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AngieBee1

Comparison with the UK show

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Going by the synopsis:

Thorfinna, the oldest ghost there, is a cod-obsessed Viking explorer = Robin

Sassapis is a sarcastic and witty Native American from the 1500s (Roman Zaragoza). = Thomas

Isaac the pompous longwinded 1700's Militiaman (Brandon Scott Jones) =The Captain

Hetty the society woman and wife of an 1800's robber baron who is Samantha's ancestor (Rebecca Wisocky).= Lady Button

Alberta is a saucy Prohibition-era lounge singer (Danielle Pinnock) = Kitty

Crash is a 1950s James Dean-style ghost (Hudson Thames) = Humphrey 

Flower is a '60s hippie girl fond of hallucinogens (Sheila Carrasco) = Mary

Pete the overly upbeat '80s scout troop leader (Richie Moriarty) = Pat

Trevor is a slick '90s finance bro (Asher Grodman)  = Julian

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To avoid spoiling people who haven't seen the UK show, I thought I'd start this thread so we can compare/contrast. In the pilot thread, Ichbin said:

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The British Ghosts is also silly but the actors and characters are better than this.  The original is clever.   This one, although nearly the same pilot with the exception of many of the ghost characters, seems dopey in comparison. Robin, the caveman in the original, is a better character than the Viking.  Not sure why they decided to make that change.  Kitty in the original is great, I guess the Woodstock girl is supposed to be her counterpart and not nearly as entertaining and certainly not as charming. There certainly could have been an American Thomas, the poet. One of the funniest scenes from the British pilot was Mary, the peasant woman next to Alison's bed chanting, "get out, get out, get out" while Alison just stared straight ahead trying to convince herself she was imagining it.  Wonder why they veered off on that.  I didn't watch this with high hopes so I wasn't terribly disappointed.  Not impressed much either.  CBS has kept a lot of shows that aren't so great in recent years so this one will probably last.

I did love Kitty in the British show. Her laughter was infectious and she had a childlike innocence at times, It felt like Alison was a protective sister to her, and I loved their friendship. Yeah, the hippie is apparently going to say goofy stuff in the US version, and she did take Kitty's part enjoying the hole in the wall, and acting like roommates. But I don't find myself just smiling at the hippie's presence like I just smiled whenever Kitty was around. The poet Thomas was ok in the UK version, but I did get tired of his obsession with Allison after a while. I do think the US version does need to make its own characters and grow into its own thing.

Edited by Cress
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17 minutes ago, Cress said:

But I don't find myself just smiling at the hippie's presence like I just smiled whenever Kitty was around.

Yeah, I know what you mean.  There is something special about the way Lolly Adefope plays what is otherwise just a silly role.  

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I've just watched the first two episodes of the UK Ghosts and I'm amazed at how much the Alison actress resembles Rashida Jones in looks and mannerisms.  The plot of both versions so far is identical but I think the different ghosts in each series still make them interesting enough to watch both versions.

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They wisely changed elements of the first two episodes of the  UK version to the U.S. one, like in the U.S. pilot Sam trips over the vase Trevor pushed over, whereas in the UK one Julian pushed Alison out of the window.  They kept some of the lines from the original one related to Alison's sleep/coma but put it in different places, so it's weird to me that they didn't keep the best part of the UK second episode which was how the ghost!doctor revealed himself. It's much funnier and effective in the UK one.

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I've just watched the first two episodes of the UK Ghosts and I'm amazed at how much the Alison actress resembles Rashida Jones in looks and mannerisms.

Really? I think she looks like Margot Kidder.

Yes, the UK version is definitely the superior one. It's still not LMAO ROTL funny but it's cute and it's charming and it makes me smile.

One thing that took me a long time to realize is that the basement ghosts are played by the same actors who play the upstairs ghosts. I didn't notice whether the same was true in the American version.

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On 10/9/2021 at 6:14 PM, AngieBee1 said:

like in the U.S. pilot Sam trips over the vase Trevor pushed over, whereas in the UK one Julian pushed Alison out of the window.

Yeah that was a good change, to make it more accidental. Plus it never made sense to me why Alison would dangle out the window so long staring at the pigeon, nor why Julian was suddenly able to give her such a big shove when we previously saw how much effort it took him to just barely move a teacup. The American ghosts do talk hypothetically about killing the livings, and Thorfinn does sound a bit bloodthirsty at times, but they haven't actually done any harm on purpose.

