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Dancing with the (red) Stars

September 22, 2011

“They say the tango tells a story. If that’s true, then yours was a soap opera.” – Some really pretentious judge on Vietnam’s Dancing with the Stars (but not Bước nhảy hoàn vũ, Vietnam’s actual “Dancing with the Stars”)

So I have a TV in my room. With cable. That I barely ever watch.

The number one reason for this, is that, of course, I don’t speak Vietnamese. Most of the channels on Vietnamese cable are, in fact, in this language (There are like 6 VTV channels alone). I do occasionally watch BBC news, but that’s about it for the TV.

But I have seen a fair amount of TV. One of the places that I see it is in the store down by the entrance to the dormitory complex, where the family happily accommodates me and Theo, my friend and fellow English teacher. They more or less became Theo’s adoptive family last year here, and are really nice despite the fact that the parents don’t speak any English. They also have a TV playing at most times, so I’ve watched my fair share of things there. Many restaurants also have tvs in them, so I’ve gotten glimpses of it while going out to eat.

Here’s what I can say about Vietnamese television so far:

-They love Mr. Bean. For some reason it’s playing, like, all the time on Disney Asia.

-Also, you get your choice of many American movie channels, most of which are playing terrible, terrible movies. I’ve seen good chunks of When In Rome and Home Alone 3. Ugh.

-On the other hand, I saw part of a Game of Thones episode. Not something I really expected to cross over.

-Vietnamese people, just like people everywhere else, love their contest TV.  This evening, I saw a good chunk of a Dancing with the Stars-like program (but apparently not the official Vietnamese DWTS). Theo also told me that apparently, Vietnam Idol is a huge thing here. It’s good to know that some things don’t change.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Gary Childs permalink
    September 23, 2011 2:36 am

    My wife likes watching game shows in other countries and other languages. We’ve seen our fair share in our travels. She especially likes (o.k., I do too…) the various versions of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. Don’t know if that show is still on or not, but there was something universally understandable, even if you don’t know the language its in.

  2. Peter Holm permalink
    September 23, 2011 5:58 am

    The real question is, do they have reality shows in Vietnam, or is that just a western thing?

  3. September 25, 2011 12:57 pm

    So you are there with Theo — cool! Are you guys teaching at the same school? Looking forward to reading more about your Vietnamese adventures.

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