International TV channel?

December 16, 2005, [MD]

On the bus to soil science, trying to repeat obscure soil horizons and cation exchance capacity, I started thinking about TV. Ever notice how fun it is to watch TV when you’re in a different country? Granted, you might not understand everything going on, but it’s just so refreshing to see all new faces, and funny TV-shows. In Norway they sometimes have a program called “advertising from around the world” where they showcase the funniest advertisements from … you guessed it … around the world. And not only is it fun in itself, it also does reveal something about the different cultures; like the fact that half of the Finnish ads feature men in saunas (I lived there for three months, I know)…

So here is what I propose: in our burgeoning media jungle of 200+ channels, there should be space for the one true international TV channel. One that harvests the best, and the wackiest, the most romantic and the scariest from around the world; subtitles it, and shows it. I want to see an Italian drama series at 7, a Swedish cooking show at 7:30, a Mongolian gameshow at 8, and the Tanzanian traffic report at 8:30. At 9 comes the best - the primetime news, from a different country, and a different channel, every day! Not only would it be a lot of fun, but it might give us a little bit of insight into where other people live (might even make us curious enough to try to find Kazakhstan, where that soap opera was from, on the map).

Having spent the last week engrossed in a Chinese soap opera set in a university (Feichang Nusheng if you are curious - hilarious), I know how engaging yourself in a different TV world can bring new perspectives. Of course I am not proposing that all Americans are like Hollywood portrays them, or that one can learn all about Norway through getting NRK (the state channel) by satellite… but one can certainly learn something

Let shows from a hundred tv-channels blossom.


Stian Håklev December 16, 2005 Toronto, Canada
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