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Top 10 Times America Copied Britain - But Failed

VO: Richard Bush WRITTEN BY: Paul Grover
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery! Apparently. Welcome to WatchMojo UK, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 times America copied Britain – but failed. For this list, we’ll be looking at the many times our cousins across the pond tried to emulate their older relatives – with little to no success. Sometimes, you just can’t beat the original. Special thanks to our user WordToTheWes for submitting the idea on our interactive suggestion tool: WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Top 10 Times America Copied Britain - But Failed


Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery! Apparently. Welcome to WatchMojo UK, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 times America copied Britain – but failed.

For this list, we’ll be looking at the many times our cousins across the pond tried to emulate their older relatives – with little to no success. Sometimes, you just can’t beat the original.

#10: “Doctor Who” (1996)


With the long running success of sci-fi series “Doctor Who” in the UK, why wouldn’t the US want to cash in on the franchise? That was the plan in the mid-nineties, with the British programme having been dormant since 1989. This was also before reboots were such common place, so this TV film was presented as a continuation of the original, intended to kick-start a Stateside-produced series. Alas, the project failed to win over American audiences, and the show wouldn’t see a UK revival until nearly a decade later.

#9: Travelling by Train


They may never run on time but there aren’t many locations in the UK a train can’t get you to; when it does eventually arrive at least! They also allow you to get from one end of the country to the other in not too bad a time. The same can’t be said for rail travel in the US, with most travellers opting to fly instead, even between relatively close cities. Who needs Paris Climate Agreements when you’re so environmentally friendly, eh? Clearly, America has failed in replicating the semi-efficiency of British rail travel!

#8: “Skins” (2011)


While the bridge between British and American TV has successfully been crossed a fair few times before; this . . . was not one of those times. The American “Skins” proved an all-round disaster from start to finish – inciting critical derision and public controversy. See, the problem was that when the show’s edgy storylines hit US screens, the focus on teenage sex and drug addiction sparked massive criticism… with some groups even calling for charges against MTV and the production team. Couple that with rapidly falling ratings, and the stateside “Skins” was swiftly dropped after just one season.

#7: Universal Healthcare


NHS funding is always concerning, but if the British medical system pulls you through it won't cost you anything more than your parking fee. But, in the US just because modern medicine can save your life, it doesn't necessarily mean it's going to happen for you without consequence. If your insurance policy won't cover it, you're looking at hefty bills – mind you, it's not always a financial walk in the park even if you do have excellent coverage. The closest the States have come to duplicating universal healthcare is with what’s known as Obamacare – essentially tax credits for health insurance. Not quite as desirable. But hey, who knows what the future might hold.

#6: American Grime


British Grime stars such as Dizzee Rascal and Stormzy you’re probably familiar with. But when you hear the name Jumanji, you probably picture Robin Williams running from a rhino, not the American grime artist. That’s because the US contingent of grime music has yet to take off. With the genre being synonymous with life on estates within the UK, and its unique British slang and pronunciation, US artists have struggled to reproduce its magic. Despite having its own dedicated label, Grime has a long way to go in the States.

#5: The Morning Fry-Up


The ultimate hangover cure and the perfect way to start your day: the morning fry up. You know the ingredients; bacon, sausages, a fried egg, beans, tomatoes, mushrooms, pancakes… hang on a minute. Pancakes?! With your breakfast?! What is this treachery?! Only the US would have the audacity to throw in such a wild card and upset the natural order of things. But nothing compares to the pancake-free original, better known as the Full English!

#4: "The Wicker Man"


Spoiler alert: the ending to the original “Wicker Man” where a police sergeant (portrayed by Edward Woodward) meets a grisly end at the hands of by a disturbing island cult is horrifying! The remade version, with Nicolas Cage playing the doomed sergeant instead, is unintentionally hilarious and spawned the eternal memes it deserved. Hollywood has been guilty on more than one occasion of taking a classic British film and remaking it with pitiful results, but they outdid themselves with the this one punctuated by Cage’s notorious overacting.

#3: American Cricket Conference


Cricket is a British sporting staple, but in the States it’s about as popular as basketball is in Blighty. Whereas Major League Soccer has been fairly successful in the US, the American Cricket Conference hasn’t fared so well. While the average American may be able to identify David Beckham; Freddie Flintoff - not so much. American homegrown sports do tend to be more popular in the US than they are worldwide; baseball is the preferred bat and ball pass time across the Atlantic. Meanwhile, The United States of America Cricket Association has managed to be expelled from the International Cricket Council due to controversy... not that anyone in the States would know.

#2: Percy Jackson, Leven Thumps and Landon Snow vs Harry Potter


Percy Jackson is the protagonist of an American series of mystical adventure books, who’s a young boy/demi-god who trains at Camp Half-Blood and is pivotal in the battle of good versus evil. Leven Thumps, on the other hand, is the protagonist of an American series of mystical adventure books, who’s a young orphan pivotal in the battle of good versus evil. Landon Snow is the protagonist of an American series of mystical adventure books, who … doesn't even have a Wikipedia page. Hands down, when it comes to fiction about supernatural children, the Brits just do it better.

#1: Cringe Comedy


Look, let’s be honest: the US has indeed had some success with cringe comedies, such as Larry David’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and their version of Ricky Gervais’s seminal “The Office” but they’ve failed miserably when attempting remakes of the likes of, say, “The Inbetweeners.”. Britain could be considered the originator of cringe comedy, thanks to genius shows like “Fawlty Towers,” and simply the best at it due to more modern examples, including the amazing “Peep Show”. Lets just hope the latter doesn’t get a Seth Rogen and James Franco-starring remake, or somesuch. Eesh.
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