Journeyman creator Kevin Falls just got a green light from Fox to produce a new pilot based on the Argentinian telenovela, “Lalola”, following ABC’s steps, with the sucess of Ugly Betty, which was based on Colombian telenovela “Yo so Betty, la fea”.
Never watched it, but my friends mom who did, said it was fun.
Will this become a new trend?
Remaking british shows was the second coolest thing in recent US prime time Tv, stick right between the explosion of convoluted long term sagas (thanks for Lost) and single camera comedies, as variations of crime procedural started to dwindle. Most of them failed, but we’ve a got a new batch coming this fall including CBS’ “Eleventh Hour” and ABC’s “Life on Mars”, but in the past for every sucessful story like it was with “The Office” or Queer as Folk”, there was a “Coupling” or “Teachers”.
Will creating new shows from Latin telenovelas, become the new cool trend? There’s no lack of material, and great talent from these lands all get some background in them. Even Gael Garcial Bernal, who’ve had a great recent movie track record, have some background in latin telenovelas.
The Brazilian Telenovelas
There’s yet to come something influence by Brazilian novelas, which also bore great talents, such as few who’ve been hanging in Hollywood, like Rodrigo Santoro or Fernanda Montenegro. Aesthetically they have some difference from what is stereotypically considered Latin Telenovela by US public eyes, and are the must for Brazilian prime time. They used to be less filled will atrocious plot lines or twists, and adapting classic works of local and international literature is also an usual pattern.
We’ll hardly find daytime soaps over here, Brazilian novela is primetime material. Globo is the network that used to own the almost absolute monopoly in the area, having about 3-daily hours dedicated for this kind of programming. In the last decade or so, such monopoly has been contested by other networks entering the game, but it’s hard to challenge Globo’s production values. It’s such an important part of local culture, that there are academic research groups dedicated exclusively to the study of their history and language.
I’ve commented on this subject before, as I wonder if the US Tv industry will follow the movie industry trend of remaking Asian productions, maybe as their next cool trend after the Latin Telenovelas.
The amount of Korean, Taiwanese, Japanese, Hong Kong and China productions are enormous, and I’m talking specifically about TV productions, both low and high end. As I pointed before there are 3 versions (Taiwanese, Japanese and Korean – in production order) of adaptations for Japanese manga “Hana Yori Dango”, and there are other examples of multiple versions from the same source material. Korean drama is the must see thing in local prime time, even overshadowing local productions, I’ve watched some of them myself, even owning DVDs or VCDs of some titles.
I do realize that a lot of Asian influenced things this year were due to the Beijing Olympics this year, which might include summer releases for Jet Li and Jackie Chan’s “Forbidden Kingdom” movie, or even Universal setting the release of “The Mummy: Tomb of Dragon Emperor” for this year. Will there be such interest in another time? Furthermore, are the Asian dramas aesthetics easy to adapt for US western tastes?
I am definitely curious of how ABC Family’s “Samurai Girl” fared ratings wise or even public reaction about it. The short mini series didn’t get adapted from any original Asian source material, but it’s Asian heavy enough to serve as some thermometer for this matter.
I’d like to discuss later about my opinions about “Samurai Girl” and ABC Family great trackrecord in another post. This discussion, reminds me that I have yet to post my review for the US version of My Sassy Girl. Yep. I’ve seen it, will comment on it later on.