French television - watching television in France

French television is generally not good, but no worse than the UK and probably better than the US. After a year or two I stopped noticing dubbing any more except on very cheap programmes.

The news is on most channels at 8pm (weather around 8.50pm), and is similar to UK news, except that interviews with politicians are much less confrontational.

Films are usually on at 8.40pm and often feature a large family living in the countryside just before or after the 'deuxieme guerre mondial' (second world war). Not often thrilling. France has a very large film industry, much bigger than the UK. Once or twice a week US blockbuster films are often shown.

There are lots of detective type programmes, frequently featuring a woman as the boss. La femme est un Flic, Le Juge est une Femme and so on. Not quite sure if that represents the reality of the French police system. Some good, some bad. Also some US imports (Les Experts, FBI Portés Disparus, NY Section Criminelle as we call them and you may recognise under different names

 
 

Reality shows, chat shows and quiz shows are the same in all countries I think.

French comedy is one thing I have not grasped. Belonging to the Morecambe and Wise era, comedy is unsophisticated, sarcasm almost unheard of and farce is popular. I have never successfully made a sarcastic or ironic comment to a French person, although perhaps my comments lose something in the translation.

Breakfast TV on TF2 is quite easy to follow and often relatively interesting and informative.

Late night serious debating programmes are common but you might prefer an early night.

Almost all areas are now covered by TNT - free digital televison channels received via a normal antenna and a decoder (new televisions have the decoder built in, otherwise they can be bought for around 4 euros). TNT adds about 20 additional channels, and there is usually something watchable if you search hard enough! Quite a few 'modern' programs are also available in multiple languages in digital TNT, look for VM in your tele-guide.