The British Versions Of American TV Shows That Just Didn't Compare

Photo: Tony Kyriacou/REX/Shutterstock
There’s something particularly magical about UK reality TV, isn’t there? Between the likes of The Great British Bake Off, Gogglebox and even good old classics like Changing Rooms and Four In A Bed, we’ve had our niche national brand of homegrown entertainment down for years. Distinctively earnest, straightforward in execution, and raucous in a very British way (we really like a naughty pun, don’t we?).
We’ve witnessed our fair share of reality television gold: Nikki Grahame's "Who is she?" moment on Big Brother 7; Simon Cowell swallowing his pride and sending Chico (one of his own acts) home on X Factor; and the fateful union of Katie Price and Peter Andre on I’m A Celebrity... Oh, how things would have been different if Twitter was big in the early '00s, eh? Nevertheless, there have been times when we haven’t got it quite right. Namely, whenever we’ve strayed from what we know and tried to muscle in on American reality shows.
Cast your mind back to the glory days of MTV, for example. It introduced us to Cribs, defined that weird concept of a 'sweet sixteen' and showed the world what a group of lads with an unimaginable pain threshold and a camera crew could do in 24-minute episode slots. It was big, bold and raucous. For right or wrong, it's how many British millennials came to understand American life and, yes, it was gloriously foreign to our way of living in little Great Britain. Needless to say, these shows didn’t always translate. Try as they might’ve, many of the programmes that made the jump across the Atlantic didn’t pack the same punch as the originals. Don’t believe me? Allow me to remind you of the British versions of American TV shows that just didn’t match up.

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