Comrade Detective trailer

Amazon has unveiled the first trailer for its new series Comrade Detective, and while I think a lot of you are really going to dig this show, it might be a little too niche for mainstream audiences.

It’s being presented as a long-lost, hard-boiled Romanian cop show from the 1980s that’s recently been found and restored by Channing Tatum, who executive produces the show and has dubbed over the lead actor’s voice with his own. Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Nick Offerman, Jenny Slate, Mahershala Ali, and tons of other great actors all contribute voiceovers, too. Check out the explosive first trailer below.

Comrade Detective trailer

The framing device with Tatum seems unnecessarily confusing, but I watched a screener of the show’s first episode early this morning, and the gimmick is explained much more clearly in the actual series. It all becomes clear the minute you start watching: Romanian actors Florin Piersic Jr. and Corneliu Ulici play the lead roles (and in fact, most of the show’s cast and crew are based in Romania) but they’re dubbed by Tatum and a handful of more recognizable actors.

This trailer is pretty representative of the first episode, which is to say that it’s a little ridiculous, slightly humorous, and chock full of cop show and cop movie cliches. That said, I largely enjoyed the episode. If you grew up in America, you almost certainly grew up in a pop culture environment that has regularly demonized Communism with broad stereotypes, and this show turns the tables and does the same thing to capitalist America. In one scene, the two detectives voiced by Tatum and Gordon-Levitt walk into the American embassy in Bucharest, where there are two overweight Americans sitting in a corner chowing down on a pile of hamburgers with an American flag behind them. There’s also the fun “always bet on red” joke seen in the trailer, and a bunch of references to the benefits of Communism throughout the first episode. It looks like it’ll play with American iconography in some fun, fascinating ways.

The show may ruffle some people’s feathers because we’ve been conditioned to bristle at that ideology, but it’s all delivered tongue-in-cheek and considering our current standing in world events, America certainly doesn’t have any sort of moral superiority to lord over any other country, so it’s good timing for this type of show to come around and poke fun at it from the inside out.

Comrade Detective is created by Brian Gatewood and Alessandro Tanaka, and it hits Amazon’s streaming service on August 4, 2017.

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