The scissors at work

Logo_done Thanks to an earlier post by Subzeroblue, I found Dubai’s new all-English channel "One." The channel is apparently competition for the popular Saudi-owned "Channel 2." I have been following it for a while and I must say they have a good collection of high-caliber Western shows, including CSI, the Sopranos and others.

The channel also provides a good collection of fairly new and "slightly" older Western movies. One thing that is proving an irritant, however, is their excessive use of the editing scissors! It seems the people behind this brand new channel are ultra conservative, as they edit out almost any display of affection including pecks; even cuss words are edited out!

Personally, I think this is too much and extremely, extremely annoying! It is even worse than Jordan TV. Well, I’m glad I’m not paying for this channel.

But to be fair, I must say that last night I enjoyed watching The Insider in spite of being annoyed on a number of occasions by the channel’s editing. I saw this movie years ago when it first came out and watching it a another time was highly enjoyable, particularly because it deals with the field I chosen for a living: Journalism.

One blunder I found in this movie was the choice of an Egyptian to represent a Hizballah fighter. A great director like Michael Mann should have known better. Hizballah fighters are Lebanese, speaking an entirely different dialect. Also the Arabic translator that was supposedly translating for Mike Wallace was speaking gibberish! I couldn’t understand a single word of what he was saying! Again, this shouldn’t be expected from a legend like Mann.

16 Comments

  1. Chan'ad January 10, 2005 at 9:46 am

    Yes ONE tv is great… it complements MBC 2 quite well. There’s alot of snip snip, but I don’t mind it that much. I don’t know if you ever watched Saudi Channel 2 when it was still around, but that was really annoying. For example, they would show the Christmas episode of a sitcom, and the censor every time a character says “christmas”! Retarded! Why do they bother showing the show at all??
    But Saudi 2 and Aramco Channel 3… the good old days…

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  2. hind sabanekh January 10, 2005 at 2:15 pm

    comparing both channels ‘ONE and MBC2 i found that ‘ONE is better;)
    i dont watch tv that much but damn MBC2 repeats the same movies over and over and over..etc again
    and the Insider show i’ve been watching it for over a week they repeat the same thing every single time!! i’m sick of it… but ‘ONE is really good i like the shows on this channel

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  3. amal January 10, 2005 at 6:47 pm

    The opening scenes of the Insider-one of my favorites Hollywood movies-with ‘Hizballah’ were also censored in the cinemas here in Beirut when it was released. And I was extremely offended by the Arabic they were supposedly speaking! Also, did you notice that he addressed the first Hizballah leader as ‘Shaik Fadallah?’ Where did they get that from?!

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  4. Roa January 10, 2005 at 7:31 pm

    hey tasha..
    i am not going to comment on the topic.. but i want to tell u although i have not been writing emails i have been reading your blog almost everyday.. i love it.. it feels so much like home.. and keeping up with u and jeff’s life..and the arab worlsd and most important amman..
    miss u guys so much.. thanks again for htis blog :)))

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  5. Arash January 11, 2005 at 1:52 am

    “Also the Arabic translator that was supposedly translating for Mike Wallace was speaking gibberish! I couldn’t understand a single word of what he was saying!”
    I haven’t watched what is being discussed, but I’m guessing he was probably speaking Persian. On many occasions I’ve watched American series using an Iranian to fill for Arabic roles. There are many Iranians active in the US entertainment industry.
    BTW, The new session of 24 will star Shohre Aghdashlou from House of Sand and Fog.

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  6. Linda January 11, 2005 at 2:20 am

    “Also the Arabic translator that was supposedly translating for Mike Wallace was speaking gibberish! I couldn’t understand a single word of what he was saying!”
    This is frustrating. I do not watch wrestling, my brother does and it is being done there too. There is this wrestelr that comes out and his character is an Arab American (very stereotypical) and his manager is as well. The manager claims to speak Arabic, but i think it is persian.
    Hey Natasha, I am wondering, do they edit out any violence because I get MBC and Dubai tv through Satelite in L.A. and I have seen many violent movies shown on their channels.
    I wonder why they would cut out anything romantic or curse words and not violence?

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  7. natasha January 11, 2005 at 4:04 am

    Amal,
    As a Shia leader he is supposed to be addressed as “Sayyed” no? like Sayyed Hassan Nasr Allah. In the movie, they didn’t even call him sheikh they called him “seek” or something like this;-)

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  8. natasha January 11, 2005 at 4:17 am

    Arash, I asked a friend of mine who claims that he knows some Persian and he told me that it was not Persian that the guy was speaking. I don’t know, maybe you can ask some of your friends and let us know.
    As of 24’s new season, I read somewhere it is very controversial as this time it addresses the issue of Islamic fundamentalism very bluntly that some major Muslim organisations are objecting to it s airing as they say it represents an unfair stereotyping of Muslims and label them all as terrorists!. The new season revolves around the story of a Turkish family who immigrated to the US and who are planning a major terrorist attack. We are currently watching the third season, but this time the terrorists are Ukrainians;-) We really love this show!

