Tag Archives: Discovery Channel

Monkey See

monkey

So what’s on television?

Korean television is 40 percent people eating/cooking, 30 percent dramas, and 30 percent celebrities talking or singing, or being in any format where they’d end up just chatting or singing. That breakdown is a tad unscientific, but it’s basically all that I see whenever my wife channel surfs. Lately, there have been a couple of trends: having foreigners who speak Korean on television, and having celebrities’ children go about their everyday life. All in all, there’s nothing too compelling.

Some people say that Japanese television is also the same, just people eating or watching celebrities react to different topics. But I don’t really watch too much Japanese television.

There are foreign channels here but they are simply awful. There’s Discovery Channel, National Geo, and TLC. So if you want to learn about panning for gold, ghost hunting, or baking cupcakes, you got your channels. Local stations would show different CSIs, NCIS, and other network dramas, but not so much of the amazing Renaissance television has been experiencing on cable.

For years, all of my viewing entertainment has been on the Internet. I’ve become one of those people that would just watch whole seasons of shows within a week. Thank you, Internet. I’ve gotten access to long dead shows and movies that people don’t really hear too much about. These shows probably wouldn’t have been broadcast in Korean television. But then again, they probably wouldn’t have been broadcast in Canadian television either. Do they still show reruns of Curb Your Enthusiasm? Last time I was in Canada, I wasn’t too impressed with what my sister had on television. She was watching OWN.

Speaking of sister, she was watching a lot of Filipino television as well. The shows seem to be very celebrity driven as opposed to being about good writing. There’s a lot of melodrama and schlock. Like everything, it could be good in small doses, but I’m not sure about a steady diet.

I also stayed with my best friend while in Canada and she’s content with just having Netflix. I guess much like me, she prefers to watch seasons of shows or have a movie playing. She’s not much for keeping up with what’s on on television either. I guess it’s not just me being here in South Korea that’s driven my viewing to the Internet. I guess it’s the future of the media.

In any case, if you’re in Korea, the Internet is vital. Otherwise, you’d either be watching a lot of Koreans eating things or you’ll simply be getting a lot more reading done.

I recently saw the latest Planet of the Apes film. I really like where they’re going with this franchise.

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Hound

doberman

I’ve been really productive since I got back from Canada. Art, art, make art. Get it done, Joseph. Draw, sculp, do anything! I’d better go nuts on art now before I get all lazy again.

The problem with us people who don’t make art for a living is that neglecting art or being “lazy” involves the business of living in the real world: working, working extra jobs, working out, working on my relationship, working on the hidden dungeon on a Playstation game, working, working, working!!! It take a special kind of dedication and inspiration to stop “working” and start making art. So I guess I should make art while I’m still inspired.   Epiphany, most television is vapid and uninspired. I realize that’s not the most insightful of revelations, but it truly dawned on me yesterday when I was having lunch with my wife while she channel surfed through Korean shows and commercials. They all feature the same celebrities (I see less than twenty people on Korean TV ALL of the time!), the same annoying music, and the same canned sounds of oohs, ahhs, and laughter. I was a bit annoyed at how she can’t just stick to one channel and how it’s a tad inconsiderate of her to just mindlessly surf through shows which I mostly A. don’t understand and B. don’t really care to understand at all. Watching Korean dramas doesn’t really inspire me to learn Korean at all. I don’t care who is pregnant, who is dating who, and what taboo is being broken for ratings this month.

But then it dawned on me, is western television really any better? Granted, there are great shows on television right now, with TV enjoying a great renaissance in terms of inspired writing, but a lot of it is also mindless, boring entertainment. From the pseudo-inspirational OWN and the dumbed-down Discovery Channel, to the commercialism of MTV, I just come out feeling dumb and bored.

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