More American Sitcoms Abroad

Slate's Culture Blog
March 24 2011 3:26 PM

More American Sitcoms Abroad

Following ourdiscovery of a Russian remake of HowI Met Your Mother , we started to wonder if other American sitcoms were beingtranslated for foreign audiences. It turns out that Russia is a world leader inthis field, with adaptationsof everything from Married withChildren to Suddenly Susan. Meanwhile,given its internationalpopularity (not to mention its central theme of cross-cultural understanding )Fran Drescher's 1990s hit The Nanny may turn out to be an unexpected avenue by which to achieve world peace.

Below are a few clips from the adaptations we found mostpromising—even though we can't understand a word:


Spain: The Golden Girls (LasChicas de Oro)

Spain's take on the classic old lady sitcom is fairlystraightforward, but the retirement misadventures of Doroti, Rosa, Blanca andSofía sound, if you can believe it, evencampier in Spanish.


Russia: Full House (??? ????????)                 

Roughly translating as "Topsy-Turvy House," the Russianversion of the Bob Saget masterwork seems just that—especially during the partiallyanimated intro shown in this clip (2:08). But as zippy as this sitcom seems, it'sjust not the same without the Olsen twins.


Turkey: The Nanny (Dadi)

Although there are many international productions of this family-friendlysitcom, the Turkish remake stands out, if only for the glorious mess that is TurkishFran's wig. Also, GülbenErgen 's interpretation of the infamous Drescher laugh is, let's just say,unique.


Belarus: The Big Bang Theory (?????????)

This unauthorized Belarusianchanneling of the geeky CBS hit looks like a straightforward rip-off—which is exactly what American producerChuck Lorre accused it of being . Still, this amazing music video (in which theword "?????????," or "theorist," is repeated again and again) makes the showseem like more fun than an electron-positron collision spray.


If you're interested in learning more about how sitcom humorgets transported across the seven seas, EverybodyLoves Raymond creator Phil Rosenthal has produced a documentary— Exporting Raymond —about helping toadapt that show in Russia.

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