Tuesday, October 18, 2005

The Arabic Simpsons (again). To be fair, I thought that since my comments on the Simpsons have been circulated, and since they were based on promotional segments and footage of the making of the Arabic Simpsons, I knew that I had to watch at least one full episode. I did. It was worse than what I had expected, but at least I knew what was the problem. An unfunny Egyptian comedian (Muhammad Al-Hunaydi) was cast as Homer, while the serious (and fine) Egyptian actress Hanan At-Turk was cast as Marge. But at least I could diagnose the problem. You see: it became abvious while watching it that none of the people who either translated, or produced, or acted in the series had watched or understood the original Simpsons. The entire personality of Homer was missed, as Hunaydi played Homer as a subdued character. Homer as subdued? It is just worse than being unfunny: it is painful to watch. You feel sorry for the original talents behind the real Simpsons, and you feel sorry for the Egyptian actors being part of a most unfunny show. And it is obvious that those who translated the show were not people who know idiomatic American English expressions and nuances. So much of the show was missed. At one point, they mistranstaled a phrase (a title of an episode of the Itchy and Skratchy Show)--Messanger of Death--, but then I realized that the mistranslation was deliberate for obvious religious reasons. And the school bully, Nelson, was played by somebody who sounded gentle and polite. What is going on? I then watched a speech by Husni Mubarak, and it was much funnier, and much more interesting to watch.