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10 hours ago, Cress said:

Yeah that was a good change, to make it more accidental. Plus it never made sense to me why Alison would dangle out the window so long staring at the pigeon, nor why Julian was suddenly able to give her such a big shove when we previously saw how much effort it took him to just barely move a teacup. The American ghosts do talk hypothetically about killing the livings, and Thorfinn does sound a bit bloodthirsty at times, but they haven't actually done any harm on purpose.

We don't actually see her getting pushed, and it hasn't been mentioned (at least not in any of the episodes I've seen so far), so my theory is that the pigeon actually landed on her and knocked her off-balance, and Julian just took credit for it.

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This article from August compares the ghosts on US vs UK shows.

https://www.denofgeek.com/tv/ghosts-us-remake-meet-the-american-versions-of-the-uk-characters/

I think they are mostly right, that the characters are not direct 1-to-1 copies, but mixtures of previous ghosts as well as original characters. Like, Isaac is a military man, and he shares the closeted gay aspect with the British WWII Captain, but Isaac is also jealous of Hamilton the way that Thomas the poet was jealous of Lord Byron. When people walk through Isaac, they smell farts because of his dysentary, whereas Mary smelled like fire because she was burned at the stake.

The only ghost we haven't seen a lot of yet is the headless ghost, so it's not clear how much he shares with headless Humphrey other than the beheading.

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I think what makes the UK version work more is the actors are a comedy troupe that have worked together before. So they know how to work off each other. 

The US version is just a bunch of random actors. They may be able to find their groove but it will take a few episodes. 

Although I am curious about the headless 50's Ghost and how he got beheaded. Since his story will not be at all similar to Humphrey's. 

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I'm on episode 3 of the English version and god, I am already exhausted of that poet and his unnecessary crush on the female lead. I hope it doesn't last too long.

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16 hours ago, Harvey said:

I'm on episode 3 of the English version and god, I am already exhausted of that poet and his unnecessary crush on the female lead. I hope it doesn't last too long.

That was the plot I'm glad they didn't bring over in the US version. 

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In the UK version, Pat the scout leader had a moment where he thought he was "getting sucked off" to heaven, but it was just a construction spotlight. In the US version, it's Thorfinn who has the fakeout.

In the UK, the basement ghosts came upstairs while they were fighting with one guy who had brought the plague to their village, but they didn't like the upstairs ghosts and decided that they'd rather live downstairs again. It seems that their American equivalents can go upstairs too, but I'm not sure if they prefer it downstairs or not.

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So in the UK version, the neighbors wanted egress to the driveway, whereas in the American version it was about permits for zoning. Which makes me wonder if maybe that's not a thing in the UK. 

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I think I like Hetty better than her UK counterpart. Hetty seems less brittle and stuffy.

The thing about Lady B on the UK version is that she's sort of a one-note character. She is always making that face. I agree Hettie has more potential, and I love Rebecca Wisocky anyway. 

Edited by iMonrey
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They also cut the hijinks about bad cooking, since Jay is a professional chef. I do wonder why he had duck on hand, though. Also, Sam didn't try to play poker and lose due to a ghost not knowing how to help her cheat at cards. Alison also distracted the ghosts by letting them watch her DVDs of Friends. I like that the American show instead talked about Newhart.

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I actually liked this one better than the UK episode. Sam and Jay are not as inept as Alison and Mike. Jay being a chef means he knows how to cook a dinner. 

 

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I liked how they took the bare bones of the original episode's plot and completely reworked it. They took out what wouldn't work with this group (I really can't see any of them performing a ritual for a lunar eclipse, and the gags about the ruined meal wouldn't work with a professional chef in the house), added plenty of its own humour (flooreos!), and tweaked the rest of it enough to make it their own. Sure, a scene or two was a bit clunky, but for the most part it worked very well.

If this is a sign of what they'll be doing going forward, I'm in for the long haul.

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On 10/8/2021 at 9:53 PM, Cress said:

To avoid spoiling people who haven't seen the UK show, I thought I'd start this thread so we can compare/contrast. In the pilot thread, Ichbin said:

I did love Kitty in the British show. Her laughter was infectious and she had a childlike innocence at times, It felt like Alison was a protective sister to her, and I loved their friendship. Yeah, the hippie is apparently going to say goofy stuff in the US version, and she did take Kitty's part enjoying the hole in the wall, and acting like roommates. But I don't find myself just smiling at the hippie's presence like I just smiled whenever Kitty was around. The poet Thomas was ok in the UK version, but I did get tired of his obsession with Allison after a while. I do think the US version does need to make its own characters and grow into its own thing.

