TELEVISION

USA by Mark Rosenfelder, Australia by Chris O'Regan, Austria by Klaus A. Brunner, Brazil by Emilio Neto, Brittany (France) by Damien Erwan Perrotin, Canada & Ontario by Adam Bishop, British Columbia (Canada) by PJ Perdue, Quebec (Canada) by Valerie Bourdeau, China by the English class at the Suzhou branch of Agile Software Co, Colombia by Carlos Thompson Pinzón, England by Graham John Francis de Sales Wheeler, Finland by Johanna Laakso, France by Nicolas Duvernois, Germany by Irgend Jemand, Greece by Chris TDAQ, India by Apurva Mishra, Israel by Robin Alexander, Italy by Riccardo Distasi, Japan by Hirofumi Nagamura, Urban Mexico by Acoyani Garrido Sandoval, The Netherlands by Bas Suverkropp, New Zealand by Gareth Wilson, Nigeria by Didi, Poland by Pawel Stachura, Scotland by Geoff Eddy, South Africa by T'Mar, Sweden by Anders Janson, Turkey by Cyril Alebard, Long Island by Robert Delaney, Southern Louisiana by Andrew Chaney, Texas by Tom Wier, Yorkshire (UK) by Stephanie Bailey, Southcentral Alaska by Cherie Campbell, and the general characteristics of the First Generation Immigrant by John Smith

Country or region

Well known celebrities & programs

Subjects covered by talk shows

TV news, newspapers, & print media

NORTH AMERICA

USA

You're familiar with David Letterman, Mary Tyler Moore, Saturday Night Live, Bewitched, the Flintstones, Sesame Street, Mr. Rogers, Bob Newhart, Bill Cosby, Bugs Bunny, Road Runner, Donald Duck, the Fonz, Archie Bunker, Star Trek, the Honeymooners, the Addams Family, the Three Stooges, and Beetle Bailey.

The people who appear on the most popular talk shows are mostly entertainers, politicians, or rather strange individuals. Certainly not, say, authors.

 

ALASKA
SOUTH-CENTRAL, USA

You're familiar with David Letterman, Mary Tyler Moore, Saturday Night Live, Bewitched, the Flintstones, Sesame Street, Mr. Rogers, Bob Newhart, Bill Cosby, Bugs Bunny, Road Runner, Donald Duck, the Fonz, Archie Bunker, Star Trek, the Honeymooners, the Addams Family, the Three Stooges, and Beetle Bailey. Add to that Scott Gomez, Benny Benson, Vitus Bering, Susan Butcher, Soapy Smith, Jay Hammond, Hobo Jim, Martin Buser, Jewel, Ted Stevens, and If You Give a Moose a Muffin.

The people who appear on the most popular talk shows are mostly entertainers, politicians, or rather strange individuals. Certainly not, say, authors.

 

LONG ISLAND, USA

You are proud that Long Island has produced so many celebrities: Ashanti, Alec Baldwin (and brothers), Lenny Bruce, Mariah Carey, Billy Crystal, Rodney Dangerfield, Jonathan Demme, Debbie Gibson, Melissa Joan Hart, Billy Joel, Andy Kaufman, Christopher Lambert (really!), Peggy Lipton, Lindsay Lohan, LL Cool J, Guy Lombardo, Lori Loughlin, Larry Miller, Eddie Murphy, Rosie O'Donnell, David Paymer, Natalie Portman, Telly Savalas, George Segal, Jerry Seinfeld, Howard Stern, and many others. Many celebrities - even ones who are not from here, like Steven Spielberg - own houses out east in the Hamptons. British sitcoms have a small but very devoted following.

Bob Costas, Rosie O'Donnell, Bill O'Reilly, Geraldo Rivera, Dr. Laura Schlessinger, Howard Stern, and Sean Hannity & Alan Colmes are from Long Island. You're probably not equally proud of all of them.

You think Newsday is a much better newspaper than the New York Times.

