Tag Archives: pearl

Olympic Fail, Hong Kong style

10 Aug

london flagWhat an epic two weeks of sport eh? I love how London is revelling in its position at the centre of the world again – its stately monuments and beautiful city-scapes beamed across the planet to the envy of, well, people, everywhere. I’m loving how the worst premonitions of a Games dominated by greed and dirty commercial interest has given way to the sheer unadulterated joy of Great Britain suddenly, collectively, realising it is great at something – two things actually – putting on a show and winning at sport. Yeah, for all our cynicism and shoulder shrugging, we do actually like to see our boys and girls kick some ass – even if it is at mainly sitting-down sports like horse gymnastics and cycling.

I say I’m loving all this of course but I can’t really comment since Hong Kong TV isn’t showing a BLOODY THING! I take that back, if endless table tennis and badminton matches are your bag then you’ve come to the right place. It is an unmitigated, shameful broadcasting disaster with the laughable banner “A Games for All”. Err, not quite. A Games for none of the tens of thousands of TV subscribers on the island that aren’t locals. Even the most biased domestic broadcaster surely has some kind of public interest remit to switch occasionally to see what the host nation’s up to?

Nope, not a bit of it here. Not even a sniff of Andy Murray’s amazing men’s tennis final, zero football and virtually no track and field. To add insult to injury, the bi-lingual commentary in the studio involves the English anchor team relegated to what looks like a glass-fronted break-out room on a mezzanine behind the main presenters – you can just about see them if you squint really hard.

So that’s my Games. Am probably better off following Samuel L Jackson’s excitable Tweets than switching on Hong Kong TV. Still, hope you’re having fun. I wonder if I can apply for a refund on my London Council Tax for the past decade?

Hong Kong TV is rubbish

27 Jun

tv setI sometimes catch myself longing for the good old days. I know everyone does but it always comes as a bit of a surprise as I was adamant at the time I bloody hated it. The days when Geordies formed the creative heart of our nearly teams in Italia 90 and Euro 96; when summers in the garden lasted forever; when tea was always on the table when you got back from school; and, quite frankly, when life was something that would probably take shape once all the laughing had finally stopped…

Back then I watched an inordinate amount of telly, due in no small part to there being no internet, and therefore no internet porn, available, and the remembrance of TV shows is usually all it takes to kick-start another nostalgia fest. I especially loved the public service adverts of the 70s and early 80s.

As Charlie Brooker has pretty much dissected these to within an inch of their lives I won’t revisit old ground, suffice as to say these sometimes sinister, sometimes hilarious pieces of inter-programme fluff were the backdrop to my early yoof. They have pretty much disappeared from our screens in the UK, aside from the odd warning on Scotch TV about indulging in too much offal, heroin and Buckfast, but the same is most definitely not true in Hong Kong.

Now I hate to use the term ‘Nanny State’, but the public service adds here do a disservice to the intelligence of the public. I cannot imagine, for example, why one should need reminding about leaking air conditioning units, illegal ‘temporary structures’, the dangers of letting your kids watch TV unaccompanied by an adult, or why everyone should THINK TWICE before “authorising others to handle their London gold account”. Even an ad warning of the dangers of ketamine – possibly valid – ends up straying into hilarity as the kids who takes the evil horse tranquiliser is depicted wetting himself on a merry-go-round. Brilliant.

Other broadcasting gems include one ad purporting to show parents the right way to pay for their child’s education – ie not to a dodgy looking geezer claiming to represent a school you’ve never heard of and carrying a bag marked ‘swag’. Or how about that old classic, unlicensed columbaria fraudsters? Yes, apparently part-time crims are lying in wait at your local cemetery to sell you plots to place your dear departed’s ashes which are not theirs to sell. Seriously. There is a TV ad for this!

Being as I have the cheapest TV package available, I am treated to the wonders of Pearl and ATV here in Hong Kong, which means re-reruns of Desperate Housewives and CSI interspersed with desperately bad Chinese shows translated into halting English such as Ramble Round the Southern Guangdong Green Way, or, one for the kids, Ming the Minibus. And Monday night wouldn’t be the same without Korean Hour, sponsored by the Korean Agriculture and Fisheries Ministry. Bring it on.