Sundance’s ‘Returned’: Subtitles Are No Longer Something to Fear

Originally posted on Variety:

American audiences are so crazy about zombies they’ll even watch them speaking French, with subtitles. The cult-like success of “The Returned” on Sundance Channel (Stephen King has been tweeting about it) is helping to reverse U.S. networks’ traditional aversion to programs in foreign tongues.

The French series, originally titled “Les Revenants,” has quickly gained a following for its eerie vision of a remote mountain town where people appear to be returning from the dead, but without the typical gory trappings. It has the dubious distinction of having been named “the best show you’re not watching,” and it’s broken ground as one of the most widely seen subtitled series on American TV.

Shows like “Homeland,” “The Killing” and “The Bridge,” adapted from Israeli, Danish and Danish/Swedish series, respectively, are helping American viewers develop a deeper taste for brooding police officers, bleak landscapes and intense, bingeworthy hourlong dramas.

“The nature of content…

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