Look familiar? Ipartment and Friends

Some viewers of a Chinese sitcom called Ipartment are criticizing the show, which is in its third season, for ripping off Friends and other U.S. popular sitcoms. The show follows the daily lives of a group of friends who live in two neighboring apartments in a Shanghai tower block, according to The Telegraph.

The characters have some similarities—there's a Ross type, who lectures at a university... though he could also be a Ted Mosby, as critics say entire scenes have been lifted from not only Friends, but How I Met Your Mother. The show's Wiki page describes the premise as being "loosely based on the American sitcom How I Met Your Mother (without the past tense), with factors borrowed from Friends, The Big Bang Theory, CSI and Slumdog Millionaire"—interesting formula?

One viewer told Global Times, "I thought it was shameful to do this. It is an insult to the American TV producers and an insult to the screenwriters and producers of original Chinese TV shows.” The criticisms are being heard, as the show's producers have acknowledged stealing jokes, and offered to compensate the original writers with 10,000 yuan ($1,569) for every 1,000 Chinese characters of material. A spokesperson said, “We didn’t copy the American sitcom. Our creation is not plagarism but more a homage to the American sitcom." Here is an episode with English subtitles:

[via Daily News]