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Author Topic: A question for all Futurama viewers OUTSIDE of North America.  (Read 3046 times)
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SweetZombieJesus

Bending Unit
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« on: 06-27-2010 18:24 »

I am a Canadian who has lived outside of Canada for the past eight years ranging from places in Europe, Asia, South America and so on. When I travel I try to introduce as many people to Futurama as possible if they are not familiar with the show.

The one problem I run into when doing this is that I feel Futurama is very much a North American show. Almost all the pop culture, inside jokes, and story lines come from within North American. This leads many people who see Futurama who are not from North America to understand very little of the humour, inside jokes, and pop culture references.

My ex-girlfriend from Hungary had no idea how baseball worked, so how was she supposed to understand the premise of Blurnsball!  laff

Do many of you viewing from outside North America run into similar problems? If you do, do you still watch it and love it all the same?
cyber_turnip

Urban Legend
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« Reply #1 on: 06-27-2010 18:30 »

It's not really a problem, at least not here in the UK. We're fairly up to date on American pop culture because a huge proportion of TV here is imported from America so it just sort of seeps in. Plus films what with Hollywood and all.

And when I don't get a joke, I'll generally look into it. After years of doing so with shows such as The Simpsons and South Park, I'm pretty set for Futurama.

I'm sure it depends on who's watching though. Whilst I'm fully aware of things like jaywalking which most people outside of America haven't even heard of, your average Joe probably isn't. But the majority of Futurama's humour is universal as far as I'm concerned. Even the whole blurnsball thing sort of works for people who know nothing of baseball because the game isn't supposed to make any sense.
Plus most jokes in Futurama are simple uses of situational irony or wordplay or parodies of sci-fi films and so on. Things that everybody can enjoy.
Nutmeg1729

Urban Legend
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« Reply #2 on: 06-27-2010 18:56 »

Really, I've always known what jaywalking was...

I don't find it so much of a problem either, and I'm in the UK as well; like cyber_turnip says, we have so much American culture seeping into our TV and stuff, and I'd say a majority of the programs we know and love are American Pop Culture, taking the Simpsons and Southpark as a reference.

On any given day I can probably find an American comedy on tv, but I'll struggle to find some of the British ones that i know and love.

Plus, the internet is a wonderful place!
totalnerd undercanada

DOOP Ubersecretary
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« Reply #3 on: 06-27-2010 18:59 »

There are a few of my friends who are sometimes baffled by Americansisms in Futurama and The Simpsons, I'm the guy they ask to explain them.

I think I've naturally absorbed a decent understanding of American culture, modes of speech, and the differences between British and American English via The Simpsons, and to a lesser extent books by American authors.

Of course, Hollywood and the internet have helped a lot, as has spending some time over there.

I might not be a good example. tongue
El-Man

Urban Legend
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« Reply #4 on: 06-28-2010 00:02 »

There may be the odd North Americanism that we don't get, but American culture is some of the most widespread on the planet, at least amongst English-speaking 'westernised' countries.

I wonder how many fans are watching Futurama in say, Japan. It would be entertaining just to hear the characters speaking Japanese. smile

But yes, we enjoy it just the same.
soylentOrange

Urban Legend
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« Reply #5 on: 06-28-2010 00:26 »

<ignorant American>
actually, speaking of the show being done in different languages, I've always wondered how the french version of the show works.  How do the jokes about the French language no longer existing work when the characters are speaking French?  Do those jokes get omitted entirely, or does the dubbed version substitute, say, English for the incomprehensible dead language?
</ignorant American>
i_c_weiner

DOOP Secretary
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« Reply #6 on: 06-28-2010 00:30 »

The change it to German being extinct.
Quolnok

Starship Captain
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« Reply #7 on: 06-28-2010 01:19 »

Actually, down in Wollongong they'll arrest you for jaywalking.

I haven't really had an issue with Futurama. I watch plenty of US shows. The only major issue I every really had was the whole peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich thing watching "Sesame St" as a kid.
lilkitten29

Starship Captain
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« Reply #8 on: 06-28-2010 04:13 »
« Last Edit on: 06-28-2010 04:14 »

I'm happy so see that there are so many Futurama fans around the world. It also seems that the majority of the people that post in here are not from North America.