 

On 10/9/2021 at 1:30 PM, cdnalor said:

I've just watched the first two episodes of the UK Ghosts and I'm amazed at how much the Alison actress resembles Rashida Jones in looks and mannerisms.  The plot of both versions so far is identical but I think the different ghosts in each series still make them interesting enough to watch both versions.

I recognized the UK actress from another show I watched- Dead Pixels.  She's a great "straight man". I love her reactions. 

On 10/11/2021 at 2:45 PM, iMonrey said:

Really? I think she looks like Margot Kidder.

Yes, the UK version is definitely the superior one. It's still not LMAO ROTL funny but it's cute and it's charming and it makes me smile.

One thing that took me a long time to realize is that the basement ghosts are played by the same actors who play the upstairs ghosts. I didn't notice whether the same was true in the American version.

No, they are definitely different actors on the US version.  I probably wouldn't have realized for awhile they were the same actors in the UK version if you hadn't pointed it out, so thanks!

On 10/16/2021 at 2:15 PM, Harvey said:

I'm on episode 3 of the English version and god, I am already exhausted of that poet and his unnecessary crush on the female lead. I hope it doesn't last too long.

I actually didn't mind the overly romantic Thomas.  I think because I just found it so hilariously funny because, at least in the books I've read, it seems like those people from that era "fell in love" at the drop of the hat.  Once I stopped taking it super seriously, I was able to enjoy it. 

I watched all three seasons (don't know if there are more but that's what was available on HBO Max) this weekend.  It wasn't hard since I basically stayed in all weekend and the seasons are short.  I'm enjoying both versions.  It helps that I like the lead actress in both.  

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I've watched only first 3 episodes of each series and so far I like the American ghosts better but think the couple are really, really bad actors.  Love the UK couple because they're less otp sitcom and more natural.  Especially like the female lead who I also think bears a striking resemblance to Margot Kidder and the hubby actor is so likeable that his mouth-breathing is bearable to watch.

Both sets of basement ghosts are highpoints for me but love, love the UK crew and wish I could live with them and get help with dyi projects.

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11 minutes ago, Machiabelly said:

Spoiler question...in the U.K. show, does the husband ever see the ghosts? Or hear them?

He hasn't yet and they are 3 seasons in. (Well UK seasons which are 6 episodes) He's tried to find ways to see them and communicate with them though.

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3 hours ago, Sakura12 said:

He hasn't yet and they are 3 seasons in. (Well UK seasons which are 6 episodes) He's tried to find ways to see them and communicate with them though.

Thanks. I am watching the American version and was wondering.

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I prefer Thorafin to Robin, but I have come to like Robin.  He did take longer to grow on me.

Words cannot express how much I prefer Sassapis to Thomas.  I LOATHE THOMAS!   I find him so incredibly cringe all the time.  HATE!!!!   Want him to get sucked off so badly.

I like Isaac a lot but after 3 seasons I love The Captain.  He grew on me later in the series as well, though.

Have no strong opinion between Hetty and Lady Button.

I think now we've explored more of Kitty's story I like her more but I'd rather watch Alberta all day every day.  Kitty is exhausting.   

So far crash hasn't been seen much with or without his head so obviously Humphry but I'd like to see more of Crash.

So much more Mary to Flower.  Flower is the CBS character I'd most like to see sucked off.

Pat and Pete are the most similar to each other and I like them both a fair bit.

Because I know exactly who Trevor is because I lived through that era, I relate to Trevor more and I'm not familiar with British politics so that angle of Julian isn't as relatable to me.  But that said despite having more shorthand with Trevor there are moments that I like Julian  a lot.  

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Just to let you all know, there is a Ghosts ((UK) thread here if you all chose (like me) to watch the UK show after discovering the US version! 

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On 10/9/2021 at 10:30 AM, cdnalor said:

I've just watched the first two episodes of the UK Ghosts and I'm amazed at how much the Alison actress resembles Rashida Jones in looks and mannerisms.  The plot of both versions so far is identical but I think the different ghosts in each series still make them interesting enough to watch both versions.

So I’m not the only one who made that comparison to Rashida. When I first started watching the UK version that is the first thing I thought of! I’m enjoying the UK version a lot more. I think the acting and writing is a lot better. this US version does not make me want to rewatch the episodes like the UK version does. Oh well!

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It seems I'm going in reverse of most people here...  I didn't know about the UK Ghosts until I saw a brief clip of the US show.  But I was already behind by a few episodes, so I decided to watch the UK version.  Got through all 3 seasons over the last month.  (I prefer a slow binge.)  Now I'm starting in on the US version, and have watched the first 3 episodes.

