In the TV industry, it’s pretty common for a country to import shows from other countries and adapt them into its own version (the list of US shows adapted from British TV is pretty lengthy, for instance). FX’s culty hit It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia has now gotten the same treatment and is now being enjoyed by Russians who tune into В москве всегда солнечно, which roughly translates to It’s Always Sunny in Moscow. Yes, really.
By the looks of it, it’s an incredibly close adaptation, right down to the look of the bar (which happens to be called “Philadelphia”), the colorful commercial graphics, the jolly background music, and even the way some scenes are shot.
Need some proof? Happy to oblige. Exhibit A: in this brief preview clip, we see it’s the episode in which Paddy’s Pub gets briefly converted into a gay bar. Check out the beginning of this one, which shows Max, aka Charlie, trying and failing to get the attention of The Waitress (just like the original, it appears her character is credited as such and not by name).
The remake actually premiered in Russia back in May but is now getting some attention stateside thanks to some redditors and a July 7 Philadelphia City Paper article. 16 episodes have aired so far on the country’s TNT network and are based on the first three seasons of the source material.
Here’s a snippet of TNT’s description of the show (Google translated, but you get the idea):
Strong friendship, true love, idealism, nobility and dignity, humility and kindness - all this has nothing to do with the heroes of the series "In Moscow always sunny."
Very accurate indeed. It gets right down to it later on when describing these “four young heroes” (which they certainly are, as any Always Sunny fan will attest):
All their hopes and plans - love and money - are crumbling, when confronted with reality. The reason for this - their selfishness, laziness and stupidity.
Say what you will about the whole thing and how some (or maybe a lot) of the American humor might not translate, but the network certainly knows how to encapsulate the spirit of the original and why we love these bad people so much.
In case you’re wondering, the producers of the original were contacted about the remake. Producer and D.E.N.N.I.S. System inventor Glenn Howerton (whose name is translated as Glenn Houertonom) told a fan on Twitter when it was in the works early last year that he saw the pilot “and loved it.”
It’s Always Sunny in Moscow joins a bevy of other American TV shows adapted in Russia, including Law and Order, How I Met Your Mother, Full House, and Everybody Loves Raymond, the process of which was chronicled in the documentary Exporting Raymond.