Tales from Suburban Bohemia: Television
This post originally appeared on Stumpy Moose on 2 December, 2001, and was migrated to PraguePig.com on 18 December, 2018.
We spend far too much of our time in Prague watching television so I thought I’d waste even more of my time writing about it here.
We only get four TV channels at home — Czech Television’s CT1 and CT2, Nova, and Prima.
Czech Television is state-funded, and roughly equivalent to the BBC. Some of the programmes seem pretty interesting and if we spoke better Czech we’d probably watch more of it.
Because of our lack of language skills, however, we often end up watching the commercial stations, Nova and Prima.
Nova, the Czech Republic’s most popular station, is dreadful. Prima is even worse.
Nova’s huge success is built on a relentless dedication to the lowest common denominator. Garbage from around the world fights for positions on the schedules.
Latin American soap operas and lifeless live football games rub shoulders with sadistic German cop shows and endless Czech variety shows, and there always seems to be room for a few episodes of Jake and the Fatman.
For a long time Prima was the poor relation, but it’s been gaining ground for the last couple of years.
Prima’s big breakthrough was Komisar Rex, a dubbed Austrian show about a police dog, notable for its jaunty theme tune (“When a dog takes over control”) and undertones of sexual perversity (serial killers who dress their victims as dolls, etc.).
It’s rumoured that Nova’s owners now unofficially also control Prima. The two stations are certainly becoming more similar.
Both station’s regional news shows, for instance, both try to squeeze as much gory car crash footage as possible into a five-minute slot.
Prima has nothing to rival Nova’s infamous naked weather girl, however. She’s no classy lady but she’s all woman.
She pops up between 10:30pm and 11pm, totally nude, and puts on clothes according to how cold it’s going to be the following day.
If you want to know more, American columnist Dave Barry wrote an amusing column about the phenomenon.
As for me, however, I’ve got to go: Xena is on.