Saturday, 5 December 2009

Good TV...

...there WAS such a thing in Greece you know; once. Anyone who knows me above and beyond a casual greeting, knows I hold the 80s and early 90s close to my heart, because they featured some of the best children programs ever to air in Greece, not least among them foreign cartoons that were subtitled and NOT translated (except "The Smurfs", "Les Mondes Engloutis" and the Japanese stuff). I learned my first English (and quite a bit of it too) from "Blackstar", "He-Man", "She-Ra", the "Thundercats" and "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles".

However, as the 90s wore on, cartoons were moved much earlier in the morning and a number of other shows started appearing, featuring mostly comedy, slapstick or otherwise, lots of parody based on current news, as well as the first Greek sitcoms, executed in the rich theatrical tradition of our country - we did not know otherwise and man... it was actually really, really good!

Let me do a bit of recapping: after a rather long and kind of unpleasant day, my parents and I went to get stuffed, in which endeavor we succeeded and which event chemical letdown and lethargy follow. When we got back home, the net was acting up and I was too drowsy to read, so I resorted to zapping through some TV channels, which I rarely do any more, unless I watch Discovery Channel, National Geographic or FOX Life on the satellite. Don't get me wrong: I watch TV series on the PC, but Greek TV is 95% trash (including many newscasts). However, this time I stumbled on what one of the regular channels (and I believe, the first private one in Greece) calls "Friday All-Nighters".

It's actually reworked footage from a number of old MEGA Channel series and shows, around different themes, for the celebration of 20 years since the channel's founding. Besides still being infinitely entertaining and genuinely funny, the footage made me notice something, mostly because of its lack in today's shows: the people doing them were having fun. It's right there, not just on their faces, but in their liveliness and creativity: pure, truckloads of fun. The reason why these shows still evoke the same feeling, fresh as ever, is because the people making them had put their hearts in there, much unlike pretty much everything (with a few notable exceptions that confirm the rule) produced for Greek TV today.

I haven't much more to say: our current standard TV fare is mostly imported and adapted trash, like reality shows (thank God that trend finally passed), gossip shows "talent" shows and pointless political yammering talk-shows, mostly devoid of meaning. However, it seems TV WAS once fun, as much making it as it was watching it.

Past perfect,


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