I cannot profess to be an expert on Thai television, because I can’t bear to watch it, but I have been force fed portions of it over the twelve years that I have been here. Naturally, having spent the last twelve years here, I cannot compare Thai television with its counterpart back in the UK.
Not that I ever liked British daytime television, when I saw it. One of the problems here for me is that daytime and evening television seem to be the same. Perhaps they just repeat the previous evening’s schedule the following afternoon. I don’t know.
Thai television relies a lot on soaps and game shows, but especially soaps. However, it is hard for someone like me to follow them because the same actors will often play in several of them.
I once read someone’s breakdown of the plots of all Thai soaps and it was spot on, but I can neither remember nor find it for you. However, I will try my own version.
Most of the soaps are dominated by awful rich families slapping each other about and crying. This usually comes about because a rich boy almost runs down or rescues from a fate worse than death, a beautiful poor girl. He falls in love with her at first sight, but is, of course, already engaged.
She, on the other hand, takes a lot of persuading to like him, but after a few forced embraces and kisses, succumbs. This leads to the girlfriend and (both) sets of parents taking conflicting stances.
And that sums up all the soap storylines in a nutshell.
However, the worst aspect of Thai television is shared with many European countries and that is the dubbing of foreign films. Dubbing does a nation a huge disservice. I learned Dutch to a passable level in months by reading Asterix The Gaul and watching films with subtitles. It is surprising how many words stick when you hear the English and follow the subtitles matching them up.
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All the best,
Podcast: Thai Television