I have to say, I like both versions.  I was fully prepared to not like the US version, partly based on the small bit I saw earlier, but also the comments here.  But I like both.  I agree, Flower is annoying.  Yes, Kitty is also annoying, but the naivete is really funny.  Perpetually stoned loses it's funny after an episode.  Maybe she'll grow on me.  While I do like Lady Button, I think Hattie is the better of those two.  I loved the "I used my brain and didn't get the vapors.  Oh, wait... no, I'm fine!"  I do sort of miss the falling out the window every night, but I think that is more of a British humor that wouldn't fly over here.  I really missed the "get out get out get out" scene with Mary.  That was hilarious!  Thor could have pulled that off in the US version.  I love Brandon Scott Jones and love his Issac, but it's a draw between Isaac and The Captain for me.  Love them both.

I also like both couples.  No real preference there. I loved how Rose M worked in a line about zombies in the first episode.  Very cute. 

The US house seems to be in better shape than the UK house.  Not sure why there would be cobwebs in the main living area when someone was living there until recently.  And I'd assume she would have had help there, due to her age. 

One part about the UK show that bothered me is that after "living" with English speaking people for hundreds of years, Robin still only spoke rudimentary English.  Thor is sort of like that, but not as limited.  But I love that Sassapis not only speaks fluent English, but is speaking modern American. 

And, I was shocked in US episode 3 to hear them use the "sucked off" gag from the UK version.  I really thought that would not have made it past the US censors.  I am really surprised that made it on an early prime time show here.  But I'll admit, it's slightly funnier with an English accent.  (Why Pat, Flower or Pete would not know the modern meaning of that is beyond me.)

 

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2 hours ago, chaifan said:

I am really surprised that made it on an early prime time show here.  But I'll admit, it's slightly funnier with an English accent.  (Why Pat, Flower or Pete would not know the modern meaning of that is beyond me.)

I think Pete does know but Trevor told him not to say anything. They had a scene in the Flower episode where Sassapis says it and Trevor laughs and Pete hits him telling to be quiet. Flower can be like Trevor and just likes hearing them say it. 

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I watched all three seasons (don't know if there are more but that's what was available on HBO Max) this weekend. 

There are only three. Hopefully they will do some more, but like everything else they probably got shut down when Covid hit.

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I just finished watching Series 1 of the UK version.

Like any US adaptation after Sanford and Son, I imagine the US version will be funny at times, but ultimately nowhere near as good as the UK version (tho I never saw an episode of Steptoe and Son, Sanford and Son was a riot).

The British do so much better with this kind of dark humor.

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I assumed this week's episode was teeing up a Hetty/Thorfin romance as the UK series had a Fanny/Humphrey's body romance.  It's a nice turn that instead Thorfin was someone who watched over her.

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Interesting that Flower has the same sort of power Mary has in the UK version - sort of. Flower walks thru someone and they get high. Mary walks thru someone and they smell smoke. I guess Flower is more or less the US version of Mary.

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7 hours ago, iMonrey said:

Interesting that Flower has the same sort of power Mary has in the UK version - sort of. Flower walks thru someone and they get high. Mary walks thru someone and they smell smoke. I guess Flower is more or less the US version of Mary.

I'm pretty sure Isaac's power is a lot closer to Mary's. Flower's power (heh) is completely unique.

They shuffled around a lot of the ghost's traits, so there really isn't a one-to-one comparison for most of them. Pat and Pete are pretty much identical, sure, but most of the rest are completely different. Even Trevor and Julian have completely different personalities, and while Heddy and Fanny have similar starting points, they both spun off in wildly different directions.

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8 hours ago, iMonrey said:

Interesting that Flower has the same sort of power Mary has in the UK version - sort of. Flower walks thru someone and they get high. Mary walks thru someone and they smell smoke. I guess Flower is more or less the US version of Mary.

I agree with the Crazed Spruce, above.  Issac is closer to being Mary's US equivalent than Flower is.  Isaac - you smell farts if you walk through him (dysentery).  Mary - you smell smoke.    Flower - no smell, you just get high.  No equivalent of that in the UK version. 

I wonder if Flower's "power" was originally planned, or if it was an add on to aid this episode. 

I'm glad the US version also acknowledged the oddity of TV ghosts being able to walk through walls but never fall through floors.  The UK version addressed this, but it was much shorter, just one line about being able to sit. 

 

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I watched the UK Christmas episode.  It gave a good backstory on Fanny, and I have to wonder if they will give Hetty a similar background in the US show. 

