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Exporting Raymond


I hope the Russians love their 'Raymond,' too.

Rod Lott July 25th, 2011

Even if, like me, you're not among those who flipped over the long-running CBS sitcom "Everyone Loves Raymond," the documentary "Exporting Raymond" should prove entertaining.

exportingraymond

It follows "Everyone Loves Raymond" creator Phil Rosenthal on a business trip to Russia —where he's accompanied by a driver/bodyguard who may have killed a bunch of people — to help that country's network creatives adapt his mega-popular show for their populace. Needless to say — for this picture wouldn't exist otherwise — the cultural differences are night and day. For example, whereas "Raymond" was funny, the Russians seem not to grasp that. As in, at all. They're too busy smoking.

The costumer wants to turn the Patricia Heaton character into a housewife of high fashion. The execs are intent on hiring a leading man whose skills do not extend to telling jokes. And much to Rosenthal's irritation, the Russian team considers his input to be a nuisance. The more he voices his opinions, the less willing they are to listen.

"Exporting Raymond" isn't exactly deep, but it's undeniably entertaining for most of its duration. Ray Romano makes a cameo giving his two cents regarding the Russians' final product, and home viewers can as well, as the DVD contains a pair of the original U.S episodes and their Russian counterparts to compare. (It's kind of a chore to do so, which only proves Rosenthal's point.) —Rod Lott

 
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