LOUISIANA, USA

You're familiar with David Letterman, Mary Tyler Moore, Saturday Night Live, Bewitched, The Flintstones, Sesame Street, Mr. Rogers, Bob Newhart, Bill Cosby, Bugs Bunny, Road Runner, Donald Duck, The Fonz, Archie Bunker, Star Trek, The Honeymooners, The Addams Family, The Three Stooges, and Beetle Bailey. You feel proud when you hear Tabasco sauce mentioned in British comedies (e.g., on Red Dwarf and on Good Neighbors) on PBS (which we call LPB for Louisiana Public Broadcasting).

 

 

TEXAS, USA

 

 

 

CANADA

You're familiar with American television, and that's pretty much it. Canada has lots of television stations, but not very much quality programming. There is nothing in Canada that could pass for a sitcom, and if you wanted to watch a talk show at night, there is only one guy and he's not very funny. So you watch Letterman or Leno, or Conan, or Craig Kilborn, or whoever, and all the American sitcoms and dramas (because you know the Canadian dramas aren't that great either). The CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) only shows Canadian programs, except for the Simpsons. That means no one really watches the CBC unless the Simpsons are on, or unless they are watching the news. If you watch Canadian shows, you probably watch "This Hour Has 22 Minutes," "Royal Canadian Air Farce," or "Red Green." The CBC is government-owned, or at least you think it might be, but you're not sure anymore. You also watch some British television, since the Canadian stations like to show those as well. You hate it when your favourite show is interrupted by a stupid American political broadcast - even more than Americans hate that, because you're not American. You might like PBS a lot as well, because they seem to be friendly towards Canada. And you definitely know what a Canadian Heritage Minute is.

 

 

BRITISH COLUMBIA, CANADA

You're familiar with Jay Leno, the Dick Van Dyke Show, Saturday Night Live, Star Trek in all its generations, and all American pop culture because 90% of your TV programming is American, despite efforts of the government to promote Canadian culture. You cried when Gus "drowned" on Road To Avonlea, and you think "Great Big Sea" isn't Maritime-centric enough <G>.

You also know that Mike Myers, Jillian Hennessy, Alex Trebek, Peter Jennings, Matthew Perry, Shania Twain, Keanu Reeves, Tom Green, Tom Cavanagh, Donald Sutherland, Céline Dion, William Shatner, Michael J. Fox, Alanis Morrissette, and Jim Carrey are Canadian.

The people who appear on the most popular talk shows are mostly entertainers, authors, and artists.

 

ONTARIO, CANADA

TV Ontario is public broadcasting (like American PBS), but no one ever watches that regularily. Toronto, once again, is the centre of television in Canada, where CTV and the CBC are located. It is also the home of Moses Znaimer and his television empire (he probably owns your local station now). But there are many more American stations to watch, and the Canadian stations usually play American shows anyway. Many American TV shows, like movies, are filmed in Toronto. The provincial government always has annoying propaganda-like commercials on TV trying to convince you that they care what you think.

 

 

QUEBEC, CANADA

You're familiar with a large group of French-Canadian celebrities who, when they attain a certain level of fame, are treated almost like family. You know Marc Labrèche, Claire Lamarche, Guy Mongrain, the old RBO, Macha Grenon, Marina Orsini, Véronique Cloutier, Richard Séguin, Robert Charlebois, Paul Piché and many many others.

Québec TV culture is immensely popular, if not cult-like. You watch all the téléromans (high-quality dramatic miniseries usually only lasting one season) with passion. You love sitcoms and comedy programming, and support the hundreds of local stand-up comics and comedians when they tour the province. You have watched Les Filles de Caleb, Lance et Compte, La Petite Vie, Chambre en Ville, Scoop and you never miss the Bye Bye on New Year's Eve. There are French-Canadian news programs, talk shows and many wonderful children programs. Regardless of your political leanings, you love those Heritage Minutes. They were remade in French, and they even added new ones! You are vaguely aware of an Anglo-Canadian culture, but you are more familiar with American products. Even then, your exposure to English Canadian media is limited unless your English is very good.

 

You mostly get your news and information from French-Canadian newspapers and TV. RDI is a 24-hour news channel, the French-Canadian equivalent of CNN. You keep up with celebrities' upcoming projects and personal affairs in celebrity magazines like 7 Jours. Best-selling American books are translated into French, often not very well.

