Grandpas Racing To American TV

Posted by Stephanie on September 4, 2014


grandpa over flowersIt was revealed just the other day that another program from Korea is on the fast track to be adapted to our American TVs. This time though? It’s no Kdrama, being taunted and mulled over, but the variety show Grandpas Over Flowers.

And unlike the other dramas which were optioned for the US, this is one of the ones which looks like it just might make it. The import already has a network (NBC), a revamped title (Better Late Then Never), and a tentative air date (early 2015).

Guys, I think that this might actually happen.

However, is it as awesome or momentous as an actual Kdrama at last taking that final step and making it’s way onto our (and unsuspecting Americans) tv screens? Isn’t variety just another word for reality, of which US companies appropriate from other countries all the time? (Appropriate and awful-ify) I guess it comes down to a couple of factors.

First, and probably most importantly, casting. Are they going to go with the same idea of the Korean version and hire known names for it? Reality TV doesn’t quite have the same…allure to stars here that it does in Korea and the people who are cast on these shows are not usually first, or second, or even, lets be honest, third tier names. So then are we going to care who is on the show and therefore care about the show itself?

Who would they even cast? Does the US even have the same sort of actors who play these older roles? In Korea we see the same guys over and over again in the same roles, but do we have that here? For some reason I’m only coming up with Peter Faulk as I’m a giant Columbo fan, but that wouldn’t actually work as, well, he’s dead.

Oh wait. Maybe Elliot Gould.

But he’s probably too big a name.

Secondly, is the show going to have the same spirit as the original? A PD who is an active part of the filming who enjoys vexing and throwing monkey wrenches in the cast’s way? By speaking English is the cast going to have a leg up over the Korean version? Would they really just throw them into a country and make the cast basically fend for themselves? Hmm… I doubt it, our usual reality show/celebrity sort seems to be a fragile creature.

While I love that there is obviously more and more people in the US entertainment world keeping their eyes on the Korean entertainment field, and I do find the original Grandpas Over Flowers to be delightful and sweet, I’m worried that this just won’t translate as well as we’d hope it would. That what will come out will be just like every other cringe-worthy realty show that we’ll have to disavow any pre-knowledge of.

And yet, while me and my pessimist nature say this, there is still the small, ‘woohoo’ part of me who actually can’t wait for this to happen.

So, throwing aside the fact that most stars would never touch reality tv, if you could cast this US version–who would you pick? (Keep in mind, Peter Faulk, yes, still dead. Sniff.)

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