Tag Archives: foreign television

March Recap

March contains some great celebrations: It’s Women’s History Month, there’s St. Patrick’s Day and International Women’s Day, March Madness, spring flowers start blooming and, of course, all the great posts we put up here on Eleventh Stack!

Cover of All About Love by bell hooksFor Women’s History Month, Natalie looked at women in the workplace and guest blogger Adina wrote about Emma Watson’s feminist book club Our Shared Shelf.

Ginny highlighted the many wonderful volunteers and organizations that were nominated for our Community Advocate and Outstanding Partner Award and shared resources that helped her become a better mentor. Guest blogger Ian shared his experiences running and how you can help raise money for the Library with the DICK’S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon.

Amy E. reviewed The Witch of Lime Street by David Jaher, and explored America’s flirtations with spiritualism in the 1920s, while Scott M. explored popular philosophy and Suzy shared some silly picture books.

We didn’t write about basketball at all, but Abbey covered The Tournament of Books, and Jess continued her reading challenge with the third title in the Red Rising trilogy.

bookcoverOn the literary front, Leigh Anne wrote about accomplished female poet C.D. Wright, Kayla questioned Tessa Hadley’s The Past and enjoyed The Girl in the Red Coat. Melissa remembered the late novelist Pat Conroy.

Ross really appreciated actress Brie Larson in her many roles, and looked at Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, and geeked out over Batman v. Superman. Joelle gave props to character actors, Whitney recommended the television show Outlander, and Tara explored the world of foreign TV.

Megan shared her love for cooking, and Ginny updated us on her 50 cakes project.

Happy Spring!

-Team Eleventh Stack

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Adventures in Foreign Television

 

kaboul_kitchen

My first exposure to a television show from beyond American shores was a program called Are You Being Served. It used to run occasionally on the local public broadcasting network, and I was both mystified and delighted by it. I was too young to fully understand the humor of the show (which is full of one innuendo after another), but it was different from anything else I saw on television, so I liked it.

I was reminded of this show when a new complete set of Are You Being Served arrived at the Library recently. Of course, the Library owns quite a few BBC programs, but less well known is how many foreign language television shows we have on offer. We have about 60 here at the Main Library alone, and I am a newly minted fan of a French program called Kaboul Kitchen.

Kaboul Kitchen is a half hour black comedy set in Kabul, Afghanistan, in the early oughts. The central character, Jacky, is a sympathetic but dubious type. He is a French expat who operates a restaurant/hotel that caters to fellow expats, and more than a few shady characters. I am only on the fourth episode of the series, but already a string of dodgy individuals have shown up on Jacky’s doorstep, including bootleggers, extortionists, corrupt embassy officials, politicians and shady military personnel.

Of course, this kind of show needs a moral center, so into the Kaboul Kitchen steps the do-gooder daughter Jacky abandoned years ago, who has grown into a headstrong woman bent on challenging authority and championing humanitarian projects (like building a school for girls). All of this probably sounds fairly dark for a comedy, but the show is surprising light and breezy, even while addressing hot button political issues.

This show does not appear to be well known in the United States, which is too bad, because it deserves a larger audience. It was probably never picked up by an American station for a couple different reasons—it is a very international show, and is not told through the lens of an American living abroad. If I have one complaint, it might be that it is told too much from the Western European expat perspective, and I’m hoping some of the Afghani characters are given larger story arcs in future episodes.

If you’re looking for something TV-wise a little off the beaten path, I definitely recommend giving this show a try. And if you’re looking for even more foreign television shows I also recommend: Deutschland 83 (German), The Returned (French), and Prisoners of War (Hebrew).

Happy viewing,
Tara

4 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized