In my opinion, the best theme song of the last 20 years is Ann Hampton Calloway’s theme song for The Nanny, a funny, catchy cabaret number that explains the entire premise in only 45 seconds and has a feel, tone and style that is different from almost any other TV theme. But what happens when the show is dubbed into other languages, or re-made in other countries?
Well, first of all, there’s the German re-dub:
Or the version of the theme song from the Mexican remake (this show is one that lends itself to foreign remakes, because culture-clash shows are easy to remake in any country):
Or the Russian remake, which throws out the original tune in favour of something that appears to be the Moscow equivalent of New York cabaret.
(Actually, I have real fondness for The Nanny, a show that was very funny a lot of the time — especially in any scene involving Niles the butler — and had the kind of broad ethnic and cultural humour that had almost disappeared from TV comedy by the ’90s. I’m sure Fran Drescher was a horror to work with, but so was Roseanne Barr, and Fran’s show holds up better. And yet this show is really, really hated within the industry; the veteran director Alan Rafkin picked it as the worst show he ever worked on. And this guy directed episodes of Blansky’s Beauties.)