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  9. natasha January 11, 2005 at 4:26 am

    Linda,
    Ironically enough in this part of the world, you can show a public execution but not a peck! Violence is rarely edited out on TV, not even during the day when children are watching!
    Hind,
    I was referring to the movie The Insider not the show on MBC2;-)
    Chand,
    Your Christmas observation is hilarious!
    Roa,
    It is so good to hear from you and know that you read this humble blog. I didn’t even know that you are aware of its existence.

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  10. hind sabanekh January 11, 2005 at 7:02 am

    loOol

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  11. Hubby January 11, 2005 at 9:20 am

    As sort of the “western eye” I’ve never much minded the censoring of cussing. I’m used to that. No networks allow it in the US. It surprised me when I heard so much of it on Jordan’s Movie Channel plus they kept in so much violence. Channel 2 kept in both cussing and violence but then axed actions as tame as a peck on the cheek. Friends Edited became a whole new experience. But I’ve never minded much because both “2” and “One” keep the commercials to a minimum. I hate commercials. I realize their value but apparently there’s another model that allows for a reduction in their presence. Although, yeah, 2 is getting mighty repetitive.
    With “One” and “2” you barely need anything else and they’re free! Packed with programming from a myriad of sources combined with great movie choices, they are hard to beat. The only real editing glitch that bugs me is One’s tendency to roll out or cut out from a movie or program before a character finishes speaking or a scene comes to a close when they go to a break. This gives a real “cut” feeling. This seems to be happening less and less. Now, I’m enjoying seeing what new things they can do with that apostrophe –> ‘ <-- 🙂 The only place the scissors really get to me is when I've plunked down 5JD or 60QR at the movie theater only to find the movie is half of what it should have been. I'll take DVD!

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  12. Arash January 11, 2005 at 1:52 pm

    Linda:
    Haha… this guy? Yes he is Persian.
    Natasha:
    I’ll ask around, but the interpreter is Alan De Satti who has also played in America So Beautiful. So it’s a good guess that he is speaking Persian, maybe with a strong American accent.
    About 24, I had assumed the family’s going to be Iranian, the son’s name is Persian (Behrouz). That’s what has gotten our folks worked up. Frankly, the objections on the Iranian side haven’t really focused on stereotyping of Muslims. As Ms. Aghdashlou puts it: “Let’s not forget that while it is true that not all Muslims are terrorists, unfortunately all [post-911] terrorists have been Muslim. Those who object should realize that the likes of 24 are the by-products of 911, in such a way that James Bond was of the Cold War.”

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  13. natasha January 11, 2005 at 3:27 pm

    Well Arash,
    Hollywood has been avoiding portraying Muslims as terrorists in their movies for some time now as they don’t want to offend the Muslim communities in the US especially after 9/11 . One example was the movie the Sum of all Fears which is based on Tom Clancy’s novel. In his novel the terrorists are Islamists, while in the movie the terrorists are neo-European Nazis. But it seems that 24 this time is going ahead and dedicating a whole season on the issue of Islamic fundamentalism.

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  14. Linda January 11, 2005 at 3:55 pm

    hahaha, Arash, do ou watch wrestling? I find it amazing that if an organization such as the wwe is going to have someone claim they are arab american, and not even speak arabic. really is sad. hey, if they are going to stereotype us, at least do it all the way.
    Someone tell me if they have anything in common, MBC and ONE. WE get MBC via satelite here and they show many American movies on this channel. Hubby, you are right. They go to commercials at the most odd times. But take for example when they show Father of the Bride. They left the kissing scene in there (all of them). But there are other movies where they will take them out. I really wonder what their editing meetings are like and how they decide to take one scene out over the other.
    And Hubby, as for your hatred for commercials, I would have advised you to buy Tivo. I am sure you have heard of that machine, the one that allows you to skip all commercials. But guess what. Tivo may be coming out with pop-up ads over the commercials you skip, because the cmpany says its unfair to companies who pay for that commercial time. I guess you can never really escape advertising.

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  15. Yacoub January 21, 2005 at 8:02 am

    I used to watch One Tv When it was Channel 33 in 90s, Back When It Was A Normal TV Channel That We Used To Get On TV Only During The Summer Cause Of The Hummitidy Which Helps Carry TV Channel Signals More Better From Across The Gulf To The Eastern Region Of Saudi Arabia (Where I Live)..
    Anyways, It Used 2 have Up to date shows Like Beverly Hills 90210, Saved By The Bell, and Other Cool Shows.. It Rarely Edited Out anything.. Most Of The Kisses Made It On Tv, Pecks Included 😉
    Cussing Was always Edited Out On Tv Channels All Over The World.. Including Popular Tv Channels In The US Like NBC/ABC/FOX.. So Its No Big Deal I Guess, But I Assume Since We Got Used to No Editing Lately, We Get Anoyyed With The Fact Of It Still Happening..
    Anyways, I Think One Tv Is A Winner, Despite Thier Commercials, Which are ALOT!! But Hey, thats how u Keep a Channel Free I Guess 😉
    Big J

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  16. Linda January 21, 2005 at 11:34 pm

    Yacoub,
    YOu live in saudi arabia and they 90210?
    wow. im in L.A. and my parents banned that show from our house.

    Reply

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