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  1. #1
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    Feb 13
    Stockholm, Sweden

    "Keep your enemies closer" from a Russian POV

    I just found a blog post with where a Russian guy rants about all the inaccuries in the "what happens in Russian stays in Russia" episode. I just rewatched the episode and found it quite enjoyable, but I guess that these inaccuracies may be irritating if you know the country and its customs.

    Here are a few:

    There is a difference between a common Russian jail and the Stalin-era labor camps that were called "gulag". Even if the writers were using the word in a metaphorical sense, it's worth pointing out:

    Russian's don't use the word "prochnost" for "to your health" when they drink vodka. The original poster doesn't say which expression they use, but apparently there is no universal expression for "cheers" in Russian.

    The O.P. brings up some other points, such as the fact that Russian-born black people aren't that unusual, for various reasons. I know that during the Soviet era lot of African and Cuban students got scholarships to study at Russian universities and I imagine that quite a few of them married Russian women (or men!) and stayed on. I'm not saying that there isn't a lot of racism and xenophobia in Russia, because there is, but people of color is not a totally unusual sight, at least not in larger cities like Moscow.

    He also complains about Stephen's Russian prononunciation and said he couldn't understand a single word of what he said when he threatened that thug. I thought he sounded just fine, but then I don't speak Russian! Anyway, maybe there are Russian speakers here who can weigh in with their opinion (Mz Saluki?)?

    Finally, he mentions that the KGBeast and his cohorts didn't remind him of Russian bratva mafiosos-I dunno if Bratva guys have special look, but the O.P. wasn't too impressed.

    It's not my intention to rag on the writers/directors, because I thought they did a good job in conveying the sense that Ollie and the rest where indeed in Russia rather than in Vancouver, especially since I imagine that they are on a limited budget. It's just that if you live in the country that is portrayed in a foreign show or movie, the picture you get may be so distorted that you don't recognize your own country...or at least feel that the portrayal is a bit "off" or fake. The only thing that really bothered me was the Gulag mention, because it seemed like a distortion of a historical fact...although, as I said, it could have been used in a metaphorical sense for any jail.

    Maybe this distortion happens even when the action is set in the United States (or in Canada masquerading as the U.S!). This kind of makes me wonder if the picture we Europeans, Asians etc. get of the U.S. through all these American shows that make up 80% of our TV programming is the real deal or if there is another America that we rarely see on our TV screen....For example, if I were to judge from "Arrow", I would have to believe that Americans are all Very Beautiful People and that your legal system is something of a joke!

    I mean, when the jury declared that Moira Queen was acquitted of all charges in "State versus Queen", the presiding judge didn't even bat an eyelid! Shouldn't he at least be a little suspicious that they let her off the hook that easily? I know the writers had to wrap up the trial quickly in order to get Moira in that car to meet Malcolm, but the fact that the judge didn't react at all when he heard that outrageous verdict seemed a bit too much like a "deus ex machina" (or maybe it should be "Malcolm ex machina"!) plot solution for my tastes. I'll link this just in case...:

    Last edited by evaba; 11-28-2013 at 03:53 AM.

  2. #2
    Forum Regular Arrowaddict22's Avatar
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    Nov 12
    @evaba - I am South African, and CRINGE everytime we are referenced in movies/tc shows and when American actors put on a South African accent. The representation by hollywood, and American TV shows of South Africans is so different from the realiy, as is the accent. So I can understand what the Russian viewers are experiencing. At the end of the day, the CW is producing Arrow for US viewers, and not for the rest of the world.

    Also, this is a TV show and is fictional. if we want an accurate portrayal of China, Russia etc, we should watch national Geographic or discovery.
    As far as I am concerned, I get a lot of enjoyment from just watching the show, and taking it at face value. I do not take notice of the continuity issues/accebts/accuracy of events etc. This is an enjoyable TV show that takes me out of my ordinary day.
    Last edited by Arrowaddict22; 11-28-2013 at 08:40 AM.


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