LATIN AMERICA

BRAZIL

You're familiar with Xuxa, Roberto Carlos, Ronaldinho, Jô Soares, Sílvio Santos, Ayrton Senna, the latest TV Globo soap opera (currently A Indomada), Cid Moreira, Marília Gabriela, Sai de Baixo, Vila Sésamo (Sesame Street in Portuguese). You know Brazilian soap opera. You consider it much better than American soaps and sitcoms. You don't know many American TV and theater personalities, unless they've crossed over to the movies.

The people who appear on the most popular talk shows are mostly entertainers, politicians, or rather strange individuals. Sometimes all of the above.

 

COLOMBIA

You're familiar with Jorge Barón, Pacheco, José Gabriel, Jota Mario, Sábados Felices, El Chavo del Ocho, The Flintstones, Plaza Sésamo (Sesame Street), Bugs Bunny, Donald Duck, ... you still remember when US TV series were common and would probably remember The A-Team, The Beverly Hillbillies, Who's the Boss, Star-Trek, etc. but now-a-days you can only see telenovelas and realities on TV (unless you have cable). You will claim that Reality Shows are all crap, but you know all the details of Protagonistas de Novela or Expedición Róbinson.

The people who appear on the most popular talk shows are mostly entertainers, politicians, or rather strange individuals. Certainly not, say, authors... well, unless you watch those talk shows on the national channels that nobody else watches.

 

MEXICO (URBAN)

You're familiar with Joaquín López Dóriga, José Ramón Fernández, Javier Alatorre, Adal Ramones, Mirada de Mujer, Otro Rollo, La Academia, Big Brother, Operación Triunfo, Toma Libre, The Simpsons, Pokémon, Pikachu (if you're a small child)...

People who appear on the most popular talk shows are mostly entertainers and strange people. There are talk shows, however, in which people argue (and sometimes almost fight) about issues like "My daughter's husband hits her but she says he's the only one who loves her", "My husband is a gigolo" or "My parents don't let me go to school because I have to work".

 

EUROPE

AUSTRIA

 

The people who appear on the most popular talk shows are mostly entertainers, sometimes politicians, or rather strange individuals. Late night programmes do feature authors and all sorts of intellectuals sometimes. Nobody ever watches them.

 

FINLAND

You are familiar with many TV personalities and celebrities, Finnish and foreign. The latter are, in decreasing order of probability, American, English, Scandinavian (rarely), French or German (very, very rarely).

The people who appear on the most popular talk shows are mostly entertainers, politicians, or rather strange individuals. Authors and artists or other "intellectuals" have no special talk shows; there are some programmes per week reserved for "culture".

You believe in the news on TV and in the newspapers. In fact, you are used to believing in most of what you read or hear -- people are supposed to "say what they mean" or remain silent.

FRANCE

You are familiar with Jean-Pierre Foucauld, Perdu de vue, Lagaf' (for you, the best successor to Coluche), Christophe Dechavanne, Jean-Luc Delarue, Nagui, Patrick Sebastien, Patrick Sabatier, Michel Drucker, Jacques Martin, Mystères, La Chance aux Chansons....

The people who appear on the most popular talk shows are mostly entertainers, politicians, or rather strange individuals. Authors and artists have special talk shows, generally later in the evening.

You don't think that the news on TV is reliable, much less so than the radio or the newspapers. And of all TV channels, TF1 is the least reliable. On the other hand, you almost never listen to the radio, don't read newspapers, and get most of your news from... TF1.

Journalists may write about everything but usually avoid the private life of public people. They only speak of private life (I'm not talking about the gutter press here) when people choose to make their private life public.

BRITTANY, FRANCE

You are familiar with Alan Stivell, Ar re Yaouank, Tri Yann, Denez Prigent, Gilles Servat, Dan ar Braz. If you are urban middle class, you watch breton language TV and also read breton books and journals. You think that you deserve a Breton language TV station. It is just a shame that the French state denied it to you so long a time, thus obliging you to set up one on your own. It's nothing out of the ordinary to see naked breasts on TV and in advertisements.

The peoples who appear on the most popular talk shows are mostly entertainers and politicians. Authors are seen on TV too, to promote their books.

Journalists may write about everything but usually avoid the private life of public people. They only talk about private life (I'm not talking about the gutter press here) when people choose to make their private life public.

