Unintelligent Taiwan prime time tv shows

You know what I think is really weird? The fact that those variety shows in Taiwan are SO popular.

I find them silly, of no value, and often times an insult to my intelligence (on the occasion when I do try to watch and understand why people like them so much). What I am curious to know is… am I being a SNOB, or do other people feel that way as well?

Coming from the U.S. where popular prime time shows often are indicative of the current state of American lifestyle and culture (example Friends, Survivor, etc.), I can’t help but wonder if the word “silliness” is an unfair and relative judgement call on my part. Come to think of it, Taiwan films/movies are the same.

What’s up with that. Someone education me please.

Life imitates art and art imitates life.

When I moved here to Taiwan, I’ve become boob tube celibate with the kind of TV shows they feature here. I have ceased my what-used-to-be consuming love affair with the idiot box, lest I become one .

The mindless variety show format isn’t unique to Taiwan – it’s really big in the Philippines, too! (And the Philippines is often described to have been heavily influenced by American pop culture)

Growing up in Manila, I remember how people so looked to these shows, although they were scheduled for lunchtime instead of primetime.

So… is it fair to say that Taiwan pop culture is silly, and unintelligent?

Lighten up people. Somebody mentioned the Philipenes? Well who invented the format? Ever heard of the Family Fued, how about Laugh 'in? How do you think those shows would look to a non-english speaker? And what about “Friends” and “Survivor”? Are these the intellectual standards by which American popular culture should be evaluated? No, they’re just crappy TV shows. I dont watch them, and I dont imagine too many cool Taiwanese people my age are wasting their time watching “Super Sunday” either. Lets all face it: TV sucks.

I really like those shows. One of my favorite is called “huan tian le” or something like that. That have a section where they lock famous stars in a clear plexiglass box with a giant balloon. It keeps expanding and squeezing the two stars into a corner of the box and then it finally explodes, causing the stars’ ear drums to rupture and bleed. It is really funny. One time they locked “Hsu Huai Yu”, a.k.a. Yuki, in the box and she started crying. Which I felt was appropriate revenge for her annoying songs and slight moustache. Also they have a section where they hide wasabi in various foods and the stars have to eat it and pretend like it tastes good. And finally my favorite part is where they bring in four 15 year old girls and you get to vote on the one with the best looking skin or the best looking smile or the one that looks the oldest or the one with the best legs or the one with…It is really excellent stuff. I can’t get enough of it. Fortunately they still show it on the Phoenix channel here in Shanghai (where I now live) so I do not have to miss a single episode. I think this show will probably also help to ease cross strait tensions. In fact, I think the whole issue could be solved by having Jiang Ze Min and Chen Shui Bian eat food with wasabi and pretend like they like it. I don’t know how exactly that would solve cross strait tensions, but it would certainly be wacky fun. And finally, don’t ever let anyone tell you that watching these shows will rot your brain and make you an idiot…

Uh…Taiwan’s shows are not too out there if you compare them to Jerry Springer or Ricki Lake from the states…so let’s just accept the fact that there are “good” vs “bad” shows anywhere you go. Instead, ponder a bit on what type of audience that are actually watching these various shows and in turn helping with the ratings.

If you are what you eat, then what about what you read, hear, see =)?

Not being an owner of a TV in Taiwan, are there good shows on TV too? Like in America yes there are good shows like ER, but there are just as many if not more stupid shows. Luckily the people who watch the stupid shows don’t work and so the stupid shows are on in the middle of the day. Do they have personal injury lawyers commercials on during the stupid shows?

I have the “pleasure” of watching Taiwan TV soaps on occasion as my girlfriend likes them so much.

One thing about them, where did these people learn to act?..talk about crap acting. Everytime they are talking it seems they are perfomring a silioquy from a Shakespeare play…as firstly they never look at eachother when they are talking and secondly they are so melodramatic.

it is not just the acting but the entire direction and plots are terrible

Well, Taiwan certainly hasn’t cornered the market on unintelligent prime time TV! I surfed channels in Germany and came across similar stuff. They just did it in lederhosen. Same went for Austria and Switzerland. Those dueling yodellers can really get to a road-weary traveller.
As for TV in the US, most of it’s crap–too stinking graphic and depressing. Plus if they make another show revolving around hot-shot lawyers and the legal system, I’m gonna puke. Not to mention “Friends” and “Ally McBeal”. How shallow can it get? All the characters think about is fulfilling the urges of their private parts. How boring…
Although I think I need to thank the UK for letting us have “Whose line is it anyway?”. How’s that for unintelligent TV? But it’s a hoot!
Doesn’t acting on soaps suck world-wide? I think some of those older women who’ve been on the same US soap since the 50s or 60s look like death warmed over with their faces dunked in five layers of Max Factor pancake makeup. Who wants to watch one of those old bats interfere with lives of the third generation of her devil spawn?
I’m trying to remember the name of that really popular costume drama on Taiwan TV. The one with the big guy as the main character that had like a long fumanchu–it must still be on–the older folks really like it–what the heck is that called?

I think with the over abundance of lawyers in America they make a big enough demographic to make the lawyer shows get good ratings. :J)

Ally McBeal is disturbing. Everyone on that show is weird looking and they all act the same. And the writers are lazy because all they do is say something and then pause for a minute and then complete thier sentence.

