Let's Compare the First Trailer for A&E's The Returned to SundanceTV's Awesome Original! (VIDEO)

It's completely acceptable to be skeptical of A&E's upcoming remake of the award-winning French supernatural drama The Returned, because American television has a bad habit of ruining great things when it runs them through the Hollywood-specific Instagram filter known as Red, White, and Blue. And since the original version of the series is so good, it's like, "Why do we even need a remake?"

Well, A&E was probably hoping to set our cynical minds at ease with the first trailer for its English-speaking incarnation of the show, which debuts Monday, March 9—but now that I've watched it, the question still remains. It's almost as if a bunch of American actors had their faces digitally superimposed onto scenes from the French original. Have a look:

According to the producers of the A&E adaptation, the new show will diverge from its source material somewhere around Episode 6. However, the trailer—which mainly uses footage from the first episode—appears to be cut from a shot-for-shot remake of the original's opening hour. American Camille (India Winship) displays the same worried, over-the-shoulder expression as French Camille (Yara Pilartz); Simon's outfit is identical; and that bus stop looks as though it was airlifted from the French Returned's set to the American Returned's set. In fact, all it does is make me want to re-watch the original, in all its subtitled glory.

Here's the (much longer) trailer for the imported SundanceTV version so you can compare the two for yourself:

As for an update on the original's second season, it's reportedly in production (finally!), and we're expecting it to air in the U.S. this fall.


Well, what's your first impression of A&E's The Returned?


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Mar 18, 2015
I didn't really care for it. I truly don't understand what was the need for Networks to rush off and remake foreign/international shows/series. Thus far, for all that has come out that was a remake, I haven't really like them. And this US version of The Returned, is no better than all the other remakes. Diverging from the original we have have to wait until episode 6? *Sigh* sometimes things should be left alone.
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Mar 14, 2015
Horrible remake. No Mogwai soundtrack, no remarkable cinematography, bad acting in comparison. I agree that once you read subtitles and get used to them, it does not pull away from actually watching the show.

It sucks that the French makers of this show gave permission for this. If you haven't seen the original, just try. Don't bother with the copied version.

I love the French The Returned! Viva!
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Mar 10, 2015
I never saw the original. The first episode was decent except I expected more shock when the "returned" came home. More like the sisters reaction. The Mom was awfully calm considering her dead daughter just walked in and made a sandwich after being dead for 4 years. The Bride had a more normal reaction when her dead boyfriend showed up but she seems to think it's all in her head. After the initial shock of the people returning it's hard to imagine where the show can go from there. Hopefully there is a decent plotline.
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Mar 10, 2015
This show sucks eggs bigtime. Yet another ludicrous Americanized version of a superior in every conceivable way European original. God, when will this garbage ever end? Hollywood has ruined every attempt to recapture lightning in a bottle. Since the late 80's and early 90's, wonderful films like The Vanishing, La Femme Nikita, ad nauseum, have been butchered and served up to the American audience like filet mignon ... but it all tastes like dog dirt.
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Jan 17, 2015
So what should a remake of a foreign series be? Do you copy the original, which was successful, or diverge from it?
The first allows English speaking audiences to enjoy a series that they might not have had access to, but introduces no new creativity.
The second would take what had worked and possibly mess it up.
No win...
I will check out The Returned with an open mind... especially since I have NOT seen the original series.
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Jan 18, 2015
There's no win because it just shouldn't be. The solution is giving english speaking audiences better access to the original by airing it/putting on legal streaming media. Hopefully one day that'll be the norm.
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Jan 17, 2015
It's scary that A&E's rework sounds exactly the same as Gracepoint's (that is, seemingly shot-for-shot the same until they diverge the story midway through the season). However, it's easier for me to watch A&E's production before the French one, so that might be how it happens, if I ever watch either.
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Jan 17, 2015
I don't have a problem watching shows with subtitles but I choose not to watch them because I feel to much of the nuance of the acting is lost by reading rather than listening, thus I haven't watched the French original and look forward to the A&E remake. I also didn't watch the origin Killing or Bridge and thoroughly enjoyed the US versions, of course having watched the superb BBC Broadchurch I didn't watch the awful US remake as there was no point with it being in English originally.
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Jan 18, 2015
With all due respect, I don't think that's a thing. As us foreign audiences who have had to watch stuff with subtitles all the time will tell you, you get used to subtitles really fast and reading them is not a conscious effort. They really don't make you miss anything. As far as remake go, it was better than awful ones like Gracepoint, but The Bridge's beginning was a very close remake of the original one, and in my humble opinion it lost something on the way.
In this particular case, I really think it would be a shame to miss the original because of subtitles, because it was amazing and I'm pretty sure this remake is going to be subpar.
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Jan 18, 2015
Eventually I'll be watching the original Bridge as I'm Swedish now :)
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Jan 18, 2015
Cool, you have easy access to a ton of cool shows then! I've been wanting to see Real Humans forever (heard so many great things about it), and for some reason I just never manage to get my hands on the DVDs... :S
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Jan 18, 2015
I may be able to help you download that, PM me.
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Jan 17, 2015
Hopefully this is a limited run series with a defined and scheduled end. Resurrection started out strong but now seems to be going nowhere.
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Jan 17, 2015
Since I watched the original French version on Sundance, I will wait for season 2 of that version. No need to watch the remake.
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Jan 17, 2015
OK, help me here. And sorry for my ignorance on this show (actually both versions). This show's plot and atmosphere seems awfully familiar to ABC's Resurrection. Any connection between this shows?
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Jan 17, 2015
"The Returned" is based on the French series "Les Revenants," which first aired in France in 2012 and was based on a 2004 French film. Sundance Channel aired the first season of "Les Revenants" under the title "The Returned" in late 2013.

