect from “Spaced” if McG in all his ill advised pursuit? With this impending strike, perhaps this idea will be dead in the water, but, I never put anything past McG these days.

“Someone posted on a forum about me, the following. “Way to screw up a classic, you jackass”.

Now when, in twenty years time, I release ‘SHAUN OF THE DEAD: THE VERSION YOU’VE NEVER SEEN’ with a CGI Jabba and the Spider Walk sequence cut back in, then and only then do I deserve such a slur.

Until then, I have to say it hurts a little. I can’t stress enough that I’m not involved and am not going to profit from this new enterprise.”

Read the rest of the blog here.

And he seems honest about not being involved, so cut him some f*****g slack. The man is talented, period, and he seems to be genuinely peeved at these developments.

An American version of “Spaced” was always on the way, and I really am horrified as to what we may be getting with McG leading the charge on this new version. You can’t do a Marx brothers movie without the Marx Brothers, you can’t do Monty Python without the gang, and you simply can not make “Spaced” without Pegg, Wright, and Frost.

Years from now if and when the series is out and audiences are finding it genius television, those who caught on to “Spaced” will know better. I’m not ruling out the possibility that it won’t be good, but I’m simply not interested in finding out.

Call that typical fan boy prejudice, but when Pegg, Wright, Frost, and yes even the oft forgotten Jessica Hynes get together, it’s just magic. Look for “Spaced” and you’ll see what I’m talking about.

This remake is infuriating but… what do you expect in Western pop culture these days?

I’ve had my say.

Coming soon: My Top ten “Spaced” moments!

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  1. TJCoolguy says:

    I see now that it’s two different writers posting. My bad. But I still think it’s an interesting point to discuss.

  2. TJCoolguy says:

    How can you be so righteously outraged about “Spaced” being produced without the creators’ blessing, and then, in a later post, gush over shots from the “Watchmen” movie? Alan Moore has said on multiple occasions that he hates the idea of anything he’s written being made into a film, and has never approved any of them.

    I’m not disagreeing with you on “Spaced”. I think an American version would be lousy, but this seems a bit hypocritical.

  3. Keithypop says:

    i can see the point you are trying to make (though you need to work on your sentancing). and you seem to be ignoring the fact that hynes writes it too.

  4. Felix Vasquez Jr. says:

    Yeah a lot of people like it. I don’t mind the backlash. I still think it’s a mediocre pretty unfunny series.

  5. Joe Young says:

    I believe the fact that the input of the original creators was not sought by the makers of this is a travesty. I don’t despise McG the way so many here and in other forums seem to, but the creators need to be involved in the production.

    I also have to go on saying that the American Office is great (although this season is starting a little slow – I believe the sequence of hourlongs was too much).

  6. Felix Vasquez Jr. says:

    Her current name is Jessica Hynes apparently. Go fig.

    I’m not a fan of the American Office. I watch it on occasion only because I LOVE Steve Carell and John Krasinski, but I generally feel a great sense of discontent at its praise.

  7. Mark Bell says:

    I thought her name was Jessica Stevenson? Unless she married? Anyway, i agre with everything you said EXCEPT that the U.S. “Office” sucks. I LOVE the U.S. “Office.”

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