a co-worker has been watching a bunch of period shows on netflix lately in which everyone from danish vikings to roman emperors speaks english. mind you, they speak it with a british accent so i guess that’s supposed to illustrate that they’re old world and foreign.
that bugs the hell out of me.
are film and tv producers so lazy that they can’t be bothered to use the correct language of the people they are making shows about? are audiences so lazy that they don’t care about that kind of detail, just as long as they don’t have to read any super annoying subtitles? are audiences expected to believe that a british accent is the only difference between us and every other language in the world?
i think it’s absurd. it’s like having a talking dinosaur in a serious film aimed at an adult audience. it simply doesn’t make sense and it’s stupid, and people should recognize that.
or how about this: instead of having a british accent, why not have those roman emperors speak in modern english and call each other ‘dude’ and ‘bro’? i think anyone who watched that would say, “holy shit, this is stupid.” but that’s no different from what these shows are already doing. it’s completely fucking inaccurate and laughably absurd but for some reason, it happens all the time without anyone saying so.
if i had a film studies class, rule #1 would be: english with a british accent is not a suitable replacement language for every bygone age and culture.