Quolnok, why did you have an issue with the whole peanut-butter sandwich thing?

Oh wait, you're from Australia. Australians think peanut butter is weird, right?
Quolnok

Starship Captain
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« Reply #9 on: 06-28-2010 05:02 »
« Last Edit on: 06-28-2010 05:07 »

No, peanut butter is fine. But in Australia jelly refers to what Americans call jello, what they call jelly we call jam. So, when I hear jelly sandwich (usually peanut butter and jelly) I picture jello on the sandwich.

Granted they do eat weird things over there now. (marshmallow sandwich spread, anyone?)
Svip

DOOP Secretary
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« Reply #10 on: 06-28-2010 07:40 »
« Last Edit on: 06-28-2010 07:41 »

<ignorant American>
actually, speaking of the show being done in different languages, I've always wondered how the french version of the show works.  How do the jokes about the French language no longer existing work when the characters are speaking French?  Do those jokes get omitted entirely, or does the dubbed version substitute, say, English for the incomprehensible dead language?
</ignorant American>

There's an Infosphere article for that.

http://theinfosphere.org/Dubbing
http://theinfosphere.org/French

</Apple commercial>
Chug a Bug

Bending Unit
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« Reply #11 on: 06-28-2010 20:54 »
« Last Edit on: 06-28-2010 21:02 »

It's fine really. Ok, there are occasional odd american phrases and slang I don't quite get, but it doesn't really affect the enjoyment of the show I guess my brain just files them away for future reference/explanation.

99% of Futurama's cultural references are more jokes to do with sci-fi etc and thats a language I do understand.

The blernsball references did pass me by however...
Otis P Jivefunk

DOOP Secretary
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« Reply #12 on: 06-28-2010 22:13 »

Never had a problem with it, after all, although it's American it's in Enlglish (well futuristic American English)...
beck

Bending Unit
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« Reply #13 on: 06-29-2010 16:08 »

No problem here. Being a fan from Russia, i'd say i normally get almost everything - 99% maybe. And if there is something i don't get (like jokes related to some unknown american celebrities, or slang words) - well, that's what the internet is for.

A lot of people here love Futurama. Russian subtitres actually became avaliable before english ones (and before last Thursday) smile
pluche93

Bending Unit
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« Reply #14 on: 07-26-2010 23:22 »

hi

for us canadian and all the people that aren't american we can watch the video that comedy central post on their site so if someone could be kind enough  to post them on youtube like the recent one about the 6 next episode. it would be highly appreciated smile

thx wink
Applepie

Crustacean
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« Reply #15 on: 07-28-2010 13:28 »

I live in Europe (Holland) and it's not a very well known show here. It only airs twice a week, one time at saturday night at 2 am, and on Sunday night at 8 pm on Comedy Central. But i get all the jokes, actually, and i never read the Dutch subtitles because they distract me too much. Family Guy and the Simpsons are way more popular around here. Pity.
ShepherdofShark

Space Pope
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« Reply #16 on: 07-28-2010 18:51 »

English British guy from Britain, UK I be. And for the most part I have no problems whatsoever with Futurama's cultural references. Maybe a few celebs'* names are a unknown to me (like the guy next to George Foreman's head, and Pauly Shaw, and that's all I can think of right now) but that's not too much of a problem - it's not like they centre an episode around a celebrity or anything.

*I am very annoyed that the Firefox dictionary recognises celebs but not, say, puppeteering
Frisco17

DOOP Secretary
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« Reply #17 on: 07-28-2010 21:26 »

I live in the US and I'd never heard of Pauly Shore before I saw The Cryonic Woman. I kind of wish that was still the case.
seattlejohn01

Space Pope
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« Reply #18 on: 07-28-2010 21:36 »

As a fellow Americanian, I had the unfortunate experience of being dragged by an ex-girlfriend to the movies to see him in Jury Duty, quite possibly the worst movie ever made.  When he showed up in The Cryonic Woman, I immediately hated that episode. 
FemJesse

Liquid Emperor
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« Reply #19 on: 07-28-2010 21:41 »

I think the joke with Blernsball is that it IS overly complicated, that and nobody in America cares about baseball anymore. I always pictured Futurama "Earth" to be more like America, hence the "Earthican Flag."
Frisco17

DOOP Secretary
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« Reply #20 on: 07-28-2010 21:48 »

I figured we just finally took over the world.
FemJesse

Liquid Emperor
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« Reply #21 on: 07-28-2010 21:55 »

I figured we just finally took over the world.

lol "just finally"
Svip

DOOP Secretary
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« Reply #22 on: 07-29-2010 02:48 »

I think the joke with Blernsball is that it IS overly complicated, that and nobody in America cares about baseball anymore. I always pictured Futurama "Earth" to be more like America, hence the "Earthican Flag."

