College Hill Pictures, Inc.
Leila Gerstein, John Stephens
Josh Schwartz per Wonderland Sound And Vision, Warner Bros. Television
Alessio Cigliano, Antonella Giannini, Luca Intoppa, Sara Musacchio
Dubbing assistent: R
Sound ‘n’ Vision
transmitted in Italy by:
Italia 1, Italia Teen Television, Mediaset Premium, Fox
Adam Brody: P
Fashionable and glossy America is back on our Italian screens with the third series of “The O.C.”, first showing as a preview on digital terrestre Mediaset Premium and as from September 12th, on Italia 1.
The series takes place in the elegant Orange County, California, where the (apparent) candid lives of its inhabitants are troubled by the arrival of Ryan Atwood, originally from the much less elegant Chino. The boy has problems fitting in, but with the help of his new friends Seth, Summer and Marissa and of the Cohen family who has adopted him he manages to control his quarrelsome character. In the third series we see him fighting the consequences of an aggression against his brother Trey and with a new love, Marissa; we share the new life of Kirsten and Sandy, the numerous crises between Seth and Summer, Julie’s new flirts and much more.
The series has been compared many times to the previous “Beverly Hills 90210” and in fact the annotation is not that far from the truth: once more we have the fitting in theme of a boy from the provinces into the sophisticated environment of the fashionable American cities, high school romances, parental problems where parents are more adolescent than their children, the choice of college and heavier themes like drugs, alcohol and violence. However the theme only rarely seems taken for granted in so much that the spectator’s interest and curiosity is captured and at the start of the third series one is fond of the characters and their experiences. In fact the surprise ending which left the series without one of its famous characters shocked the public quite a bit.
The Italian edition is quite good. Let’s begin though by the subtitles edited by Sound ‘n’ Vision. Their work hasn’t been done accurately: nearly every time a subtitle is formed on two lines, if it goes onto a third line, only the first was changed, the second was not. One had the feeling that after reading the third line, there was a fourth, only to realise that it was still the previous line - extremely bothersome for the spectator. Furthermore, one mustn’t forget that reading subtitles prevents viewing the screen so why lengthen the discomfort even more with totally useless lines?
Further, during the dialogues, several times whole lines were missed. You could see the actors talking but the same subtitle remained on screen even for three cues or there weren’t any subtitles at all. Finally, there were typographical errors. In the seventh episode Summer speaks about Proust with Seth, making a mistake on the pronunciation, Seth corrects her, but the subtitle corresponds to Proost instead of Proust.
As far as the dubbing is concerned, Alessio Cigliano’s direction is rather good. The voices have been chosen very well. Worthy of note is the choice of Luca Ward for the character of Sandy Cohen and Ilaria Latini for Taylor Townsend. The first is close to the perfect character: an attentive and considerate husband, ready to forgive every weakness of his wife, but also an affectionate father, permissive and authoritative when necessary. So nothing better than the warm, embracing voice of Ward. And Ilaria Latini’s recital is perfect for Taylor - with her petulance and her zeal she couldn’t but have had a shrill voice and a frenetic way of talking.
The dialogues have been adapted rather well as far as labial synchronism is concerned, a little less as far as register and vocabulary are concerned. In many lines, in fact, the register has been altered, raising it to a higher level without thinking of the context in which it has been placed. Some examples: in the seventh episode, Sandy speaks to Seth who is scared of moving to Providence in order to go to college and says «Ci ho messo anni ad assimilarmi agli usi locali», (it took me years to assimilate local habits) adaptation of «I spent years to learn to say dude». The concept is the same, however the register is too formal, especially for a confidential conversation between father and son. In the twelfth episode, though, Kirsten talks at the alcoholics anonymous meeting about her new husband’s career, saying that «It’s gotten very ugly», translated with «ha assunto fosche tinte» (it’s taken on sinister tones). The adaptation is really too far from the original register, and not only, also from a normal conversation point of view. Who would say such a thing?
In the ninth episode, Sadie meets the Cohens, saying to Ryan «Sono simpatici?» and Ryan answers «Sì, amici», adaptation of «So, this is your family? / Yeah, it’s them». In the original we’re talking family not nice friends and the adaptation loses all the significance of the line.
In addition, during the whole series there have been discrepancies regarding the nickname that Volchock gives Ryan, “Little bitch”, translated with “Puttanella”. In some episodes English has been used in others, Italian and at times both versions have been used in the same episode.
A positive note, however, on the outcome of some lines. In the twelfth episode a friend of Kaitlin repeats the line «Oh, obvie”. The adaptation was very clever «Sì, lapalissioso». In the eighth episode Seth writes a letter of apologies to Summer for having lied for the ‘umpteenth’ time, saying «I have problems with flying», meaning “lying”, translated by «Sono un bugiardo palestrato» (I’m a trained lier), and then “patentato” (trademarked). Also in this case, the adaptation is a very witty one.
In the same episode Summer says that her father would like a woman who speaks fluent Italian. Seeing that the dubbing language is Italian it was a correct move to transform it into French so much so that Julie’s original line in which she says hello to dott. Roberts with a «Buonasera» has been changed to a «Bonne soire».
Finally, in the seventh episode Ryan finds out that Seth smokes marijuana, who faced with having to give explanations says «I don’t know how it got there», adapted with the more pleasant «Io non c’ero e se c’ero dormivo» (I wasn’t there and if I was, I was sleeping).
The series definitely has a relatively good dubbing level, the Italian edition has been edited with the importance that this television series deserves considering the Italian public following. A pity about the style and the register of some lines which come out sometimes as being too artificial, as often happens in television products.
[original review in Italian by Alessandra Basile]