The unexpected joys of watching Korean dramas dubbed in Hindi

Asia's Tech News Daily

#Dubbed content, #Korean drama, #language, #mx player, #OTT, #Subtitles versus dubbing, #Zee 5

Shows like ‘Boys Over Flowers’ are available in the original Korean with English subtitles on Netflix, and dubbed in Hindi on Zee5. (Image: screen grab)

For years I tried to break a TV-watching parampara in my family home, by showing dad online alternatives to the news channels he is used to watching and showing mum why I am happier watching La Mante on Netflix instead of watching Indian cops chasing after criminals running through narrow lanes on Crime Patrol, or The Romance of the White Hair Maiden to Chandrakanta.

The impasse was broken a couple of years ago when mum idly asked me why I was staring at the computer rather than work on it. I admitted to watching, via very shady means, a Korean show about a housewife who wants to be a cop. Dad took to it, but mum had a point: should I watch the action or just read the subtitles…

But now, many millions like her should be converting to watching these K-dramas that have been released on different OTT platforms – not just with subtitles, but fully dubbed in Hindi!

Kudos to Zee5 and MX Player for recognising this need and creating new audiences. To watch a show like Boys Over Flowers (Original Korean with English subtitles is on Netflix) on Zee5 dubbed in Hindi is special. This Korean show is based on a Japanese Manga comic, so look at how many people have indirectly connected to a comic book culture via a simple dubbing!

But not all dubbed shows on Zee5 and MX Player are available on Netflix for a watch in the original language with English subtitles (I like watching the shows in original language simply because dubbing mostly misses the inflections and nuances of the emotions that the characters are feeling. The offering of a drink, for example. There is a polite way to drink soju offered by someone older [or by a boss], dubbing ‘Cheers!’ seems wrong to signify that dip of the head and turning to the side to drink, not facing the person who offered it, and with both hands…)

One of my favourite shows My Love from Another Star is available dubbed in Hindi on YouTube (original on Netflix). Dream Change Laundromat (in the US, it is available on Amazon Prime Video) is available if you have access to MX Player, the show is there properly dubbed in Hindi.

The show that got dad watching K-dramas – in a welcome change from the toxic news that he was watching – is called Queen of Mystery on Zee5. Although this show does not have a Hindi title, a show called Partners in Justice is called Insaaf Ke Farishte, where a forensic doctor and a prosecutor solve cases. The fun part is, they don’t change the names of the characters as Rahul or Simran, the original Korean names remain. This is truly a melting of cultures on an online pot.

A man who has to take care of a baby is not a trope unheard of, both in Bollywood and Hollywood. But on MX Player, the show My Little Baby (Korean dubbed in Hindi) will steal your heart and make you smile even if you have seen men react to diaper change in many many movies.

For those hooked to Masterchef shows on TV, but wishing they had a food-orientated TV soap to watch, there is the Bread Love and Dreams on Zee 5 where you see a young man’s dreams of becoming the best baker come true. My favourite dubbing though remains that of That Man Oh-Soo (on MX Player) where a young man has the super power of reading the emotions of people around him accurately. ‘Oh! Tumhare man mein yeh baat hai?!’ has never been more entertaining.

Horror shows, too, have found dubbing. I love them but find them incredibly hilarious (except seeing Valak in Conjuring 2). And it is truly funny to hear the following dialogue:

‘Tum Wol-ha ho naa?’

‘Aisa kaise ho sakta hai? Woh toh mar gayi hai!’

Under the Black Moonlight is a very cool watch on MX Player, dubbed. Rooftop Prince that is about time travel as well as romance, is a fun watch too dubbed in Hindi/Urdu on sites so shady that they cannot be mentioned here. The English subtitled one is on Netflix, though.

Why am I suddenly finding myself watching these shows in Hindi? Because I’m convinced that some day storytelling on our TV and in the movies will become different because of competition from these K-dramas.

And because I’d rather be watching a deep voice telling me in Hindi, ‘Main aapke saath ant tak rahoonga,’ than staid slapstick or terrible tragedy that currently fit the formula for success on TV.

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