Taiwan Sitcom, Variety Show, Drama and Current Culture


I’ve like to watch local TV and have been trying to make sense of all these shows because I think they will help me understand culture and continue to improve my Chinese comprehension. But to me, it’s like all these shows are stuck in some time warp or something. I occasionally catch similar shows from China on youtube or whatever with a lot of variety, but they definitely have shows current on issues and everything else. It’s like “what is this modern Chinese TV show portrayal because it’s definitely not Taiwan”.

  • They mostly all seem to mostly be older like 5, 10, 20 years old which I guess is ok for learning older culture but not current culture. Some are newer, but still seem to be in an older setting including clothing and styles. Or maybe it’s still Taiwan today.
  • Even the variety shows, which are normally current, are 5 or more years older, which is strange watching people and issues that were popular 5 or 20 years ago.
  • Seems like everyone wears older styles and hair and action even though it could be present so it really throws me off.
  • I’ve asked my Taiwan friends and I’m not really getting clear understanding.

How do you know which ones are current in the last couple years and which ones are older because they all seem to be old style clothes, actions, culture, etc. looking like I’m in a place where time has stood still.

Are these types of Taiwan TV shows stuck in a time warp or is that just the way current ones are presented? What are the names of current TV channels or shows that show real life today?


Taiwan has a small market, and it’s often difficult to justify big value productions, especially since the drop in ad money due to the internet. For the last decade, Taiwan’s TV production struggled to keep up with Japan, Korea and China.

10 years ago, even though most stations would air a stream of Japan or Korean drama, at least Taiwan still had its own comedy variety shows. Now, even most new variety shows on TV are Korean.

For a while, shows like Kangsi Coming (康熙來了) was such an establishment, it kept interview style variety shows going, but even that show had to end a few years back. Most of the shows that tried to replicate Kangsi’s formula aren’t doing that well either.

So now it seems like the only thing constantly now on TV are travel variety shows, like Super Taste (食尚玩家) and iWalker. Occasionally there would be new non-period drama series by young directors that’s worth watching, like The Teenage Psychic, but that’s almost a once a year event.


I can’t watch those variety shows. I mean, they are like 70s style craptastic. My friends abroad send me the ones from Takeshi’s early years as a singer … heck, thos eprograms haven’t changed a lot and even with 金城 武 in them, I can’t watch them any longer than what it takes to try to translate… and then it’s useless nonsense. So, nope nope no.

For my work, I must watch local productions like soap operas and movies. That is mostly OKish. As hansioux says, there is always something outstanding…once a year. But really something.

I enjoy the news talk shows a lot. First of all, you have the subtitles. Second, the outlandish comments/topics. Mindboggling. At least they are not boring. They do not talk only about politics, but investments, health issues, cars, cool gadgets… and a lot of food.

Which gets me to the food and travel programs. So many of them! The whole range from really awful to not bad to really good. I like those too, but I feel pain for the foreigners involved if traveling locally.


I learnt so much Chinese from 康熙 . It was the only watchable show in the whole Chinese speaking world. Even then it was pretty stupid, but the hosts were smart and interesting. The dynamic was quite fun with them being a lot smarter than anyone else on the show.


Also watching 康熙 made me feel in touch with popular culture in both Taiwan and the Chinese speaking world. Now I’m distant


Kangsi represents everything that is wrong about the rich people of this country. It’s pure trash and I’m glad that it ended.

The bottom line is, Taiwanese tv shows are pretty much all unwatchable, though every once in a while some decent period drama would come up, which is a trend started fairly recently. They really should just air good tv shows or anime series from America and Japan. Especially the old ones, which are probably cheap, and classic.


Why do u say that? The so-called celebrities who do nothing (not the hosts)?


I detest the hosts. The guests were mostly awful as well.


Things Gain likes:

  1. The Bold, the Corrupt, the Beautiful (血觀音)

Things Gain dislikes:

  1. Everything else about Taiwan


Stop it.


Why do they represent everything bad about rich people?


Couldn’t agree more. 小S has got to be one of the most vain, brain-dead “celebrities” Taiwan has ever produced.


You are on multiple forums as the no 1’ I hate Taiwan Taiwaner’.
Which is pretty impressive. :slight_smile:


On the topic of television, at least, Taiwan deserves all the hatred it can get.


小s is so fucking crass. Not funny crass, but annoying crass. She’s part of the establishment (which you hate so much). Also, she’s vain and constantly showing disdain towards the lower class,
aka whoever isn’t waishengren.


Which is really something considering how low the bar is.