Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Watching (bad?) television across the world

Christmas and New Year seem to bring a significant deterioration in the standard of television. Aside from the statutory James Bond and the occassional film that I would like to watch, there is little else of interest. Aging TV stars are wheeled out to perform with a less talented but generally better looking recent addition.

The aim is obviously "family entertainment" but the result is a brainless pastiche of light entertainment quiz shows, pantomine-like drivel and of course the now mandatory "reality" formats.

Not that things appear much better elsewhere in the world. I have spent the last two Christmas's in Russia and Ukraine respectively. While not all readers will agree with this (!), there the diet is similar if not worse. A plastic surgeon's dream of singing and dancing "mature" stars perform a mind-numbing endless series of plays, sketches and songs culminating in a 12 hour marathon of ignorance on New Year's Eve going into New Year's Day. The stars of yesteryear are lead by an exhausting 57-year old Russian diva, one Alla Pugacheva http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alla_Pugacheva. I suspect being deficient in the language probably improves matters from a viewing perspective.

Anyway, enough moaning about the standard of Christmas and New Year TV.

I hope to improve my language abilities in New Year and I have discovered a great website that gives "streaming links" to live TV from accross the world. Hopefully being able to watch live TV will both stimulate and encourage my language learning.

My focus is on Russia and Russian at the moment but last evening I was browsing and saw the following:

- A documentary about group of Swedes on a fishing boat
-A Thai sing song
- A Japanese business news summary
- A Ukrainian feature film
- An Iraqi drama where the plot line appeared to involve a member of the family performing a suicide mission.

It is an amazing insight into what people are watching in their living rooms accross the world. With the Iraqi offering particularly, perhaps I should be more grateful for the singing and dancing airheads we get treated to in the UK, Russia and elsewhere.

See http://wwitv.com/portal.htm for links to live TV from across the world. Depending on broadband connection, it may not be possible to access them all.

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