GERMANY

You're familiar with Sesame Street, Bugs Bunny, Donald Duck (as a comic character), Tatort, especially Schimanski, Wetten, dass..., Lindenstrasse, Derrick, Die Sendung mit der Maus, Sandmännchen and Biene Maya. If you're over 40, add Bonanza, Dallas, Denver Clan, Kojak, Flipper, Ein Herz und eine Seele, Was bin ich? and Einer wird gewinnen. If you're over 50, add the TV-movies after the Edgar Wallace novels and probably Raumpatrouille. If you're under 30, add Baywatch, Married with Children (known to you as Eine schrecklich nette Familie), Harald Schmidt, Stefan Raab, Big Brother, Verona Feldbusch and at least one of the daily soaps.

The people who appear on the most popular talk shows are rather strange individuals arguing about their rather strange problems. On somewhat less popular talk shows, it's politicians, entertainers, and sometimes authors.

 

GREECE

You're very familiar with popular culture figures such as Despina Vandi, Anna Vissi, Sfakianakis, Antzela Dimitriou, Ploutarkhos, and you probably know all the nasty little details of their (ex-)private lives.

The people who appear on the most popular talk shows are: politicians (ranging from mayors to ministers), other journalists, talentless entertainers, singers, or sleazy models. AND priests. But no one wants to watch authors, classical pianists or nuclear physicists on TV-- they'd better write a book.

 

ITALY

You're familiar with Pippo Baudo, Mike Bongiorno, Raffaella Carrà, Maurizio Costanzo, gli Antenati (the Flintstones), i Simpson, Topolino & Paperino (Mickey & Donald), Fonzie, Derrick, Totò.

The people who appear on the most popular talk shows are mostly entertainers, politicians, or rather strange individuals, including people from academia that are either entertainer or politician wannabees (or both). Football players are regulars, too, but they are generally unable to say anything remarkable, despite their popularity.

 

NETHERLANDS

You're familiar with Sesamstraat, Big Brother, Johnnie en Rijk, Youp van het Hek, Star Trek, Derrick, de Fabeltjeskrant, Baywatch, Goede tijden slechte tijden, Magnum P.I., Married with Children, and Tatort. In general, you watch Dutch soaps and sitcoms, German crime series, and all kinds of English and American series. It's nothing out of the ordinary to see naked breasts on TV and in advertisements.

The people who appear on the most popular talk shows are mostly entertainers and politicians. Authors are seen on TV too, to promote their books.

Journalists may write about everything but usually avoid the private life of public people. They only talk about private life (I'm not talking about the gutter press here) when people choose to make their private life public.

POLAND

You're familiar with the Flintstones, Sesame Street, Bill Cosby, Bugs Bunny, Donald Duck, Star Trek, the Honeymooners, the Addams Family. (Yes!) As well as: Bolek i Lolek, Pszczólka Maja, Zrób To Sam, Zlotopolscy, Na Dobre i na Zle, Wiadomosci.

The people who appear on the most popular talk shows are mostly politicians, authors and celebrities of all sorts. There will be a lot of shows about ordinary people who went through a tragedy, found true love after a long search, etc.

 

SWEDEN

You are familiar with a number of American TV shows, because its cheaper to buy that stuff than to produce domestic originals. You normally prefer British TV and film productions to American, though. "Hem till byn" is a series that has been around since the 70's, not running continuously but appearing again every decade with an update. "Nilecity 105,6" (mHz) was a rather avant garde 90's comedy series. "Cleo" , another comedy series, is running now. Danish films and TV series are often well made, and suit your temperament.

The people who appear on the most popular talk shows are mostly entertainers, politicians, or, sometimes authors. The first Swedish Ricky Lake copy just appeared, so we will be seeing a number of rather strange individuals from now on.

You will have read childrens books by Astrid Lindgren. You mostly read only newspapers unless you have literary interests, in which case you will have read Strindberg and Lagerlöf. PC. Jersild, Torgny Lindgren, Kerstin Ekman and Göran Tunström are contemporary Swedish authors.

