Sunday, January 31, 2010

A Beginner's Guide to Italian TV - Part 2

Part 1 can be found here.

Game Shows
Or 'i quiz' as the Italians call them, have always been very popular here, since the birth of Italian TV in 1954. RAI's Lascia o raddoppia? (The Italian The $64,000 Question), originally ran between 1955-1959 and still remains one of Italian TV's most well-known shows, and 3 remakes of it were shown in later years, in 1979, 1989 and 1990. Italians have a way of making game shows slightly over-complicated though... Affari tuoi, Italy's version of Deal or No Deal baffled me at first, even though during the last few months at home before moving to Italy I'd watch the British version pretty much every single day!! It was no fault of the language, I understood very nearly everything that was said - it was just that the programme seemed much more complicated than the British version! There are subtle differences, such as each contestant coming from a different region in Italy, and different prizes that can be won, but there are additions which would seem a bit random to someone who hadn't watched any, or much Italian TV - such as the famous cocodrillo making an appearance in this show too!! But even though they can be a bit too complicated, Italian game shows are handy for learning the language, for one thing, shows such as L'eredità (Rai Uno) and Italy's Who Wants to be a Millionaire, Chi vuol essere millionario (on Canale Cinque) have the questions and potential answers on screen, giving you a bit more time to scramble for your dictionary to find out what that new word means! Oh, just don't get me started on the dancing ladies though...!!

TG is what you'll see in the TV schedules for a news bulletin, it stands for telegiornale (tele from televisione, and giornale originally meaning 'newspaper'), and you'll notice that most of them are on at different times to the UK, later in the evening, when most Italians are having supper. So it could be that they're settling down to eat around 8pm, and will watch RAI Uno's news, or around 8.30 when RAI Due's bulletin's on. RAI Tre and Retequattro's TG's are on earlier, at 7pm and 6.55 respectively. And it's the same at lunchtime, you're guaranteed to catch a bulletin on one of the seven national stations if you have the TV on. If you're learning Italian I'd say stick to the RAI channels if you can, I won't go off on a Mediaset rant, but the newsreader on TG4 is genuinely very difficult to understand. When I was at uni, I found the language used on RAI Due's TGs to be the easiest to understand, even though I can't pinpoint why now unfortunately! TG3 carries local news after the main news bulletin, and you won't find a TG on Italia Uno, their news is called Studio aperto (literally 'Open Studio') instead.

Reality Shows
They may be less in number on Italian TV, but they're just as popular - and in the case of this year's Grande Fratello (Big Brother) there have been record viewing figures. As I discovered when I was in the X Factor audience back in October, Italy really likes to drag out its reality shows!! That edition of X Factor lasted a little longer than it usually did - it was an epic three and a half hours long! That was on a Wednesday night, from 9pm to 12.30am! That's another thing about realities here; Saturday night is the big reality show evening in the UK, but here they're almost all shown during the day, after the kids have come home from school, or on weekday evenings. Grande Fratello's shown Monday evenings on Canale Cinque, and this's another epic too, starting at 9pm and lasting until gone midnight!


Michelle | Bleeding Espresso said...

I had only the basic channels for my first few years here; TV life got better when I could afford Sky...I mean, it's still not fabulous, but it's *much* better with more choices at least :)

Nerys said...

Ah Sky... Sigh. It's out of my reach unfortunately, at least for now!!