Thanks to recent downpours of monsoon season, I’ve been spending more time in my apartment. This has led me to watching much more television than usual. The one English channel available is AFN, a network for military personnel. I do enjoy healthy doses of Law and Order, Saturday Night Live, and House, and am fortunate that I am able to keep up with the world by watching American news programs. I get excited- overly excited- when I see familiar places like New Orleans, Pass Christian, or the Southern Miss campus, which was featured tonight in a story about Steve McNair’s death.
On the other hand, the endlessly running community announcements and the extremely poor acting of the PSAs on teen drinking, sexual harassment, and avoiding hypothermia (wtf?) tend to get on my nerves. Even more upsetting is that as I am getting ready in the morning or taking my lunch break, shows like The View and Judge Judy run. I don’t get my kicks from listening to grown women whine and complain and I certainly don’t enjoy to watch washed up trash trying to get money for broken damages because someone pulled out her weave in a catfight.
It is times like these that have led to my discovery of Korean TV networks, like KBS, SBS, and MBC. No, I do not understand what is being said. Nor do I understand the concept of many of the shows. What I do know is that despite this, I have enjoyed truly entertaining television. I love Korean soap operas, as the acting is on par with their American counterparts, which is comical by itself. Mysoju.com offers these shows for streaming, with conveniently translated subtitles, if the acting is not enough to enjoy them. Korean commercials are just as great, if not better than the soaps. Yet, the most incredible part of Korean television is the game show. Asian game shows have a reputation as being undeniably comical and painfully entertaining; those of Korea do not stray from this known truth. The best are those with people competing in odd tasks, like blowing a row of candles out with their noses or participating in bizarre obstacle courses. “Gag” comedies are always popular; in watching them, you will no doubt hear the “That’s Very Hot” phrase that’s always popular with the kids in weather class. Still others are a hodgepodge of performances or tasks that easily make you smile.
Check out this video to see for yourself one of the best clips I’ve seen from Korean programming. In addition, the video will also prove another truth: that Korean kids are the cutest in the world.
Haha! You know when I first move to Cairo, I got rather tired of all the C, D and even lower grade American shows on my three English channels (and we wonder why Americans are typecast, it's the shows that are aired in other countries)and I began watching this Turkish soap, Noor, that was all the rage here. The acting was horrid, but it made me laugh so hard. Then I noticed that I'd gotten pulled into the storyline and even as the season finale came on, I had a coworker's wife get on MSN messenger to translate what was happening.
I also have MBC, and I have MTV Arabia (just think of how ridiculous most MTV shows were in the US and multiply that idiocracy by 1000 and you have MTV Arabia), but I ended up hearing some decent Arabic music and even met the singer to my favorite video/song that I'd watched when I didn't know anyone here. Point is, you'll remember these days and laugh about them often, especially after you venture out even more.
Good luck – oh, and I know this Canadian guy from Cairo who is going to teach in Seoul this next year. Perhaps you two can meet – just FB me.