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Why Fans Of The BBC's Ghosts Are So Divided Over The American Remake

"Ghosts" is a 2019 supernatural comedy from the BBC that follows a group of lingering spirits who haunt a couple living in the country home where they all died in their respective time periods. After a near-death experience, Allison Cooper (Charlotte Ritchie) gains the ability to see, hear, and interact with the ghosts. As all parties are tied to the land, whether by financial constraints or eternal spirit rules, the ghosts and the living are forced to coexist as peacefully as they can.

"Ghosts" is also a 2021 supernatural comedy from CBS that follows the exact same premise because it's an American remake of the British series. The remake stars former "iZombie" star Rose McIver in the role originated by Ritchie in the BBC series. 

From "The Office" to "The X Factor," there's a relatively consistent precedent for American TV choosing to remake British media rather than air the original. Of course, there's also a relatively consistent precedent for viewers picking sides between iterations, dying on proverbial hills, and then haunting said hills for the rest of their eternal existence on the internet.

Fans of the British series are calling the American remake a bad parody

Unsurprisingly, the subreddit r/GhostsBBC is packed with fans who have strong opinions about both versions of the series. u/citysick bemoaned feeling old in a community that they perceived as inherently youthful and asked if anyone else preferred the British version. They went on to say, "I refuse to watch the American version. Repulsive." 

The numerous replies largely appeared in agreement with the original poster. Most of the commenters reported that they found the BBC version delightful, but considered the CBS remake lacking for some reason.  "[I'm] obsessed with the BBC version," u/amd1235 wrote. "I watched a bit of the US version and it's just missing something."

In an extended response, another Reddit user insisted that the American version of "Ghosts" was a microcosm of the problems suffered by American television. In particular, this user complained about a lack of depth in television broadcast in the United States. "US TV sucks the life out of shows, u/SuzyQ93 wrote. "They're afraid of real emotion, they have no idea how pacing works, and they're afraid of any kind of pause for thought or reflection."

Furthermore, this user laid the lion's share of the blame at the feet of the television networks in the United States. "They can't develop characters properly," u/SuzyQ93 explained. "Because the goal isn't telling a good story with a proper beginning, middle, and end, but rather stretching something out indefinitely in order to keep the ad money flowing."

Interestingly, even Reddit users who reported enjoying both iterations seemed partial to the original BBC production. Then again, this discussion occurred in a subreddit dedicated to the BBC version, where derogatory memes about the CBS version are routinely shared, so take it all with a grain of salt.