Week of Television: Television around the world

Week of Television! Whooo~ Happy March! Birthday Month! Today’s entry is all about my television watching habits.

I watch all sorts of television, animated, live action, sci-fi, thrillers, action, you name it 9/10 I’ll enjoy watching it. The only genre I don’t really like is horror, which is why I struggle with some police shows because they can get pretty gruesome. I absolutely love Criminal Minds and CSI: Miami but I can’t watch them unless I’m with people, and I rarely watch TV with friends so I don’t get to watch those shows as much. I’m a big baby, this is my life :3

I watch television from UK, the US (because it is so widely available) and Asia (primarily Japan, South Korea and Taiwan to supplement my language learning) on a regular basis and in my viewing adventures I’ve found that there are some difference between shows from those three regions.

British Television

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With creative freedom tends to come teeny budgets and so there are these amazing programs with only three episodes a season (goddamnit Sherlock), or only six a season (IT Crowd). This means I’m rarely able to connect with the characters, or really explore their personalities. We get a glimpse into their world, but rarely get a chance to really connect with them like their American counterparts. Then there’s the big wait once the season’s over till the next one. While I don’t love the mid-season finale format that American shows have, they do serve a purpose which is keeping the audience engaged. For the most part I enjoy watching British Programs, the actors talk in accents I understand and I’m able to follow the topical jokes. Which is always nice.

American Shows

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They tend to have big budgets which make watching interesting. However, because the studios have put so much money in the conception of the show, they pull all sorts of crazy tricks to ensure they get a return of their investment. The biggest symptom is that the show will go on for far too long. It isn’t rare to hear that the original creator has left the show due to ‘creative differences’, which usually means that they don’t see how the original premise can be sustained and they leave. Another terrible thing they do is certain shows is move the episode order around which can leave the show’s narrative feeling a little disjointed. ALSO! American holidays and the way they schedule their shows is so alien to me, what is a mid-season break!?

Sounds like I’m ragging on American shows right? They make up the bulk of my viewing, so it’s easier for me to find lots of things I don’t like. But for every mismanaged show, there are tons of great shows where the studio trusts the creative vision of the writers and great content is made.

Asian Dramas

I love these because they are very self-contained, they go into production knowing they have a certain number of episodes and so the plot is usually very tight to fit it all in. The downside is that because they know they have a certain number of episodes the temptation is to wrap everything up in a neat bow and give everyone a super happy ending. In some shows this is great, in others not so much. I’ve actually only seen one drama (from Taiwan) that had an ambiguous ending that worked really well.

I don’t have a favourite region, I just like what I like!

2 Comments Add yours

  1. varakawa says:

    Completely agree with what you said about Asian dramas. I’ve seen a couple of Japanese ones and maybe one or two from Korea (in Japanese). What always strikes me is that the appear so completely detached from the reality in those countries. I can imagine the characters of Criminal Minds walking down the street in the US, but I really can’t imagine that with the characters in the Japanese dramas. Their emotions are so – exaggerated? What’s your view on this?

    Like

    1. adoredee says:

      I have to agree. Even though I watch a lot of SciFi, I can’t actually imagine the events happening. But with Asian Dramas its all so utterly fantastical.

      Protect the Boss (Korean) and Hana Yori Dango (Japanese) are two that are a little more realistic than the average show.

      Like

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