TV Traveller Blog - Matt Graham

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“Don’t bite the hand that feeds you”

16/05/13

For a long time, Scandinavia has been the home of sophisticated dramas like BORGEN, but a new Danish show has recently upset this trend, and provoked outrage in the Scandinavian country.  Named after its notorious creator, Thomas Blachman, BLACHMAN features the former Danish X Factor judge and a male studio guest discussing the relative pros and cons of naked women who are paraded by on stage in front of them.  The women featured on the show range from attractive young singles to an 85 year old.   The …Read more...

The Revolution will not be Televised…

09/05/13

In January of this year, Doha-based news-corporation Al Jazeera bought Current TV, and announced its intention to scrap its programming in preparation for the start of its own “Al Jazeera America” channel.  This major development in the US news scene has called into question the survival of a group that the channel hosted and which have become in their own words “the largest online news show network in the world.”  Current TV hosts their regular air program THE YOUNG TURKS WITH CENK UYGUR, and without it, the group …Read more...

Where soap operas kill…

02/05/13

  “LOVE IN PARIS”, a coproduction between Indonesian production house Evitek and France’s TV5 is a demonstration of how popular Indonesia’s soap operas, known as Sinetron have become.  You can see a publicity image from it above; an Instagram era fantasy about beautiful young Indonesians falling in love in the City of Light. It trades on fantasy and escapism – the things that its target audience want. Paris, as everyone who’s been there (or seen the show) knows, is a Paradise on Earth where everyone falls in love and all …Read more...

Jacob’s Cross: South Africa’s Cain and Abel.

26/04/13

  This image is from JACOB’S CREEK, one of the hit shows on South African pay per view channel, M-NET.  M-NET is one of Africa’s media success stories, that with its imprint, ‘Africa Magic’, shows largely locally made programming like modern South Africa’s first soap, EGOLI.  It’s recently expanded its operations into Nigeria, and in doing so has cornered the continent’s two most vital broadcasting zones.  MNET has its origins prior to the end of Apartheid (President Botha once famously declared that he would make sure MNET never …Read more...

Angola’s own SEX AND THE CITY…

19/04/13

DIRECT FLIGHT (VOO DIRECTO) was one in a series of big budget telenovela coproductions between RTP Portugal and Angolan production house Semba Communications and state broadcaster TPA. The show ran in late 2010 and at one point achieved a 9.1% audience share in Portugal, simultaneously setting a new benchmark for Angolan local drama, which is practically non-existent. The very fact that DIRECT FLIGHT was made at all is quite astonishing; in a male dominated country with almost no history of any kind of television drama, this remarkable show emerged appealing …Read more...

There’s a reason why Turkish drama is SO good…

12/04/13

When her husband’s plane goes down with no survivors, a young wife’s perfect existence is destroyed.  However, a few days later, she discovers by chance that he never actually got on the plane…so begins the hit new Turkish series SON (“THE END”).  It’s just been acquired for a US adaptation by production company Sander Moses, as Turkish drama  finally reaches the West.  You can see the Turkish trailer here:   For Western observers unfamiliar with Turkish drama, one of the first questions is “what is it about Turkish drama that has made it …Read more...

24 comes to India…

31/03/13

English language shows account for a very small percentage on Indian television and the viewership for these shows is also quite small. However, frequently, western formats do very well on the small screen – Who Wants to be a Millionaire, Big Brother, Masterchef, Survivor, and many more. So far, however, India’s purchase of format rights has been confined to the arena of quiz shoes and reality TV – this is all set to change however with India’s version of 24, being aired straight after the Cricket IPL this …Read more...

UHURU !! Kenya’s struggle for broadcasting independence continues…

26/03/13

Below you can see a clip from the soap opera MALI:   MALI has already been mentioned in a previous blog which looked at how the East African nation of Kenya has had to learn to fight the influence of foreign programming that stifles local productions. MALI is one of Kenya’s main attempts to do this – and to compete with the Mexican and now Philippino soap operas which dominate the East African country’s airwaves.  These telenovelas are especially popular in the country, especially with the vital female demographic who watch a good …Read more...

Where Beauty Reigns supreme — the expanding power of the Asia Novelas…

22/03/13

“In a world where Beauty Reigns Supreme…” so begins the tag line for TV5’s new drama GLAMOROSA which takes place in one of the world’s ugliest businesses: plastic surgery. GLAMOROSA is a primetime Philippine drama series about two rival female surgeons, Dr. Natalia Herrera and Dr. Paulina Valdez-Marciano, and the show follows the explosive competition between them, and the mystery girl, Giselle, who turns up with a dark secret. The wealthy Herrera family were responsible for the murder of Paulina’s family in a feud, and in reality, just …Read more...

A Critical Assignment…for Africa.

19/03/13

Ten years ago in 2003 a wave of publicity rocked Africa to promote the first ever ‘Pan African’ blockbuster film “Critical Assignment” – a big budget African action movie with Western production values and African cast and crew. You can see the trailer for it here:   This film was the media event of its generation. “Critical Assignment” was heralded by critics internationally as a new beginning — the first in a wave of new “Pan African movies” – that would place the continent on the map.  A …Read more...

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