Netflix continues to popularize international series in the United States

Reaching 111 million fans 25 days after its release, “Squid Game” had the biggest series launch of all Netflix shows, according to Netflix’s Twitter. Credit: Mackenzie Shanklin | Photo editor

There is something about the masked men in red overalls that drew audiences around the world to the South Korean drama “Squid game” and spanish crime thriller “Money case.”

Reaching 111 million fans within 25 days of release, “Squid Game” had the biggest series launch of all Netflix shows, according to Netflix. Twitter. However, it wasn’t the only foreign-language series to achieve success this fall – season five of “Money Heist”, also known as “La Casa de Papel”, made it the biggest show on the planet. return to Netflix in the company’s third fiscal quarter in 2021, racking up 69 million household views in the first four weeks of the season, according to Netflix letter to shareholders.

“’La Casa de Papel’ was our first non-English language title to show that – with captioning and dubbing – great stories can really come from anywhere and be loved anywhere,” Netflix said in Letter to Shareholders “We now produce local TV shows and films in approximately 45 countries.”

Morgan Podraza, fourth year doctoral student. candidate for the English department that teaches English 2264: “Introduction to Popular Culture Studies,” said Netflix’s global expansion can probably be explained, at least in part, by the profit potential of international reach.

“Netflix, as an organization, really started looking for non-English content in part because its subscriber base was growing dramatically in countries where English is not the primary language,” Podraza said.

However, Podraza said modern American audiences have embraced international programming as well. This contrasts sharply with the earlier notion that foreign language content had no place in American popular culture, as it was frequently associated with auteur cinema, high culture and snobbery, she said. declared.

“We see a huge change in that perspective now,” Podraza said. “The American audience will be turning more to this type of content, and streaming services are looking to adapt to this not only by paying for and co-producing foreign language content, but also by providing subtitles and dubbing. “

Rachel Moore, a 28-year-old Columbus resident, said she saw her first foreign language series, Japan’s “Hello, call” on Netflix about four years ago.

“It’s the classic story of a distant guy and then a naive girl who gets stuck in an apartment together and has to learn to cope,” Moore said. “I thought it was super cute.”

Since then, Moore – continually receiving new international series recommendations from Netflix – has said she has dipped her toes into shows from Korea, Germany, France, Japan, Mexico, Taiwan and Egypt. .

Moore said exploring the depths of Netflix’s global content has allowed him to find new all-time favorite series, such as the German Sci-Fi Mystery. “Dark.”

“It’s hard to watch sometimes because it’s such an intellectual show,” Moore said. “Watching it in another language doesn’t come as easily as if it was just English, but it’s really special.”

Through his viewing habits, Moore said he spotted differences between American and international content, particularly in the way Korean romances refrain from overly explicit sex scenes more common in American dramas.

“In America they kiss in the first episode, but in Korea they kiss in the 10th episode,” said Minji Ha, a chemical engineering freshman who is familiar with American and Korean titles.

Ha, who left South Korea for the United States when she was 18, said she prefers the slow but satisfying buildup of romance in Korean dramas.

With the growing international popularity of South Korean K-pop groups such as BTS and BLACKPINK, Ha said she was not surprised to see “Squid Game” captivate audiences in the United States.

While prior knowledge of some elements of a different culture, such as music, may encourage fans to watch shows from a particular country, Podraza said that international series themselves can also create more universal appreciation. depth of different cultures.

“Having more films in foreign languages, having more people of color on screen and having more content created by people from those communities will positively influence perceptions of those communities and our relationships with them,” Podraza said.


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