According to Wikipedia, "Resurrection" is based on a 2013 novel entitled The Returned written by an American author. It seems fishy to me that an American author published a book with the same premise and same title as a French film. So I think the connection is coincidental or perhaps a case of plagiarism. Hmmm...

I watched the French version on Sundance and enjoyed it even with subtitles. I doubt that I will watch this remake but will wait for season 2 of the French version.
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Jan 17, 2015
I hope that this version is better than Resurrection which went down hill and probably (hopefully) will be cancelled with some sort of closure.
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Jan 17, 2015
From what I've read, the book Resurrection is based on had no real closure leaving the how and/or why of the people coming back a mystery. That could also be a reason why ratings have fallen so dramatically as viewers knowing this feel they should not invest their time. It was a good show when it started, but it seems they really did, or do, not know where to go with it. It seems stories have become pointless to some degree and therefore disappointing. And that kid of Kurtwood Smith is awfully unlikeable. There are about three episodes left, so we'll see.
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Jan 17, 2015
Well, with all of what you guys have said, it seems that everybody is going to accuse everybody of plagiarism at some point. Is going to be very confusing trying to follow both show at the same time, haha! Thanks all for the replies.
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Jan 17, 2015
I certainly do not want to accuse anyone of plagiarism without researching it more fully, but it just seems odd to me that the American author published a book by the same title and the same premise around the time the French series was being aired.
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Jan 17, 2015
I recall the articles saying 2014's Resurrection series was based on the 2013 US novel The Returned, even though it was also similar to the 2012 French series The Returned. (One article went on to say that even the 2004 French film was similar to a 2002 Japanese film Yomigaeri.)
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Jan 17, 2015
I do remember that when resurrection was first aired, they said it is actually based on the returned! and that is why I watched the returned ...

I thought that resurrection was a little similar to the idea but I didn't like it anyways and I didn't even watch season 2... now they even made another remake that is a copy-paste of the original that sounds like if it is the same one with English dubbed but it is not.... i think they want us to wonder if it is the original dubbed or it is a new one! that is "the twist" since we've watched it :)

they could actually do a dubbed version but I think they though it is expensive :P and they went with redoing it ...
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Jan 17, 2015
I will never understand uncreative and pointless remakes like this one, the oldboy remake, milleniumtrilogin, broad church... the list is way too long. I just really want to know why foreign series are such a problem, is the american audience really too lazy to read subtitles?? because if a choice is given between a great original and (a lot) more often than not lacklustre remake the decision should be easy. and yet... (I realise that watching the original broadchurch doesn't require subtitles of course which just makes it even more incomprehensible to me)
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Jan 17, 2015
Subtitles aren't great. They distract from following the actors' performances, plus they're mostly shortened summaries of a richer dialog. People get better at following subtitles with practice, but most English speakers, certainly in the US, get very little practice.

