Here in the U.S., we’re currently in the middle of an epidemic where TV networks are regurgitating older series and films back out as “fresh” projects, but we’re actually not the culprits in this story. China is getting ready to embark on a small screen romance with a remake of the hit 1990s sitcom Mad About You, starring Paul Reiser and Helen Hunt. Tell me why… Oh, you thought I was going to sing the theme song, but no, I was just requesting a reason.
Sony Picture Television and CCTV6’s HuaCheng Pictures, through their joint Husaso banner, are working with Croton Media on bringing a new Asian-flavored version of Mad About You to the mass audiences in China. The show will follow the same basic premise as the original, with two intelligent newlyweds trying to keep their lives and jobs intact along with their romance. I guess we can expect to see some wild and wacky friends, relatives and neighbors as well. The only think they’ll never be able to replace, of course, is Murray, the dog that actually sparked the first meeting between the original’s Paul and Jamie. And if they want to leave out the awful “we’re having a baby” storyline, that’d be fine.
According to THR, here’s how the multi-hyphenate Sony Pictures Television exec Dai Huang puts it, answering my reasoning question.
With our robust scripted formats business, we have found that hit series have universal appeal. We have chosen to co-produce a local version of Mad About You in China because we believe this story about a young couple trying to balance their lives in the big city will be especially relevant to local audiences.”
I guess I can’t argue with that. Young love, even between grown adults, is still universally appealing source material, so it’s not that hard to see why they’re going this route. Although, looking back, there’s really nothing about Mad About You that stood out to me enough for a remake to really “capture.” It was basically about these two New York characters and their New York apartment. If the remake is two Beijing characters in a Beijing apartment, what’s calling back to the original? The unending pondering?
I already want to hear this theme song remade though.
Sony Pictures Television has been doing this kind of thing for years, spinning huge profits off international versions of Married with Children, Breaking Bad and many more. This will be the first time Mad About You makes it to Asia, though. Can we get a Russian version next?
Production is slated to start on this new Mad About You at some point in 2015, and casting has already begun for the two main characters. Does anyone in China resemble Paul Reiser in the least?