'Feed The Beast' Vs. 'Bankerot': How AMC Adapts The Danish Series To Make American Viewers Hungry

A surprisingly strong run of prestige dramas have been adapted for American audiences from Denmark. The U.S. is no stranger to adapting foreign series, but this country has inspired a steady stream of hits. Danish television shows like political drama Borgen, mystery-thriller The Killing, and popular crime saga The Bridge have either been adapted or found success overseas in their original Danish-language form. Amongst these shows is a crime-kitchen crossover show called Bankerot, which translates to Broke, is getting the AMC adaptation treatment just as The Killing did. The network's series Feed the Beast is an adaptation of Bankerot, but just how similar will the American show be to its predecessor?

Feed The Beast and Bankerot seem to share the same structure. Both series center around two friends, one addicted to cocaine and fresh out of prison, the other an alcoholic father mourning the recent loss of his wife. The former owes money to a gangster called The Tooth Fairy (or Tandfeen in Danish), and the latter has a son that hasn't spoken since the accident as well as a powerful and violent father figure. These two decide to solve all of their problems by opening a restaurant together, but the mob seems unable to keep out of their way.

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It seems that the largest difference between series is that Feed The Beast is less of an ensemble piece. Bankerot features a larger cast rounding out its show, while Feed The Beast lays its focus strongly on its two leads, the charming Dion (Jim Sturgess) and the neurotic Tommy (David Schwimmer). Also included in the American cast is Pilar, who fills the role of Hannah from Bankerot, a woman who Tommy meets at a grief group.

A few characters from Bankerot go through name changes in adaptation, as Tommy's son is named TJ in the American version and Niklas in the original, while Tommy's father, Aidan, is simply referred to as Father in the original series. Feed the Beast also adds to Tommy's background by letting viewers get to know his late wife, Rie, through flashback sequences.

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While there are some differences in how characters are presented in each version, the core of what made Bankerot the series it is is still present in Feed The Beast. The absurd crime dramedy left waves throughout Denmark, and could very well do the same for AMC. The one thing that both shows are guaranteed to do, no matter what country they are adapted for, is make the audience very, very hungry.

Image: Frank Ockenfels/AMC