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Cultural Specificity and Sense of Place : Success and Failure in the Remake of Broadchurch to Gracepoint

Mielczarek, Alicja LU (2018) MKVM13 20181
Media and Communication Studies
Abstract
This thesis examines transnational adaptations of television crime drama between the United Kingdom and the United States. This is accomplished by looking at the case of Broadchurch (ITV, 2013), a complex crime drama series that was adapted from Britain into America as Gracepoint (FOX, 2014). The research explores the themes of cultural adaptation, characterization, and sense of place in both series in order to understand how these aspects of the show were altered during the adaptation and what effect they had on the subsequent failure of Gracepoint to gain popularity with audiences and critics. This paper claims that additionally to issues related to cultural specificity the reasons for the poor reception of the American version are... (More)
This thesis examines transnational adaptations of television crime drama between the United Kingdom and the United States. This is accomplished by looking at the case of Broadchurch (ITV, 2013), a complex crime drama series that was adapted from Britain into America as Gracepoint (FOX, 2014). The research explores the themes of cultural adaptation, characterization, and sense of place in both series in order to understand how these aspects of the show were altered during the adaptation and what effect they had on the subsequent failure of Gracepoint to gain popularity with audiences and critics. This paper claims that additionally to issues related to cultural specificity the reasons for the poor reception of the American version are related to changes made in characterization and establishing of the sense of place.

The analysis in this thesis consists of narrative and aesthetic analysis of the first season of both Broadchurch and Gracepoint, as well as textual analysis of articles about the remake and television ratings of both versions. Comparing the adaptation to the original reveals how the changes made altered the content of the show and how that in turn affected the audience reception. The analysis of the articles explores the critical reception of the remake and what issues with the show reviewers brought up. The ratings analysis reveals the limited popularity of the adaptation with the audiences and considers scheduling and competition as an explanation to the low ratings.

This research shows that while for reviewers a major issue with the adaptation was the lack of cultural specificity and originality due to keeping too close to the British version of the show, for viewers who were mainly unaware of the existence of the UK original such similarity would not have been the main problem. The analysis reveals that through changes made to the show an emotional connection and investment from the viewers was not the same as with the original version, which led to its limited popularity with scheduling of the show possibly also having an impact. (Less)
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author
Mielczarek, Alicja LU
supervisor
organization
course
MKVM13 20181
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
format adaptation, transnational adaptation, UK-to-US adaptation, tv drama, Broadchurch, Gracepoint
language
English
id
8944165
date added to LUP
2018-06-13 14:00:45
date last changed
2018-06-13 14:00:45
@misc{8944165,
  abstract     = {This thesis examines transnational adaptations of television crime drama between the United Kingdom and the United States. This is accomplished by looking at the case of Broadchurch (ITV, 2013), a complex crime drama series that was adapted from Britain into America as Gracepoint (FOX, 2014). The research explores the themes of cultural adaptation, characterization, and sense of place in both series in order to understand how these aspects of the show were altered during the adaptation and what effect they had on the subsequent failure of Gracepoint to gain popularity with audiences and critics. This paper claims that additionally to issues related to cultural specificity the reasons for the poor reception of the American version are related to changes made in characterization and establishing of the sense of place.

The analysis in this thesis consists of narrative and aesthetic analysis of the first season of both Broadchurch and Gracepoint, as well as textual analysis of articles about the remake and television ratings of both versions. Comparing the adaptation to the original reveals how the changes made altered the content of the show and how that in turn affected the audience reception. The analysis of the articles explores the critical reception of the remake and what issues with the show reviewers brought up. The ratings analysis reveals the limited popularity of the adaptation with the audiences and considers scheduling and competition as an explanation to the low ratings.

This research shows that while for reviewers a major issue with the adaptation was the lack of cultural specificity and originality due to keeping too close to the British version of the show, for viewers who were mainly unaware of the existence of the UK original such similarity would not have been the main problem. The analysis reveals that through changes made to the show an emotional connection and investment from the viewers was not the same as with the original version, which led to its limited popularity with scheduling of the show possibly also having an impact.},
  author       = {Mielczarek, Alicja},
  keyword      = {format adaptation,transnational adaptation,UK-to-US adaptation,tv drama,Broadchurch,Gracepoint},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Cultural Specificity and Sense of Place : Success and Failure in the Remake of Broadchurch to Gracepoint},
  year         = {2018},
}