Explain This Show to Me Please

I need help understanding a TV show my mom watches on weekdays on MBC, a Korean cable network we get here in Flushing. I don’t even know the name of the show, since the local TV listings seem to have garbled the time slots.

Each episode contains a handful of featurettes, about 10 minutes long, each following a different scandal/mystery/historical event. Most of these stories take place in the United States or another Western country. Tonight’s show featured the life of Marlon Brando, something about Hitler, Hollywood McCarthyism, and something about Obama’s approval rating after the Bin Laden assassination. A previous episode covered that white guy who robbed a bank last year wearing a realistic mask of a black man.

These particular stories contain reenactments in English, with Korean subtitles, starring white actors for whom English is clearly not their first language. (I missed parts of the Obama featurette, but it looks like they worked around their pesky lack of a black actor with some clever camerawork – and maybe a black mannequin head?) The result can only be described as A Current Affair meets Unsolved Mysteries, brought to you by the Tommy Wiseau players.

Side note: Though the acting and editing is laughable, my mom doesn’t seem to notice. This begs the question, Can you distinguish bad acting in a different language, with a different cultural backdrop? Who knows, maybe my mom thinks all native English speakers act like this: halting speech, with slightly delayed yet explosive, emotional reactions.

Oh, also the actors sometimes wear ridiculous wigs.

Pictured: The blacklisted Dalton Trumbo, presumably dying of shame from this wig.  (BTW, the best translation I could find for that text in the upper left corner is “40 years of awards,” which I can’t find any relevant results for on Google, and which may in fact be a tribute to the station or something else rather than the show.)

Anyway, I’d really like for someone to explain to me the overall tone of the show, since I don’t 100% trust the pulpy presentation. (Aside from the bad acting, each vignette features lots of grainy black & white photos of things like CIA documents, sliding across the screen repeatedly.) I want to know if this show is pushing some dangerous agenda, and if I should advise my mom to take it with a grain of salt, or perhaps even flip over to one of the other 2 or 3 Korean channels that are available.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Explain This Show to Me Please

  1. Okay so this must be the same show my husband and I were dying laughing over the other day. We were flipping through the channels and saw what I assume was Michael Jordan’s story. However, the actor playing Michael Jordan was clearly the only native English speaker.

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