ENGLAND, UK

You're familiar with Eastenders, Coronation Street, Who Want to Be a Millionaire?, The Generation Game and Panorama, as well as the classic comedies which are to be worshipped like minor deities: Blackadder, Fawlty Towers, Only Fools and Horses and Monty Python's Flying Circus. If middle-aged, you may be slightly sniffy about American TV, but your greatest contempt is reserved for Australian shows like Neighbours.

The people who appear on the most popular talk shows are mostly entertainers, authors, or rather strange individuals. Certainly not, say, politicians.

 

YORKSHIRE, UK

You are familiar with Dicky Bird, Michael Parkinson, Look North and Calendar, James Herriot and Robin Hood (who was a Yorkshireman, no matter what they may say in Nottingham)

The people who appear on the most popular talk shows are mostly entertainers, authors, or rather strange individuals. Certainly not, say, politicians.

 

SCOTLAND, UK

There are five terrestrial TV channels, three of which have some special Scottish programmes. You're familiar with Ewen MacGregor, Mel Gibson, Jim White, Oor Wullie, Dougie Donnelly, Billy Connolly, Archie McPherson, Grandpa Broon, Gavin Hastings, Robbie Coltraine, Rab C. Nesbitt, High Road, Bill Paterson, The Krankies, Robert Carlyle, and (if you're younger) Skoosh.

The people who appear on the most popular talk shows are usually entertainers or politicians, and occasionally authors or film stars with a new book or film to plug.

 

AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND

AUSTRALIA

You're familiar with Neighbours, Home and Away, Playschool, A Country Practice, Skippy, Norman Gunston, Barry Humphries, Blue Heelers, Ray Martin, Bert Newton, Lisa McCune, Jon Burgess, Number 96, Molly Meldrum, Kerry O'Brien, and of course, Kerry Packer and Rupert Murdoch. You are proud of exports such as Geoffery Rush, Peter Weir, Barrie Humphries (a.k.a. Dame Edna Everage); Paul Hogan, Nicole Kidman (her marriage break-up is still front page news), Cate Blanchett, Baz Luhrman, Elle Macpherson, etc. etc. Mel Gibson, by the way, is Australian. And so's Russel Crowe! You are slightly less proud of the Minogue sisters, Kevin Gosper, Robert Hughes, Jelena Dokic, Shane Warne, Christopher Skase, and Skippy. Even so, you still are suspicious of terms like "Australian culture".

You only see American-style talk shows from America; Australian talk shows are basically hour-long infomercials or interviews with actors doing touring shows.

 

NEW ZEALAND

You'd instantly recognise Paul Holmes, Judy Bailey, Richard Long, John Campbell, Carol Hirshfield, the Topp Twins, Lucy Lawless, and Keith Quinn. Australians are constantly taking credit for New Zealand stuff, everything from Russell Crowe to pavlova. Most of the TV you watch comes from either the US or Britain. Americans are grossly obese, nauseatingly sentimental, arrogant sex maniacs. You've gained this impression via careful study of the Jerry Springer Show, Full House, and Dallas.

The people who appear on talk shows are entertainers, authors, or social campaigners of one sort or another.

 

ASIA

INDIA

The main characters of popular culture are gods of Hindu mythology. A music game show called Antakshari and its anchor Annu Kapoor are extremely popular. There is a host of popular serials too numerous to name ranging from soap operas to comedy. Western pop culture icons are unknown to you unless you are an urban upper middle class youth. Indian TV channels nowadays show Friends, Baywatch, and an Indianized version of Jeopardy.

The people who appear on the most popular talk shows are mostly entertainers, politicians, or rather strange individuals. Certainly not, say, authors.

 

CHINA

You know Yonglín Tán, Guóróng Zhang, Xuéyou Zhang, Déhuá Liú, Fei Wáng, Xiùwén Zhèng, Yilín Cài, and Jiélún Zhou. If not, you know Huan Liú, Nán sun, Yu Quán, Ying Nà, Hóng Hán, and Míng Chén.

 

 

JAPAN

You're familiar with Tamori, Kuroyanagi Tetsuko, Sazaesan, Doraemon, Pokemon, the latest NHK morning drama series, Ueki Hitoshi, Gekkô Kamen, Chűshingura, Shimura Ken, Tetsuwan Atom, Sakamoto Kyű, Misora Hibari, and, of course, Tora-san.

