Let me tell you a story. Or two.
Are you familiar with the nursery rhyme, Rub-a-Dub-Dub?
Rub-a-dub-dub, three men in a tub.
and who do you think they be?
The butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker…
Yeah. These three guys. Who would get in a tub going across the ocean? I give up!
Ok—so now we know about the three guys in the tub. I’ll return to that in a while. Now……
Once upon a time, there was a couple. The husband was French. The wife, American. They made a rather interesting couple because they were polar opposites. The Frenchman cerebral; the American woman, a bit devil-may-care. But, the two enjoyed their life together.
Me and my Frenchman. How long have we been together? We’ve been together since I wore my bio hair! That’s a while!!!
And we do enjoy our time together—especially in the evenings after both working all day long. We unwind by watching some of the series that Netflix has to offer. Among them the foreign series. Among them the French series. Bonaparte loves them because, as is natural, he is much more comfortable with the familiarity of his native language. I love them because it gives me the opportunity to learn and become familiar with the French language.
I like to think of my husband as a twin to Antoine Doinel. Francois Truffaut’s alter ego. Maybe I’m the equivalent of Fanny Ardant!
Fanny Ardant. One of MY favorite French actresses! She’s not dubbed!
The subtitles come in handy for me because as I’m listening to the words, and watching the show, the subtitles give me a better understanding of what the actors are saying. The use of subtitles is also not distracting. I repeat—subtitles are not distracting!
Anyway, we were very excited because one of our favorite French series, Marseilles, arrived back at Netflix for Season Two.
This series is everything and a bag of chips with an aperitif!
I’m telling you, the first season was fantastic. It’s full of dirty, juicy, nasty local politics. Gérard Depardieu and Benoît Magimel headline the show and both men are deliciously heartless. This gives you a good idea of just how much we anticipated the coming second season.
Depardieu and Magimel. What a nasty combo and so delightfully juicy!
Friday night, after we enjoyed our aperitifs and dinner, we went upstairs early to get all comfy and cozy in bed and turn the TV on to watch the first episode of Marseille’s Season Two.
But we ended up turning the TV off. He, going bat$hit crazy and speaking very naughty words in French and me laughing so hard because I could not believe what happened.
My husband echoed a chorus of this word. It isn’t a nice one either–only he followed it with the words “de merde”. He was very upset!
Let’s just say that the Butcher, the Baker and the Candlestick maker of the tub must have found new employment at Netflix because the powers that be, decided to dub Season Two of Marseilles! This angered my Gallic husband to no end and for me, it was a complete WTF moment!
Now, according to the “experts” at Netflix, this was a strategic move. You can read more about this in the IndieWire article (scroll down to the comments—I left my thoughts!).
I can’t watch dubbed versions of anything. It has nothing to do with me being a snob or a purist. It has everything to do with the fact that dubbing is so out-of-sync with the actors’ mouths and the voices are usually so freaking bad that it all becomes a bad joke.
The best and funniest example of this is Pepe Longsocks from SCTV. Did you ever watch it? OMG. It’s so funny that you’ll cry. John Candy portrays Pepe Longsocks—it’s a take on the old Pippi Longstocking films that were so poorly dubbed.
Here’s what I’m talking about. Watch. And Laugh.
THIS is what dubbing is all about! Get a Depends because you just may laugh THAT hard!
And as angry as my husband was, I couldn’t stop laughing because Netflix Marseilles is now just Pierre Longsocks for me!
There’s a saying: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” and Netflix should realize this. Part of the Netflix charm and appeal was their offering of Foreign series. We are now watching the French series “Witnesses”, a detective series that is both somewhat gruesome and eerie, but nevertheless excellent. Season One so far has been great. I’m so afraid that Netflix will ruin the series by dubbing it if it comes back for another season.
Witnessesses is creepy and eerie but it’s sooooooooooo stinking good! And it has subtitles!
There’s also another French series, Dix Pour Cent (Call My Agent), a great dramady about showbiz and agents and their actor clients. The series centers around the agents, headed by Thibault de Montalembert. This show is so much fun because each episode stars real-life French actors playing themselves! It’s my absolute favorite. Seasons One and Two have been subtitled.
Hands down, Dix Pour Cent is my favorite foreign Netflix offering. Cecile de France!!!! Joey Freaking Star!!!! Nathalie Baye and daughter Laura Smet! I freaking LOVE this show. And it’s SUBTITLED!!!
Thibault de Montalembert, second from left, heads the Paris agency that caters to the French actor elite. OMG. This is greatness and to dub this would be the baiser de la mort–the kiss of death! Please Netflix–please don’t ruin my favorite show!
It sucks so much. I’ve always respected Netflix for their many foreign choices but dubbing brings such a cheesy and tacky side to the shows. And frankly, I don’t know how anyone could watch a dubbed show and not be distracted by the out-of-syncness of the dubbing.
The conundrum is that I can’t unsubscribe because Netflix has great documentaries and stand-up comedy specials! Boo hoo!
I can’t even anymore. What say you? Do you want dubbed or subtitles? Rub-a-dub-dubbed? Or subbies? Let me know!!!
But I can share a great French song and the video isn’t dubbed by an American singer! Michel Fugain “Une Belle Histoire”. It’s a good one!