Television Programs that Work Everywhere but the USA

Walk into any restaurant that serves food from another nation and you might be treated to sitting beneath a television set playing programs from the cuisine’s home country. Unless you speak the language you will probably wonder what is going on. It does not matter from which country this food originated from, outside of the United States are there certain programs that seem to be popular everywhere.

Soap Operas

Soap operas certainly have their audience in the United States, but not nearly to the degree they do once you cross borders. In Central and South American countries, the soap opera is primetime television. The United States has kept these shows to daytime exclusive, calling anything airing at night a drama, even when it does have similarities to the soap operas. In many ways this is the same way comic books differ from graphic novels, a silly argument to ever make. The biggest difference between a soap opera and an actual dramatic television show is that a soap opera will go on forever, revolving a new cast in whenever necessary. For whatever reason, this does not work in the United States with the mainstream audience. Blame our attention spans.

Anything Soccer

Americans keep it no secret that soccer will never be a major sport here. The rest of the world however, they have never had a problem embracing the game. Perhaps it is because Americans can get everything that soccer has to offer from the other sports. Again, we can also blame the short attention spans. Americans like their sports fast, their athletes big, and the scoreboard lit up. Soccer does not give us these things and that is why it works everywhere else and not here. Aside from basketball, we also seem to have trouble enjoying sports with men in shorts.

Physical Game Shows

There are plenty of American produced game shows. The real difference from the ones produced in America and overseas is the style of game. Japan, the king of wacky game shows where people are put in peril, has some of the most original game shows out there. So much so are the Japanese game shows that ‘Most Extreme Elimination Challenge’ used footage from the 1980s game show ‘Takeshi’s Castle’ and dubbed over the voices to create its own unique comedy. America does have ‘Wipeout’ airing in the primetime hour among other shows. Still it is overseas, Japan in particular, where these game shows that test a person’s durability are much more prevalent and popular.

Variety Shows

The variety show comes in many different forms. There are comedies with a recurring cast, talent searches, and pageants. Although in recent years talent search shows have become extremely popular, there is still a difference between them. Foreign talent searches appear happier and less like producers are behind the scenes declaring a winner instead of the audience vote. Beauty pageants never reach the mainstream here because in America, beauty is rewarded on a daily basis with job promotions and discounts. We do enjoy our competition though, usually involving the largest pumpkin or pig that can do the most unique trick.

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