The people who appear on the most popular talk shows are mostly entertainers, politicians, or rather strange individuals. Authors too, but not the ones that write serious literature. Politicians also have special talk & debate shows on Sunday mornings.

The Japanese media are just as gossipy as their British and American counterparts. Intellectuals often deplore this and point to the French media as a virtuous example, but the general public don't seem to care-- the more gossip articles there are in a magazine or tabloid, the better they sell.

AFRICA AND THE MIDDLE EAST

NIGERIA

You're familiar with all the American celebrities, and you think it's cool to look, smell, or know everything about them.

 

 

SOUTH AFRICA

Almost all the TV you watch is of American origin. You're familiar with many, many American TV personalities and movie stars (Harrison Ford, Brad Pitt, Leo, the cast of Friends, the people on Survivor) and a few South African ones. You definitely know who Charlize Theron and Arnold Vosloo are. You talk about them as if you know them personally. You might know some British stars (Sean Connery, Liam Neeson, Ewan McGregor, Hugh Grant), but you probably only know them if they got famous by starring in American movies. Even if you don't watch Jerry Springer, you have an opinion about the show. Ditto for Survivor. Because of these shows, you don't have a very high opinion of Americans. However, due to the amount of American TV you watch, you know American court proceedings better than your own. You can recite the Miranda warning as smoothly as any cop on TV. You don't watch much South African TV (except maybe Egoli, Carte Blanche, and Big Brother) and you don't get British humour at all. Despite this, you feel more of an affinity with British people than Americans.

People who appear on local talk shows are either politicians or average people with something to complain about. But you don't really know, because you only watch Oprah or Jerry Springer anyway.

TV and newspaper journalists may write anything, and do, but when they write about the government, the government might accuse them of being racist and unsupportive. This just makes you believe what the journalists write - especially when it's bad. In fact, the worse the news is, the more likely you are to believe it.

ISRAEL

 

 

 

TURKEY

You're very familiar with popular culture figures such as Hülya Avsar, Tarkan, Sibel Can, Ibrahim Tatlises, Ebru Gündes, Okan Bayülgen, Cem Yilmaz, and you probably know all the nasty little details of their private lives.

The people who appear on the most popular talk shows are mostly talentless entertainers, singers, or sleazy models. No one wants to watch authors, classical pianists or nuclear physicists on TV.

You would believe the news you see on TV, but the life of the rich and famous seems more intriguing-- you would rather watch trashy paparazzi shows. The "news" shows aren't all that different anyway.

SUBCULTURES

FIRST GENERATION IMMIGRANT

You look at the same dross that everyone else is watching. In many countries, you can look at a whole range of american soap operas that, while being mind-numbing, have the advantage of being dubbed and therefore offer you the excuse of helping you to learn the local language. If you can afford it, you invest in a satellite dish to get the TV channels from your country of origin. Once you are semi-assimilated, you know the names of the magnet country's principal politicians and celebrities and are beginning to think that they are almost as good as the local heroes of your former life were.

The f-g migrant comes to the new culture with a fairly objective, unbiased eye. He sees that the most important (and popular) people to appear on TV talk / game shows are the anchorman / woman. The guests are only there to make them look good. It's the people you see every day / week who pull in the public and hence the advertisers. The producers will invite anyone who may be attractive to their target audience: the 30 to 50 year old housewife or working man. Politicians aren't invited on prime time shows, unless they are presidents of republics who can insist on cameras being present on all channels.

You quickly become familiar with the tabloid press, Free press, TV guides, other guides entitled 'What's on in ...' (giving cinema times and places and much more besides). Most large urban centers have newspaper stores where you can buy specialist magazines from many countries. You spend time, especially your days off, buying and reading your country-of-origin's press from cover to cover. As elsewhere you read the sports pages then the local politics and see if there is any news from the place you actually come from. Later on, (in a few years time) you'll buy local magazines and papers, but use the TV to get most of your information. You become hyper critical of your country of origin, seeing its faults magnified through the lens of the magnet country's press coverage. You'll continue to buy your country-of-origin's press from time to time just to keep up to date. For english speaking migrants, you'll probably make do with Time or Newsweek, unless you have higher pretentions, in which case you will read the Economist. Other nationalities will always find literature to suit their aspirational level.

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