File Under “Things That Will Not Work”: There’s a US ‘Peep Show’ Coming


There are some things that are so utterly, quintessentially, overwhelmingly British that trying to adapt them for American television is an exercise in futility. These are, of course, the very things that US execs inevitably try to adapt for American TV — sometimes the results defy the odds and end up being watchable, but more often than not, the results are sanitized, tone-deaf and/or flat-out embarrassing.

You’d think America might have learned its lesson by now. It hasn’t, of course, because hey, there’s a US version of Peep Show in the works! The UK Peep Show was both one of the most consistently funny TV shows of the past decade and one of the most British — the adventures of Jez, Mark, Super Hans and co. capture a very British sort of darkness, a kind of keep-calm-and-carry-on sense of existential futility that drives both black humor and plain despair. As Roger Waters pointed out on The Dark Side of the Moon, “Hanging on in quiet desperation is the English way,” and it’s this quality that’s never really translated across the Atlantic, and while examining quite why this might be is beyond the remit of a short news post like this, the point is that for fans of the UK show there’s a creeping sense of dread about this news. Please, America, keep doing what you do best, and leave the crying-quietly-into-one’s-tea comedy to those who do it best, innit?