Video: Chinese sitcom slammed for ripping off Friends and other US TV shows

Popular Chinese sitcom iPartment has been accused of plagiarising scripts and characters from hit US TV shows.

Bloggers have slammed the show for stealing plots and even jokes from series including Friends, How I Met Your Mother and Big Bang Theory.

Check out a couple of scenes in the clip above. Does that inner-city apartment look familiar? How about the couch scene? Central Perk, anyone?

We can't understand anything that's being said, but one could say the show has a certain American sitcom feel to it.

According to Chinese newspaper Global Times, bloggers claim some iPartment episodes bare uncanny resemblance to American shows.

One "netizen" told the paper, "Many lines and scenes have been completely ripped off from American shows. 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."

According to the Times, iPartment's producers recently sent a letter of apology to one online screenplay writer for using his material, acknowledging the sitcom used gags from "various sources”.

But one of the show's actors, Chen He, said the alleged plagiarism should be taken as flattery and that iPartment pays homage to US TV.

A bit like those Chinese-made sneakers that “pay homage” to Nike!

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