Cross-border remakes of TV shows don’t always work – especially when they crib so much from the original. The IT Crowd notoriously crashed and burned when it made its stateside debut, and I’m still wondering who thought an American Red Dwarf was a good idea.
But then something just seems to be the perfect fit for its new territory – like this Russian remake of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, retitled, “В Москве всегда солнечно,” or “It’s Always Sunny in Moscow.”
I have almost no idea what the characters are saying (my slim Russian is a little rusty), but it’s like peering into “Mirror, Mirror” versions of Dennis, Dee, Charlie, and Mac (I wonder who they got to play Russian Frank). From the looks of it, the Paddy’s Pub (now called “Philadelphia,” naturally) gang is up to pretty much the same booze-soaked shenanigans.
I do wonder how later seasons will deal with the kind of reckless, ultra-patriotism of the gang given the ultra-nationalist political mood in Russia right now. Also, the bit with the gay character hitting on the Russian Dennis feels a little queasy given the homophobic laws on the books coming out of Moscow.
The series made its debut in May and now I’m wishing that broadcaster TNT Russia was streaming it here in the United States.