Uhm, duh?  'Earthican dream' ring any bells?  My problem with "A Leela of Her Own" was that it made Blernsball make more sense.  Sure they added stupid things at the end, but couldn't they have kept it as stupid as it was when we first met it?

I figured we just finally took over the world.

Still as it seems, the UN exists and the countries of today are still represented there.  I guess we are Earth when facing aliens and we are nations when facing each other.

That or America is just being pretentious pricks and speaking on the rest of us' behalf without our approval.  Maybe there is an episode there.  Like an imposter speaking to aliens in Russia or somesuch.  Nixon is going to bring him down.  And while Nixon clearly is the evil one, they decide to side with him anyway.

Oh wait, that's almost like "The Lesser of Two Evils".  Forget I said anything.
seattlejohn01

Space Pope
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« Reply #23 on: 07-29-2010 03:12 »
« Last Edit on: 07-29-2010 03:16 »

Forgotten, Cyclops Duck.

... and nobody in America cares about baseball anymore.
Says who?  Sounds like you've never been to a baseball game or dealt with the fake baseball draft loonies who live vicariously through their teams.
MatMan

Delivery Boy
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« Reply #24 on: 07-29-2010 03:44 »

I live in the US and I'd never heard of Pauly Shore before I saw The Cryonic Woman. I kind of wish that was still the case.

I find it amazing you had never heard of Pauly Shore till then.

Also, I'm kinda jealous
Aki

Professor
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« Reply #25 on: 07-29-2010 03:50 »

It's definitely more America-fixed than even The Simpsons, probably due to it being set in New York which many foreigners see as the "standard" American town. Still here in Sweden we are pretty Americanized, a lot of TV is from America et cetera. There's seldom a joke I don't get, and when it is it's mostly about Idol (Susan Boil) or something like that that I don't care for, but not because I'm not American.
cyber_turnip

Urban Legend
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« Reply #26 on: 07-29-2010 04:26 »

To be honest, you're more likely to get the Susan Boil joke if you're English.
totalnerd undercanada

DOOP Ubersecretary
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« Reply #27 on: 07-29-2010 08:04 »

English British guy from Britain, UK I be. And for the most part I have no problems whatsoever with Futurama's cultural references. Maybe a few celebs'* names are a unknown to me (like the guy next to George Foreman's head, and Pauly Shaw, and that's all I can think of right now) but that's not too much of a problem - it's not like they centre an episode around a celebrity or anything.

*I am very annoyed that the Firefox dictionary recognises celebs but not, say, puppeteering

Rich Little is an impressionist. He's not that well known over here, but I think he's been on The Simpsons.
Aki

Professor
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« Reply #28 on: 07-29-2010 14:26 »

To be honest, you're more likely to get the Susan Boil joke if you're English.
Really? Well, that just proves how interested I am in those shows.
cyber_turnip

Urban Legend
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« Reply #29 on: 07-29-2010 18:57 »

Yeah, she appeared on Britain's Got Talent, an awful British TV show along the lines of American Idol, etc and because she was butt-ugly but could sing reasonably well, people were suddenly amazed and the clip of her performance turned into a viral internet video that I think became quite popular in America too.
But Susan is very much still around in the UK releasing awful albums and getting constant digs made about her on comedy panel shows, etc. I can't imagine the US are still bothered about her to even that extent.
Svip

DOOP Secretary
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« Reply #30 on: 07-29-2010 23:54 »

Yeah, she appeared on Britain's Got Talent, an awful British TV show along the lines of American Idol, etc

America has an equal version called 'America's Got Talent', where do you think they got the title from?  Sheesh.

