1 9 9 6 (UK)
7 x 30 minute episodes
What the hell were they thinking??!
This short-lived British remake of the American sitcom Married . . . with Children was produced by Central Television and aired in March and April 1996.
The seven episodes were word-for-word remakes of MWC episodes with certain words anglicised (“pence” instead of “cents”, “pounds” instead of “dollars”, “lorry” instead of “truck” etc).
The Bundys were renamed the Butlers, with Russ Abbot playing the Al Bundy character, renamed Ted.
His wife Pam was played by Susan Kyd, Kelly was now called Nikki and played by Lucy Blakely, and the character of Bud (now called Lee) was played by Peter England.
The insufferable neighbours (originally the Rhoades in MWC) were renamed Hollingsworth, with Hugh Bonneville playing the Steve character and Julie Dawn Cole playing the Marcy character (now renamed Judy).
Sadly, the things which made MWC so successful – such as perfect comedy timing and good comedic acting – were completely missing in this hugely inferior British remake. The sets looked like they had been knocked together in half an hour . . .
It was truly a painful and cringe-inducing viewing experience. It was bad. I mean, very very very bad. My god, it was awful! Even worse than Brighton Belles which attempted to remake The Golden Girls. And that was tragic.
The series featured an early performance from Rob Brydon.
Julie Dawn Cole
For Whom the Bell Tolls (Remake of MWC episode #20) | If I Were a Rich Man (Remake of MWC episode #16) | Sixteen Years and What Do You Get? (Remake of MWC episode #6) | Where’s the Boss? (Remake of MWC episode #12) | Whose Room Is It Anyway? (Remake of MWC episode #4) | My Mum, the Mum (Remake of MWC episode #47) | Eatin’ Out (Remake of MWC episode #46)