How Japanese Drama, British TV Shows and Other Entertainment Made Me More Culturally Diverse

I remember when we first got cable that had at least 100 channels. I was sitting in the living room with the TV on one evening noticing that I had nothing interesting to watch. I put on a British channel and got hooked on their comedies, dramas and even the news. It was different, quirky at times but more interesting than the usual fare on the networks I was used to. Then I gave Japanese drama a chance. I said that I was going to pick something I might like and watch at least seven episodes. Well, after getting familiar with the cultural differences, I really started to like it.

Don’t get me wrong. I still have my American favorites. I even have some Canadian favorite shows. Many people watching some of the B networks in America do not even realize that some of the shows they like are produced in Canada with Canadian actors. If you like our neighbors to the north and their TV, then our neighbors out in the Pacific might just be your speed too. One of the things that holds people back is a lack of familiarity with cultural idioms.

When I would watch the British shows, I would look up things I heard them say. I remember one show saying, “Bob’s your uncle.” I had no idea what it really meant, but I guessed from the context that it was sort of like us saying, “And the next thing you know . . .” when describing something. The same goes for Japanese drama shows. And a really neat thing is how you grow in understanding cultural diversity. I think it makes us better human beings to get to know each other and our varied ways. Sure, dramas are going to stick to cultural extremes for the sake of the story lines, but there are subtleties there that we can learn too. Expand your horizons for entertainment beyond just the normal American fare.