The Turkish ‘O.C.’ and 7 More Crazy Remakes of American TV Shows
Call it ‘Dimwits of the Bosphorus’! Anna Brand on the craziest foreign remakes of American TV shows.
The year was 2003, and no one was quite prepared for the unparalleled gift that would become The O.C.
We watched the most heartbreaking near-death scene in TV history (OK, top 50) when Marissa Cooper (Mischa Barton) overdosed in Tijuana. We heard Luke Ward (Chris Carmack)—or perhaps the original Jesse Pinkman?—utter the precious line “Welcome to the O.C., bitch.” We witnessed Julie Cooper’s (Melinda Clarke) ultimate disgrace when she had sex with her daughter’s ex-boyfriend. We learned there is no greater kiss than the “Spider-Man kiss” between Seth Cohen (Adam Brody) and Summer Roberts (Rachel Bilson). We got Chrismukkah.
The O.C. was a success—it ran vigorously up until 2007 and rocket-launched the careers of its main cast. So it’s no surprise that another country would want to milk those memorable storylines. That’s right, Turkey is producing its own version of The O.C., or Tides. The series won’t include any of the original cast members or feature an Orange County, California, beach, but it will center around a group of affluent teenagers who are forced to deal with the intrusion of bad-boy outsider, as well as their dysfunctional families.
See for yourself.
Based on the trailer alone, it seems Tides will have just as much—if not more—drama than the original. (That knife! The hoodies!) And it wouldn’t be the first time a foreign adaptation of an American TV show has taken the flagship to another, crazier level. From Private Practice to Desperate Housewives, foreign adaptations continue to push boundaries.
Al Shamshoon, or The Simpsons
When the remake of The Simpsons was brought to the Arab world in 2005, it confused many, especially because the inappropriate nature of the show is forbidden by the Quran. The series didn’t get the love the producers may have hoped—only 34 of the 52 episodes made it to air.
Everybody Loves Kostya, or Everybody Loves Raymond
Phil Rosenthal, the creator of Everybody Loves Raymond, thought he could translate the sitcom’s humor overseas. And while Russians seemed to love the everyday man with an ordinary family plotline, there were arguments between Rosenthal and his Russian counterparts over scripts and casting. He documented his struggles abroad in Exporting Raymond.
Powerpuff Girls Z, or Powerpuff Girls
Just when you thought Buttercup couldn’t get any more badass, Japan took a stab at it with its anime version. Introducing: Powered Buttercup.
The Golden Girls
The Dutch sure do take their glowing hairpieces and clip-on earrings seriously. The show was widely reported on for its eccentric costuming, and the episode translations.
Merhaba Hayat, or Private Practice
It doesn’t really matter that you can’t understand what anyone is saying in the Turkish version of Private Practice: a newborn baby, a flat line, a father with angst, a handsome doctor, and some violin music is all you need. The show first aired in October 2012 and lasted only a year. We can neither confirm nor deny if Taye Diggs played any part in that.
Umutsuz Ev Kadinlari, or Desperate Housewives
Wisteria Lane became Istanbul’s Gul Street in 2011, paving the way for a new crop of catty women to get straight to the bickering and backstabbing.
Married... With Children (Sorry, too many languages to translate)
Married... With Children has been redone a ridiculous amount of times, with adaptations in Australia, the U.K., Turkey, Spain, Russia, Poland, Hungary, Germany, Croatia, Colombia, Chile, Argentina, and Bulgaria. What remains a constant: a visible beer belly and lots of hairspray.