Like many people, I checked out Lupin on Netflix recently. It was solid, though it had some disappointing aspects to it. I definitely did not like it as much as the critics and some others seemed to. For starters, there were too many flashbacks. Also, I went into it thinking it was actually an adaptation of the Lupin character, aka the gentleman thief, but the main character is just inspired by Lupin. Most of all, there is the fact that, when I put it on, the voices were all dubbed in English.
Now, I had heard this was a French show, so I went into Lupin expecting a French show with subtitles. As such, when I turned it on and I heard English I was surprised. Of course, soon enough I could tell the mouths weren’t matching up with the words being spoken, so I realized it was dubbed. I definitely was not loving that, but I got curious. I decided to check on the options, and sure enough it had been set to the English setting, and not the original French. I made the switch to French and added subtitles and things were decidedly better.
However, I have massive beef with Netflix over this. Why in the world was their automatic setting to dub the show in English? Who wants that? Maybe some people, fine. Don’t make that the de facto choice, though. Dubs just remind me of terrible movies being screened on Mystery Science Theater 3000. It reminds me of Spaghetti Westerns. I always want to watch a show or movie in the original language with subtitles. Bong Joon-Ho made a big point of trying to convince people not to be afraid of subtitles. Then Netflix, perhaps the number-one place where people watch things these days, decided to just dub Lupin in English and lead with that. What if somebody didn’t make the effort to see if they could change it? That’s disrespectful to the actors and the people who made the show. Give me the original language and some subtitles any day of the week.