Agree, most rubbish in form of TV shows comes from the US and other countries just follow and adapt. Sure, there is a handful of local productions, too, but most are IMHO copies and thus the fault of being silly and boring (=crap) is because the American originals are - and there are quite a few out there which haven’t been copied (yet).

My girlfriend occasionally gets into the “period soaps,” the ones in dynastic or sometimes early modern China and usually revolve around a romantic interest and kung-fu, so I’ve seen a few of those and I rather like them. They’re melodramatic and often predictable and the acting is usually bad (it doesn’t help that some of the actors are from Hong Kong and have to be dubbed into Mandarin), but they’re kind of fun. They don’t take themselves very seriously nor do they have any high brow pretensions. Plus the girls are pretty and the fight scenes are pretty good.

Like most Hong Kong movies they’re a B movie pleasure. Raise a glass of beer and lower your expectations.

That said I’ve very rarely seen anything serious that was good.

France, which is the only other foreign country I have lived in, has its share of stupid programs. The first ones that come to mind are “Le Big Deal” with the big green or purple monster on a screen with a voice that would make Barney sound like he was the one who came up with the theory of special relativity or “Va Savoir” with a bunch of French kids riding around the French countryside in a yellow bus with “Va Savoir” painted on the side which is French for ‘reject kids that were cute in a really obtuse way but too stupid to land a real acting job’ going to various scientific places and asking questions with badly chosen, badly placed Beatles songs blasting over their voices threatening to drown them out. The opening theme song to this horrendous program: “The Magical Mystery Tour”. “Bonjour, Monsieur Leroux. Nous avons des questions de notre-BABY YOU CAN DRIVE MY CAR BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP YEAH!”

Of course, I like watching the soap operas with the girls stand with their eyes looking upward like they’re thinking (or maybe just trying to remember what their next line is) or are hiding behind bridges, trees, trashcans, stop signs, peeing dogs, etc while they do a voice-over about a guy they are spying on. Or the one I saw last night where a guy took the girl’s hand and she was late on doing her double take so it looked extremely ridiculous. I can’t understand what they are saying yet and I can’t read characters fast enough to catch all of the words (“wo something something you water+roof+field+heart+some-radical-I-don’t-know-yet something peng you something…damn! Here we go again! Nin something…”)
I watch the obscure (for good reasons) American movies which is improving my Chinese reading because I have the English being said and I translate it in my head with the characters so that it’s almost automatic now while asking myself “Why in the hell would someone have bothered subtitling and exporting this steaming pile of cinematography poo?” The glut of imported American movies have just as bad, if not worse acting than the local programming.

They have “Reading a Chinese newspaper” classes…Has anyone thought of a more useful “Reading Chinese subtitles” or “Speedreading Hanzi as it flashes on a screen 101” class yet?

Originally posted by Tai Le Meiguoren: I watch the obscure (for good reasons) American movies which is improving my Chinese reading because I have the English being said and...
Be careful, you can't trust subtitles if they are on foreign language footage! As with everything, the companies doing the subtitles try to save money and this might be the result: - Lawrence of Arabia, Prince Feisal says to Lawrence "What I need now is a miracle.", but the subtitle reads "What I need now is an American." OK, some people will claim that's the same... - Tonari no Totoro (japanese anime), right in the beginning after the truck passed someone in uniform on a bicycle Satsuki says "It wasn't a police man." which in Japanese reads "O mawari san ja nakatta." The subtitle however says "It isn't (wasn't) you." The translator probably heard "O mae san ja nakatta", which is nonsens, because "o mae" (you) as a familiar or rude address would never have a "san" attached. (This "bug" does not appear on the DVDs now available, those are made by Studio Ghibli themselves. You can find it on the previously available VHS, VCD and (actually unlicensed) DVDs.) Just two examples... If you like to find more, just buy a few VCD or cheaper DVD. This way you can also stop and replay...

I’d like to say that the Chinese subtitles of foreign movies have gotten a lot better in the last few years. Unfortunately for copyright reasons, movie theater subtitles and videotape/DVD subtitles are done differently. And it seems like they make more money in the movie theaters, because they’re always MUCH better than the subtitles on videotapes.

That being said, there are still a fair of obvious mistakes. (The only one I can think of off the top of my head was Chicken Run – “what we need is thrust” was translated into “what we need is trust”… and the ‘Friends’ Season 1 DVD; just awful, awful translating… I think the guy just didn’t get the humor.)

Originally posted by LittleIron:

quote[quote]"what we need is thrust" was translated into "what we need is thrust"[/quote]

Yeah, I watch Friends DVDs with my gf - she likes the wry comments and sarcasm, (says it helps her understand why I speak the way I do - could she BE any more mistaken? ), but the Chinese subtitles aren’t very good. I remember the phrase “having to beat off the girls with a stick” being translated as “beating girls to death with a bat!” An honest mistake, but one that would have been caught by a professional. I like reading bad subtitles because it keeps me on my linguistic toes. BTW Friends Season 3 is out now. Good mindless fluff.

Someone once told me that the subtitles for the movie “Much Ado About Nothing” with Emma Thompson, Denzel and Kenneth Branagh were excellent - no small task, considering that the dialogue moved back and forth between “modern” and Shakespearean speech.

One thing I liked about HK subtitles in movie theatres is that they always used to underline proper names. Made things a lot easier to understand for a novice. Do they still do that?

Originally posted by Tai Le Meiguoren: France, which is the only other foreign country I have lived in...

You mean other than America?