01 July 2011


I feel so behind the times here in Singapore, which is ironic since we are at least half a day ahead of those we left behind. World news is available, but I have to actively seek information. For instance, we have a handful of televised news channels available, but only because we selected the News group in our cable package. If we had not, we would not have a single televised news option. I make a point to get online each day to check CNN and our local newspaper’s online edition just to verify that Africa is still in turmoil and Wills and Kate are still making their rounds. CNN does broadcast Piers Morgan, but I miss my 6 a.m. American Morning team because they are not available here. And I really miss CBS’ Sunday Morning.

There are a lot more U.S. shows broadcast here than I would have expected. Channels like FOX, FX, Warner Classic (now CW in the U.S.) and Universal feature many of the shows we did follow. FOX is the catch-all channel that broadcasts NCIS, White Collar, and Bones, which we just started watching and really enjoy. Reality and “trashy” shows can be found on another channel; we recently subscribed to E! and Style so that I can get my Guiliana and Bill fix.

Show times are quite different than before. In the U.S., we had a simple system – shows either started on the hour or on the half hour and were slotted in 30-minute increments. Here, shows can start at 8:50, 8:55, 9, 9:05, 9:10… Some have commercials and some play through without interruption. Primetime shows are broadcast nightly instead of weekly, so seasons only last a few weeks instead of several months. The Singaporean TV stations do help by displaying the season number in each of the titles. For instance, I have recently seen commercials for Grey’s Anatomy 7, which begins its run next week. Spoiler Alert: Since I already saw a few episodes, I can tell you that Derek will survive his gunshot wounds.

While watching a little E! News last night, I noticed a new slide at the beginning of the show – a warning that the upcoming broadcast had flashing images that could cause convulsions for epileptics. I was a bit confused and then chuckled a little to myself. And then I learned that Kim Kardashian was engaged and not to the Aussie bodyguard. See? Behind the times.

I am sure I will catch up to the other side of the world eventually. I am expanding my “social circle” as I attend new events and join more organizations around the island. I am also beginning to apply for jobs, so I know that I will be more up on the news once I am enthralled in a new position and interacting with a lot of people on a daily basis. My life certainly does not revolve around TV, and I am not debating on which couch cushion to dent this summer, but I do like to be in the know when it comes to the important issues. 

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