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lyric and meaning changes in the tv show

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lyric and meaning changes in the tv show

Postby refundgame » Sat Sep 01, 2007 12:23 am

I know that they improvise at their live shows and the lyrics often change, but you know that they changed some things for Americans on the tv show. Like how they changed flatmate to roomate in "If you're into it", and sellotape to just tape. Does this bother anyone else, or is it just me (I'm American by the way)? Or like in that MTVU video clip, they mentioned how a kebab in NZ is like a gyro, and in the show they used american shish kebabs in the video so that we would understand. I didn't know that! I thought he was really talking about shish kebabs. Maybe it's not a big deal, but if I'm going to watch foreign shows or shows made by foreign people, or listen to their music, I like to see and hear the actual thing, not some botched version to dumb it down for us "stupid" Americans.

If I watched the first episode, heard him sing "kebab" but saw him with a gyro, I might be confused but then I'd look it up and go, "ohhh, that's what a NZ kebab is." I like learning about stuff like that, and I don't like that they have to change their cultural influences in their songs to adapt to us. We should be adapting to them, not the other way around!

Sorry if I'm making too big of a deal of this. I love them immensely, so it just irks me a bit to find out that little things like that are being changed because the show airs in America. Sadly I've never been to one of their live shows, so I don't know if they keep those changes when playing live in America, but...I don't know. Anyone else feel the same way?
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Postby Sherry » Sat Sep 01, 2007 8:31 am

As a Brit I find the NZ English pretty much the same and easy to follow.

Over here kebab means the same thing as in NZ. But we usually specify, doner or shish if really pushed. But if someone says they ate a kebab last night, my brain would picture a doner, as its the most popular :lol: Most kebab houses don't really go in for shish kebabs.

TBH, I've not been overly bothered by the minor changes they have made to their speech in the acting story part of the show. I understand both just fine as we have enough US stuff on TV and in cinemas.

It does seem a shame they changed some wording in the songs though. Pencils In The Wind sounds so much better as a title and the use of the word Sellotape works better imo. As for others, I don't really notice as I only ever watch each episode once, so it doesn't have time to grate on me. Sellotape was sorely missed as it is one of my two favourites of their's. The other being Busdrivers Song.

Don't forget though that this show is being sold round the world. It begins airing in the UK mid September and New Zealand also. Both of those will notice the Americanisms. Especially the Kiwi's who'll probably notice the changes in their day to day speech in the show more than the songs. To my ear all the Kiwi's in the show have toned down their accents for US audiences. Apart from when they use word pronounciation as a joke in the show, like 'dead/did' and say six when meaning sex.

Ummm all that didn't help any :roll:
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Postby mwilcox » Sat Sep 01, 2007 8:51 am

They should have made two versions so they could put NZ versions on TV here. :wink:
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Postby Videogirl » Wed Sep 05, 2007 2:43 am

I agree with you, refundgame. They shouldn't have to change anything for us, Americans. So what? We get a little confused. It just makes it more real. And like you said, we could just google it, if we really wanted to know.

They shouldn't have toned down their accents either. We could have just listened harder. I found it perfectly easy to understand in some of the Youtube interveiws.
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Postby Videogirl » Wed Sep 05, 2007 2:46 am

mwilcox wrote:They should have made two versions so they could put NZ versions on TV here. :wink:

That is an interesting idea, but that would be double the work for guys. They put a lot of effort into it already. That is too big of an job for slight changes in accent and words.
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Postby tvldiva » Wed Sep 05, 2007 7:59 am

I don't think it's so much that they "Americanized" themselves for this tv show. First, the show is based in New York, so it's only naturally that there is an strong American feeling to it. After all, the show is about two Kiwi's in America. Just like the BBC series has a very strong British feel to me, because it's recorded in London.
Second, the guys did spend alot of time here in the states prior to filming the show. Being surrounded by American's for long enough that their accents do change. Look at Rhys, he's lived in England for awhile, so his accent is mixed with some British. Example, he says Bret, not Brit.
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Postby indigo_jones » Wed Sep 05, 2007 2:16 pm

Don't forget though that they have thrown in references here and there that only kiwis would really get. Becks here has pointed out a few, and I've seen references to other typically NZ things mentioned on other sites.

The show takes place in the US, so I think it would be silly to not make some changes. I do wish they had kept sellotape, though, as I just like the flow of the song better with that in there, but then, that's how I'm used to it, so of course I'm going to like it better that way. Of course, I grew up saying sellotape and didn't realize that was a "foreign" word. :lol:

Kebab, kabob, gyro, shish ... lyrically it works for one group, visually it works for another; everyone wins!
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Postby tvldiva » Wed Sep 05, 2007 9:51 pm

I agree about the sellotape thing, it did sound better that way. I guess someone felt they needed to change it for us Americans. I didn't know what it was, but it's not too hard to figure out since the word does include "tape".
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Postby refundgame » Thu Sep 06, 2007 10:27 pm

The sellotape thing was probably the one that I had the most aggravation about, since I also think it does sound better that way. The words don't flow as well in the show's version.

I wouldn't have minded as much the "flatmate" to "roomate" change, but the way they used the word didn't make sense in the song anymore, and then it bugged me. In the version I heard originally, Bret says, "And then on our next date I could bring my flatmate. Not quite sure if Stu has seen ya, but if you want we could double team ya." But in the tv show version, he says, "And then on our next date you could bring your roomate. I don't know if Stu is keen to, but if you want we could double team you."

Well, maybe I take it back. If Stu is her roomate then it would make sense. But I have it in my head from before that Stu is his flatmate which made the song confusing to me. Of course you don't see him living with any Stu in the show, he's living with Jemaine which I guess that's why they changed it...bah! Nevermind. lol.

I didn't know about the kiwi jokes and references in the show...damnit why can't I be a kiwi? lol. Where's the thread that talks about that?
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Postby cassandrasnow » Tue Sep 18, 2007 4:42 pm

I noticed the kebab thing right away when I saw "Sally". I thought, 'But, that's not a kebab!' And then I realised that they'd Amercianised it.

In Australia lots of people go out and get kebabs (what do you call them in the US? Gyros?) in the early hours of the morning after they've been out partying etc. So, I was expecting them to be eating those. But alas. They had meat on a stick. :)
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