Recent Comments

Monika Mehta

Jasmine, thanks for a thoughtful post, and compelling video. I’d like to watch this show. I was curious about a number of aspects:

To which anglophone countries is Netflix distributing this show? Does the trailer for the show in Brazil also have the inter-titles and the same voice over or are they additions for the Anglophone markets? In her post, Jülide mentioned that Netflix has introduced new genres in Turkey. Would 3% also be a new TV genre for Brazil? What’s been the response in Brazil to this show? Do audiences like the representation of varied races? IN what ways is TV Globo responding to Netflix’s entry? Is it changing in any way?

What are the differences and/or similarities between TV Globo’s export of its telenovelas vs. Netflix’s distribution of 3% ? Is there an overlap in the markets that they reach or does Globo have a much wider reach?

I was struck by the fact that the director was an Academy Award nominee. The video was quite compelling and the discussion below equally so. There were comments on language, dubbing and subtitling. The show is available in the subtitled and dubbed version; people were recommending the subtitled version. An US viewer was upset that other commentators thought that US viewers wouldn’t read subtitles. There’s even an comparison of the show with Stranger Things. Someone also stated that they were going to search for more foreign Original shows produced by Netflix because they liked this one so much. This is an intriguing development.

Lisa Patti

Thanks, Jasmine, for raising these questions about the competition between Netflix and TV Globo in Brazil. Reading all of the posts this week, it has been interesting to note how Netflix defines itself as a global streaming service while competing in markets against national and regional corporations. I was struck by your observation that “Netflix describes [3%] as an international success.” I am guessing based on their history of publicly assessing the “success” of their original content that they have not provided data to specify the relative popularity of the show in the US, Brazil, and other global regions where 3% is available. If so, I would love to know more about its success in different regional contexts.

I also recall that when 3% was first being (softly) promoted in the US, it was often described as the “Brazilian Hunger Games.” While it is not a remake (and while many other media properties have similarly promoted thematic ties to the Hunger Games to attract young audiences), this strategy seems important in this context as it offers a transnational connection for audiences in both US and Brazil. In the US, viewers resistant to reading subtitles might be persuaded by the Hunger Games connection to watch (and read).

For viewers in Brazil/US, does watching 3% lead them to other Brazilian shows/films, or does the Hunger Games connection lead them to Hollywood action films and teen dramas? This show would be a productive case study for testing Netflix’s claims about building transnational “taste communities” through their algorithms.

PuhuTV
Lisa Patti

Thanks so much for this interesting post, Julide. How global has the circulation of the originals produced by PuhuTv and BluTv been? I’m wondering how the new regulation of streaming services will impact not only the production and circulation of their original content within Turkey but also the circulation of those originals beyond Turkey.

PuhuTV
Jülide Etem

RTÜK plans to regulate media service providers by requiring them to get broadcast rights, licenses and authorization from the Supreme Council, which works with the National Intelligence Agency. These institutions plan to review the content of online media in relation to national security, prevention of crime, protection of public order, public health and public interest.

The new law would require alternative news providers such as Medyascope TV and Evrensel WebTV, foreign media service provider with a Turkish service such as BBC, Voice of America, DW, CNN International, streaming platforms such as Netflix, PuhuTV, BluTV, and probably YouTube and Vimeo to be subject to new licensing.

A report analyzing the Turkish law about online media services prepared by Professor Yaman Akdeniz highlights that while this new licensing model grants further powers to RTÜK, it endangers pluralism, tolerance and democracy.

PuhuTV
Jülide Etem

These are great questions, thank you very much for engaging with my post!

The original shows from the streaming platforms differ from the television channels in several ways.

Firstly, the original shows explicitly exhibit sexual and violent content that is censored in Turkish television episodes.

Secondly, the original shows highlight the brands that sponsor them while the TV episodes blur the images of brands (if they are not there for product placement).

Blurring in TV shows also occur for drinking alcoholic beverages and smoking while this is not the case for the original shows from PuhuTV and BluTV.

Thirdly, original shows’ cinematography is much more calculated and mysterious and resembles attributes of European cinema.

Fourthly, the characters are primarily alternative people of Turkey that resembles the European way of living, dressing and talking, while the traditional television shows focus more on family.

The original shows explore themes (e.g. Alzheimer’s disease, drug abuse), that are not typically covered in Turkish TV.