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On 12/27/2021 at 3:41 PM, chaifan said:

I watched the UK Christmas episode.  It gave a good backstory on Fanny, and I have to wonder if they will give Hetty a similar background in the US show. 

Is it available on HBO Max?  

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5 hours ago, Phebemarie said:
On 12/27/2021 at 3:41 PM, chaifan said:

I watched the UK Christmas episode.  It gave a good backstory on Fanny, and I have to wonder if they will give Hetty a similar background in the US show. 

Is it available on HBO Max?  

Yes!

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The discussion about the house used in the US version made me think about how much worse Button House looks in the UK version. You can see part of the roof has collapsed, and the front door looks like it's a few hundred years old. It's barely even a door at this point. Also, there was that early episode where the floor was collapsing under the weight of the film crew. It makes it seem much more unlikely that Alison and Mike will ever be able to fix it up enough to make it a B&B. I wonder if the US version aspires to eventually make Sam and Jay successful in turning their house into a B&B since they have much less renovation work to do.

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I think a lot of it has to do with age.  Isn’t Button House 500 years old?  Or was Sir. Humphries killed in a previous house?  The landed gentry has been on the decline for well over a hundred years now, so the money to up keep it is not there anymore.  Highclere Castle was falling apart before Downton Abbey filmed there.  Unless you’re friends with Julien Fellows like the Lord and Lady Carnarvon, there is limited income to maintain such a manor house, much less the whole estate.  In the US,  comparable houses will likely be in the 100-150 year range.  I imagine Woodstone was built with better materials using “modern” techniques. Given that, I would not be surprised it needed less work, comparably.  Also, maybe Hetty’s descendants were more successful in the long the run. 

I would actually like to see them make a go at the B&B business.  Given how the Ghosts freaked out about one of them losing their rooms for one night, I’d like to see how they deal with a moderately successful business.

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In the UK Christmas episode we learned a bit of Fanny's background - that she got married off because her father was in debt.  In the US episode "The Vault" we learn that Hetty was married to Elias to close a land deal, because she was deemed "the most comely daughter".  So, not an exact match, but pretty close.  And also pretty believable for the time. 

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I watched the UK Christmas episode.  It gave a good backstory on Fanny, and I have to wonder if they will give Hetty a similar background in the US show. 

I just saw it too. Jennifer Saunders! Felt so sorry for Fanny. Also, I did not realize "Fanny" was short of "Stephanie" until I heard her mother call her that. 

As pointed out over in the US thread, Woodstone Manor seems to be where Hetty was raised (Thor sang to her as a child) so it does not appear her father gambled away all their money like Fanny's did. Fanny was married off to acquire wealth; Hetty and Elias were married to consolidate wealth.

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15 hours ago, iMonrey said:

I just saw it too. Jennifer Saunders! Felt so sorry for Fanny. Also, I did not realize "Fanny" was short of "Stephanie" until I heard her mother call her that. 

As pointed out over in the US thread, Woodstone Manor seems to be where Hetty was raised (Thor sang to her as a child) so it does not appear her father gambled away all their money like Fanny's did. Fanny was married off to acquire wealth; Hetty and Elias were married to consolidate wealth.

I also had no idea about Stephanie/Fanny!  No wonder the Brits think all Americans are stupid!  😁

My guess on Woodstone Manor is that her father had to sell it, and threw Hetty in to sweeten the deal.  She did mention she had to be married off as part of a "land deal", and that would explain why she remained in the house.  Otherwise, I think it would be odd in that time for her to not move to Elias' house.  It's possible she (or technically, Elias) would inherit the house after her parents died, and they moved in then, but there's no indication she ever moved from Woodstone and returned. 

I don't think we have an explanation as to how Fanny ended up with the house, though, do we?  Did Fanny's husband also acquire the house in the marriage?

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12 hours ago, chaifan said:

I don't think we have an explanation as to how Fanny ended up with the house, though, do we?  Did Fanny's husband also acquire the house in the marriage?

Fanny was murdered by her husband, George (?), to cover up his affair with the butler.  It is implied in the Christmas episode that the marriage was arranged because George needed a respectable bride as a beard.  He was a Button and presumably the heir of the estate.  His ancestor is the Button who conspired to get Thomas killed so he could marry the heiress who had the estate as part of her dowry (which he obviously renamed).  

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I have watched the entire US show, after having watched the UK version and I have to say the US version is really good in it's own way.

Hetty, Trevor, Pete and Isaac are the most closely aligned with UK characters.

A surprisingly good adaptation.  Hoping for Season 2.

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