Hell, even Denmark has it.  But in our true 'ignoring that we are a country' style, it's just called 'Talent'.  We called our version of 'American Idol' for 'Idols'.  Just sayin'.  We ain't putting our own country in the title, for what other country is there?
Aki

Professor
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« Reply #31 on: 07-29-2010 23:58 »

Sweden has a show called "Idol". Wait a minute... it's almost like "American Idol"!!!111
cyber_turnip

Urban Legend
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« Reply #32 on: 07-30-2010 00:22 »
« Last Edit on: 07-30-2010 00:24 »

All of these modern talent shows stem from the British 'Pop Idol' to the best of my knowledge. That was Simon Cowell's first and he's the guy behind most of them. The ones that he isn't involved with are just attempts to make money by immitating the format.

EDIT: A bit of research shows that New Zealand started the concept and Simon Cowell popularised it by ripping it off in the UK.
Aki

Professor
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« Reply #33 on: 07-30-2010 00:27 »

Everyone rips off everyone. That's showbiz for you.
wowbagger

Delivery Boy
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« Reply #34 on: 07-30-2010 11:44 »

I'm from downunder and agree with the general leaning of this thread, US culture is so pervasive that most of it seems native.  However there is the occasional joke that is obviously an American reference that passes me by.  But this has been a common factor of movies & TV my whole life so I'm just used to it now.

I figured we just finally took over the world.

Fry: What do we care? We live in America!
Leela: America is PART of the world!
Fry: Wow! I have been gone a long time.

This joke works especially well for foreigners and sometimes I wonder if Americans know that much of the world think of them this way (insular and not realising the drastic control they have over world economics, politics and culture).  Not trying to pick on Americans, you cool, just saying it like I see it  smile
Aki

Professor
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« Reply #35 on: 07-30-2010 12:11 »

There are so many more jokes on Futurama poking fun on Americans than foreigners, really. And I have no idea of how much truth lies in the traditional view on Americans as gun-crazy beer drinkers who loves watching commercials and go to Beverly Hills Highschool, but then again I know I don't live in mile deep snow hunting polar bears even though I live in Sweden.
Svip

DOOP Secretary
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« Reply #36 on: 08-02-2010 20:54 »

Hell, even the joke about French Stereotypes pokes fun at Americans.  I hope I do not need to explain why.
Javier Lopez

Urban Legend
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« Reply #37 on: 08-02-2010 22:48 »
« Last Edit on: 08-02-2010 22:52 »

The dubbing is bittersweet here in Spain , because for one side they use perfect voices (imho) and are nicelly dubbed.. but in the other side the translation is (or used to be) HORRID..

As you say there are jokes hard to understand outside of the US and many times they changed them to crappy cheesy "hit" jokes from spanish "today hits" culture.. wich results in cheesy jokes about crappy celebrities who nobody will understand the next year.. but the joke will remain there forever .

I hate it .. the worst was in seasons 1 (later half),  2 and 3 .. from season 4 on they restrained a lot and are quite aceptable now.. but i still watch the episodes in english (wich i do with all series except House).

This reminds me a funny incident back in the early 2000s , i had a web site and on it i put all my rage against the crappy translators but without going down to insults  , i only said how crappy their work was , how bad the translation was and how angry it made me , just criticing
.. i got one email from one woman claiming to be the Futurama translator and demanding me to stop "insulting" them because it wasnt her fault.. i ignored her , some months later i received an almost identical email from other different named woman requesting the same , that it wasnt her fault and that i should take down the critics.. i said that it was odd because i had the same email months before from a different name.. she responded me sayinh "errr that was my sister" .

Of course i ignored them and never again i received more threats.

BTW.. In "Raging Bender" , the "Foraigner" is clearly a Spaniard/Mexican bullfighter , in spain they dubbed him with russian stereotopic accent.. i simply facepalmed
Svip

DOOP Secretary
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« Reply #38 on: 08-02-2010 22:51 »

I don't think 'bittersweet' means what you think it means.
Javier Lopez

Urban Legend
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« Reply #39 on: 08-02-2010 22:53 »

I don't think 'bittersweet' means what you think it means.

It means something that is nice horrid at the same time
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