Lastly, the original shows also go beyond the genre conventions that Turkish television shows often adapt, mixing mystery, drama and comedy.

Hotstar Originals:  On Air With AIB
Jasmine Mitchell

Thank you for this post! This is an interesting question that you pose regarding the production of media content. How vital is it for Hot Star to brand itself as part of diasporic media community? It does seem like Hot Star might fill a void within these media industries. I am curious as to how they brand and differentiate themselves from other traditional forms of media in terms of the content itself.

Hotstar Originals:  On Air With AIB
Monika Mehta

Kuhu,

I imagine with so many channels it’s difficult to regulate content—so it’s probably, self-regulation and disgruntled viewers calling in. Previously both A and UA had be submitted to the CBFC, interesting that now it’s only A.

I’ve also seen curse words spoken in English rendered in more sanitized subtitled English in K-dramas. Interestingly, this is done both by companysubbers and fansubbers.

I very curious about the English subtitling for the shows in English. Is this done for all shows in English or just American and British ones? I thought Hotstar subtitling its English shows in English was strange since they were clearly marketing it to South Asians in US and Canada. While I understand that they would have to subtitle the Hindi in those shows, subtitling in English didn’t make sense. Do you think that’s for accent reasons as well? Have you followed if for the subtitling they use American or British English?

Hotstar Originals:  On Air With AIB
Kuhu Tanvir

TV censorship is entirely random, based on what someone in a channel feels about the risk-potential of content - both language-wise and in plot details. And the cutting can be jarringly arbitrary. I remember, in a few episodes of Friends on Star World, they would just unabashedly cut out same-sex kisses, but not the lines before or after. I knew that it had been cut because I had already seen it on a pirated DVD. Also, one of the Zee channels also showed Friends and they didn’t cut it out. Channels apply the same logic with films, but there is a little more discretion now since directors have become very vocal about arbitrary censorship of their movies. Most channels will silence swear-words, particularly in Hindi, but also in English. The most fascinating thing to me is the subtitles that appear on some English channels (subtitles are also in English, presumably for accent differences, and not for disability reasons), and the subtitles are sanitized; so the character may be saying “fuck” and the subtitle will read “oh no” or something like that.

Something changed with all the hoopla around The Dirty Picture which received 52 additional cuts before a scheduled telecast but was pulled a few minutes before it was supposed to air. Now, it seems that U/A films are shown or edited by the channels based on their discretion, but ‘A’ certificate films have to be resubmitted to the CBFC so that they can make additional cuts TO MAKE THE FILM U/A!!!!! I’m sure you can imagine what that would look like.

Hotstar Originals:  On Air With AIB
Monika Mehta

Kuhu, those are all excellent questions. I’ll answer the easiest one first, so Hulu is not in India but they hired a CEO who used to work for Hulu.

Just more info on this show: It was series that first aired on Hotstar, and then subsequently, Star World and Star Plus, thereby, underscoring that it was specifically made for Hotstar. Subsequently, they’ve just aired it on Hotstar. The show is apparently shot in Hindi and English. From the shows that I’ve seen, Hostar US seems to just show the English ones (which of course have Hindi in there). In the English version, they don’t seem to be too worried about their language. They even had a show on the Aadhaar card. In the one of the first shows they did repeat a few times that they were on Hotstar, and there’s also the humorous commercial which I mentioned in my previous comment where they say they say that they will not be doing a roast even as the employees imagine otherwise. This suggests they did get a brief NOT to do a roast. Of course, there is a disclaimer attached to the show.

From my research on film censorship, language was a key mechanism for cutting and certifying films. For example, a film in Hindi would face more cuts than English because its imagined audience was wider, and formed of multiple classes where English films would only be accessed by middle/upper middle classes. I’m not sure if this distinction holds for current films or for television. What are your thoughts on this? I’d be interested in the differences in content for US and India.

Hotstar Originals:  On Air With AIB
Kuhu Tanvir

I had no idea that AIB has a tie-up with a streaming channel. I am wondering how censorship works with this service, because usually, TV channels censor stuff differently and make additional cuts to suit “Indian sensibility”. With AIB in particular, since they are far from politically correct, use fairly explicit language (just their name even is kind of swear-wordy): does Hotstar censor this or does AIB have to create content specifically for Hotstar’s audience, as in, do they change some of their templates for an official service, as opposed to Facebook and YouTube videos that the group (AIB) has more control on.

Also, is Hulu in India now????