Comrade Detective

Aug. 9th, 2017 10:43 am
brainwane: My smiling face in front of a brick wall, May 2015. (Default)
[personal profile] brainwane
So there's a six-part miniseries on Amazon Video right now called Comrade Detective. It purports to be a rediscovered buddy cop show from mid-eighties Romania, Eastern Bloc propaganda/entertainment. It isn't; it was filmed in Romania in 2017, with Romanian actors, and then dubbed into English by actors like Channing Tatum, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Nick Offerman, and occasionally guest stars like Debra Winger and Daniel Craig.

Leonard heard about it on Twitter and suggested we try it. I thought it was going to be sort of a longform SNL skit. And then I thought it was going to be kind of a nostalgic buddy cop show with a few jokey swipes at Cold War anti-American propaganda. And now we've watched all but the last episode and I think the show is doing, or trying to do, something much more interesting, and is using and critiquing the copshow form better than Life on Mars did.

It's useful to me to think of Comrade Detective as having four audiences (1 & 2 being Watsonian and 3 & 4 being Doylist):

1. the in-universe Romanian political censors
2. the in-universe Romanian citizenry (purportedly the main audience for the show)
3. the actual main audience, mostly middle-class US residents
4. Amazon corporate & media critics

Audiences 2 & 3, plus some of 1, are reasons that people do or say things in Comrade Detective (e.g., claiming that the Romanian healthcare system is the best in the world, or arguing that health care is more of a fundamental human right than freedom of religion); audiences 1 & 4 are reasons people don't.

But I want to watch the final episode before I make strong claims. Anyone else here watching?

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Andy H.

February 2013

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