Dubbing works better, but again mostly where there is a larger market for it (i.e. non-English-speaking countries) to cultivate great talent for it. In the US, dubbing is almost amateur by comparison, especially with animation, where the voices are often "screechy" and performances are less nuanced (I guess because they think cartoons are for kids?).
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Jan 18, 2015
Shame is, if networks aired more foreign series to begin with, US viewers would have more practice. They do it in the UK and I certainly have never heard a Brit complain about subtitles or a British network consider remaking a foreign series that JUST came out.
You get used to subtitles really fast. Most foreigners grow up with dubbing (big networks dub), but when you start watching stuff elsewhere and you get used to subtitles, dubbing becomes unbearable, at least imo. Most adults watch movies with subtitles because they're more faithful to the original dialog, and the dubbing sounds kinda weird.
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Mar 22, 2015
Agree. It doesn't take that much effort to read subtitles.
And unless the original actors filmed an English version of the movie in addition to the foreign language version, dubbing is often performed by third rate actors who don't deliver the lines as well as the stars, who were usually carefully cast.
Many movie goers are just too damned lazy.
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Jan 17, 2015
Yes, Americans have problems with subtitles. I often see complaints on Hulu for not having dubbed anime. It bugs me, but I can understand it to some degree. It requires actually having to sit and read when folks may want to listen while doing something else. it could also be folks having a problem processing the words while trying to follow the action. There is also a problem when subtitles can be hard to read, as I have noticed once or twice with anime, or having the words go by too fast, which does happen too.

I have also read criticisms of people not being able to quite follow the British accent. At times, it can be difficult depending on how strong it is and/or how fast they speak. I find you have to sometimes take a few moments to get in sync with it.

The original Returned was fine at the start, but I thought it seemed like it was written by brand new writers in the last few episodes. Something about it was inconsistent and/or rushed to a finish. Therefore I feel it's overrated. If A&E changes that for the better, more power to them.
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Jan 17, 2015
I see your point, definitely, but you get better at processing subtitles with practice. english not being my first language (hi from sweden!) it's second nature; it's not actually reading as much as it is seeing the text and just processing it together with what's happening on screen. as long as you need it of course, english is so familiar to us that most people don't need it. I don't know, I guess consuming the 'original' product, be it the original version or the original language is so important to me I can't imagine the effort subtitles may demand being too much.

and as was stated earlier, yes, some things will of course be "lost in translation" but again I find it to be worth it. languages are so beautiful and more often than not very important to make the story feel genuine! there are amazing actors in every nation of the world, which is why the scenes from the russian embassy in the americans bring me such joy - russians speaking russian!

dubbing is something I can't even take remotely serious. I can't stand it, it's not synched (of course) and it's another actor... talking instead of the original actor in some studio. why just. why. my family spent a year in luxembourg and trying to find things to watch that weren't dubbed to either french or german was hell! I honestly can't understand it. in spain I watched friends dubbed and with spanish subtitles, it was quite an experience.

seriously though, why did they fly in daniel craig to stockholm to remake (and americanise) a swedish film with american actors?? like. yes the city and the surroundings were instrumental to the characters stories/journeys - but them being swedish was also? you can't just take that part away, it felt very phoney to me. very, how should I say it, disingenuous and almost a bit disrespectful. it was a great story with great performances, definitely worth the 'trouble' of subtitles. this was all over the place. sorry.
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Jan 18, 2015
I wanted to vote your comment up ten times. Yes, all of what you said. You lose so much of a series richness and background by taking out of its context and changing the characters, language, surroundings etc.
And dubbing is awful, and why I can't watch TV back home anymore without cringing so much.
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Jan 16, 2015
I don't get it, and I will never get it. Cut and paste remakes such as this one are pointless, inferior to the source material 99,9% of the time, and generally a waste of time and ressources (not to mention sort of insulting to viewers. I'm pretty sure US viewers are as capable of reading subtitles as foreigners who've grown up on American TV).
I know it's not a great attitude to hope that something fails, but honestly I hope this remake goes Gracepoint's way and networks start learning to import instead of mindlessly copy. Open up that programming to the outside world a little, and give more imports the chance to shine.
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Jan 16, 2015
Surely France has at least as strong a claim to the Red, White and Blue than the US. This remake should have never happened and will suck.
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