It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia marketed itself as "Seinfeld on Crack" -- so you'd think that the Russian Sunny would be more like "Seinfeld on the Flesh-Eating Drug Krokodil." In actuality, it's even tamer than the US version. It's Always Sunny in Moscow features the same crew with different names; Dennis is now Sergei, Charlie is now Max, Mac is now Roman and the unnamed Waitress character is "Girl With Whom Love Max." The gang still owns a bar, but instead of Paddy's Pub the place is called Philadelphia, presumably named after the well-respected brand of cream cheese. The episodes are identical down to the titles (the first episode of both series is called "The Gang Gets Racist"), but there are a few key differences. One of the video wizards at CityPaper was cool enough to throw together a comparison clip...but it was removed, so here's a regular clip from the show:
Basically, the episodes are largely similar except for the scenes that have to be omitted due to censorship. American Sunny is on the FX cable channel, where you can do and say anything short of the unedited phrase behind "Yippee-Ki-Yay Mr. Falcon." On the other hand, the Russian Sunny is broadcast on network TV, where binge drinking is apparently fine, but a post-coital bedroom scene with no nudity is off-limits. Censorship doesn't really jibe with the spirit of the series, which has been all about tackling pertinent social issues in ridiculous ways. And those were American issues, which don't always translate very well to a country whose leader can often be found shirtless on a horse. Judging by some of the complaints, Sunny fans in Russia aren't big fans of the local adaptation, but admit that it's "still better than the later episodes."
Given the insane popularity of the show, it's shocking that there has been only one major adaptation of Breaking Bad. Sure, America is great at meth, but it's far from the only tweaker in town. It's funny to think that Colombia, a country with no reputation at all regarding illicit drugs, was the first to nab the rights for a Spanish version. The Colombian Breaking Bad, called Metástasis, follows the story of a high school chemistry teacher named Walter Blanco (you can't make this up) who resorts to making meth to pay his medical bills, eventually becoming a drug kingpin called "Jaisenber." It really does follow the original beat-for-beat. Check it out:
Metástasis started in June 2014, and it was done by September. They banged out episode after episode, soap opera-style. Instead of waiting an excruciating 12 to 18 months for AMC to finally air the last episode, Colombians got to binge-watch the show for three months straight, all the way through to the finale. You can even watch the final confrontation on YouTube. Just be aware that the video comes with a spoiler warning, because it's exactly like the ending of the American Breaking Bad, down to the mild disappointment that sets in when you realize it's sort of exactly what you expected.