The TV here is truly awful. They have a few decent shows, most notably Underbelly, which is about a high profile gang war in Melbourne. The trouble is, there are adverts every 5 minutes, much like in the States. And it's usually the same ads. Over and over again. So you have to watch cable, or rent DVDs.
The ads are pretty sexist at times, though quite amusing. Women would be burning their bras at home at the sight of them. Car hire companies joke at the skills of women drivers, and the like. One amusing ad I wish I'd taken a shot of was for a mobile phone network. Split in two, the ad showed a grinning teenage couple checking their phones. The strapline was "Booty Call?" Brilliant.
Listening to the radio in Adelaide made me chuckle. One show had a competition, with two callers. The DJ warmed them up with the usual questions, but then included ones like "What's your favourite bunk-off excuse when you wake up still pissed?" and "What's the worst shit you've ever landed yourself in with your girlfriend?" Aunty Beeb would be mortified. Makes that fat blob off Radio One look tame.
The worst aspect of the media concerned the handling of the bushfires in Victoria. The incident was pretty horrific, and 200-odd people died. But they dragged it on and on, the papers just full of it. The news interviews were set to melancholy music which made me gag. Why do that? There was much criticism that the press were homing in on people who had just lost everything, for those tearful and vulnerable interviews. Surely there was a more tasteful way to do it. 400 Chinese miners died in a gas explosion recently, and I can imagine there wasn't the same hand-wringing. They'd just get on with it. The services at the Melbourne Cricket Ground were not well-attended...and featured the same melancholy tunes and even chiming bells in the background to the speeches. The sight of the PM's (crocodile?) tears at one service seemed a little too much... It all seems a little too Americanized, and even Australians I spoke to were concerned about the standard of their media. Seems I have to go away to appreciate ours.