Chinese TV

I’ve been watching lots of Chinese TV lately. For almost the entire last year in Shijiazhuang I hardly even turned the TV on, unless it was to watch BBC. Right now we don’t have much choice, either we watch Chinese language TV or we watch DVDs or downloaded videos. Sometimes I’ll turn on Chinese TV just for kicks.
The other day I noticed a commercial that looked suspiciously like an advertisement for an abortion hospital, followed shortly after by an advert for a fertility hospital…

Chinese TV is actually very entertaining! I’m following a very dramatic soap opera, and although I don’t know the details, I can tell that there is at least one affair, one business scandal and one family problem happening right now. Once you’ve seen a South American soap opera, you’ve seen every imaginable story-line, so all you really need to do is read the facial expressions. I also enjoy some of the crazy talk/game shows and am developing an ear for Traditional Chinese singing and Beijing Opera.

Last week I was treated to a sort of combo between Amazing Race and a Lonely Planet travel show. Two Chinese couples were in Vienna. They received envelopes with instructions they needed to follow. Evidently, they were supposed to find certain monuments or shops, preform some sort of activity, and receive more envelopes. There didn’t seem to be a time limit, though as they moved around really relaxed and stopped for coffee and relaxing in the many parks and plazas. It was great because they visited all the places I’ve been in Vienna and I could shout to no one in particular – “I’ve Been There!!”

Perhaps my favorite aspect of Chinese TV is the dramatic movies set back in time, either involving some sort of fantasy scenario between demons and the monkey king or dramatic epics of battles or long journeys. Every once in a while these movies will have English subtitles – a rare treat.


4 Responses to “Chinese TV”

  1. superkimbo Says:

    Please tell me that you have Star World in China! I assumed that since we have it here in Malaysia and I’ve seen it in Cambodia, Thailand and Laos, that it must be all over Asia…

    We get some crazy Chinese TV here in KL too. We especially like to watch the Indian channels though. The singing, dancing, drama… You don’t really need to understand any of the language, the message comes through loud and clear!

  2. Nikeroo Says:

    Hehe, yep I love watching Chinese television too. The best way to emerse yourself in the language without listening to other people’s conversations on the bus. I also liked getting compressed soap operas cause it meant that I could replay anything I didn’t understand a few times.

    Have a great Christmas!

  3. global gal Says:

    Superkimbo – If you have a satellite dish I think Star World is available. In our last location we could see HBO, BBC and occasionally ESPN, but no Star World. I used to watch Star Plus channels when I lived in Kuwait, is that the same thing?

    Nikeroo – it is exciting when I can recognize words or phrases, and it is happening more often. I always tell my students one of the best ways to practice English is by watching English language films with English subtitles – not Chinese. So I guess watching the Chinese is helping me. It also helps that I am really making an effort this time. Unfortunately last year I didn’t really have too much time to study Chinese.

  4. superkimbo Says:

    Hmmm… I don’t know if Star World and Star Plus are the same thing. Here in Malaysia Star World shows mostly sitcoms like King of Queens, Malcom in the Middle, Sienfeld, etc. We also have 3 movie channels, tons of news channels, and all of the discovery channels (discovery, animal planet, nat geo, and travel and living). Um, I think I like TV…

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