Saturday, November 18, 2006

Vietnamese Game Shows

Clearing through some stacks of stuff on my desk, including an interesting L.A. Times article from a couple weeks ago about the popularity of quiz shows in Vietnam.

Excerpt: Vietnam is awash in television game shows. Its eight major TV stations air more than 50 of them, many in prime time. There are programs geared toward children, or teens, or seniors. Some cater to niche audiences, such as the show that tests soldiers on military life — still revered in this nominally communist nation. The game shows reflect Vietnam's rapid economic development. In the last decade, a middle class has emerged. Pit toilets are giving way to modern conveniences, cars are replacing motorcycles, and 90% of Vietnamese households have television sets. Game shows are helping to influence Vietnam's first TV generation just as television transformed American culture in the 1950s. In a society where education is seen as the way to economic freedom, Vietnamese say these TV programs serve as mass education. They are teaching people about world history, healthful living and modern lifestyles.

I think we all know that when it really comes down to it, whoever the Bob Barker of Vietnam is is going to be the emblem of that which toppled communism. Go television!

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