Sunday, July 31, 2005

refresher course -- a new low

i have a problem. i have an addiction to late-night television. i'm not talking about your run-of-the-mill 'tony danza show' or infomercials, either. i'm talking about educational televsion.

the latest object of my desire: 'Connect With English.'

it's on at 4 a.m. on a local pbs station that calls itself 'Wise TV.' It offers all kinds of educational programming, from history to trigonometry. i like the language shows the best, like 'Destinos,' a serial we used to watch in high school to help us learn Spanish. they have a french one and i really liked the german one, but i don't know enough german to figure out what it's called. i'd like to say i enjoy these shows because i'm a culture junkie and i want to learn, but the sad reality is, i get hooked on the cheesy storylines. but this is by far the worst. you know you have a problem when you're tuning into a show aimed to help non-native speakers feel more comfortable with the colloquialisms of your native tongue.

'Connect With English' has a captivating story (sort of) about love, loss and chasing your dreams in the good ol' U.S. of A. each episode consists of three parts, which are broken up by some stimulating dialogue:

chinese lady: kevin is really upset because no one is listening to him.

middle eastern man: rebecca keeps telling kevin what to do. no one wants to hear his opinion.

trendy asian guy: then kevin steals the rental car and goes on a drive.

south american woman: stealing the car was the wrong thing to do.

middle eastern man: kevin is upset. wouldn't you be angry if no one listened to your opinion? rebecca is trying to rule his life!

south american woman: i would be angry, but i wouldn't take the keys.

african man: kevin goes to pick up his girlfriend who was home from college on holiday.

french woman: but then kevin and his girlfriend they argue about why she didn't write him any letters from college, and she says she is seeing other people.

chinese lady: kevin sits in the park and finally allows himself to cry over his father's death.


riveting, i tell you.

but i must mention that the reason i became interested and sat through three episodes was to find out if the guy in the opening credits was mark consuelos. it is him, and he does a fine job as one of rebecca's multiple (!) love interests. i'm pretty sure this was one of his first roles, shortly before his foray into the soap world of Kelly Ripa.

(i stand by my opinion that the above is a sound justification for my being up at 4 a.m. watching a show that is teaching me what i already know. hey, it's better than 'Springer.')

15 comments:

cadiz12 said...

if this post makes no sense, i don't care. blogger booted me twice, and i'm so bored in the dungeon that i keep re-doing it. i had such a good streak that i had stopped writing it elsewhere first. i learned my lesson.

Lou (a.k.a. rainpuddles) said...

I never knew such shows existed... it reminds me of when I lived in Japan, one of the radio stations would play these cheesy English stories to help people practice their English skills. They hook you...

Ale said...

that's so funny but i know exactly what show you're talking about- btw i hope these were bits and pieces of different dialogues, because all together they just confuse, i felt like i had to connect with english somewhere-

and leave it to the french woman to bring up the multiple lovers issure.

Lou (a.k.a. rainpuddles) said...

So now that I had time, I actually followed the link you posted for the show. This was the program summary for one of the shows:

CONNECT WITH ENGLISH : CHANGES/THE FARM
Monday, August 01, 2005, 4:00:00 AM RemindMe
In the first segment, just Rebecca and Kevin are helping Sandy pack an In the first segment, just Rebecca and Kevin are helping Sandy pack an d move out. Jack returns and tries to stop them, but the police soon a d move out. Jack returns and tries to stop them, but the police soon a rrive and arrest him. Sandy goes to a women's shelter. Kevin decides t rrive and arrest him. Sandy goes to a women's shelter. Kevin decides t o go out to his uncle's farm and Rebecca and him pack up their apartme o go out to his uncle's farm and Rebecca and him pack up their apartme nt. Sandy decides to take Rebecca up on her offer to stay at their apa nt. Sandy decides to take Rebecca up on her offer to stay at their apa rtment until she gets her life straightened out. In the second segment rtment until she gets her life straightened out. In the second segment , Rebecca and Kevin enjoy a tour of Brendan and Anne's farm. Kevin dec , Rebecca and Kevin enjoy a tour of Brendan and Anne's farm. Kevin dec ides that he will stay and help Brendan on the farm and Rebecca decide ides that he will stay and help Brendan on the farm and Rebecca decide s to return to San Francisco. Both episodes include reviews and brief s to return to San Francisco. Both episodes include reviews and brief discussions about the drama. discussions about the drama.

(That's copied and pasted.) I'm a little worried that this show is supposed to teach EFL/ESL students English!

cadiz12 said...

i know! isn't that annoying? it's like they know you could just get the synopsis from the summaries, but they make them so ridiculous that you just have to stay up till 4 a.m. to watch it for yourself.

ale, i had to piece together what i could remember about them saying. they basically do a play-by-play on what happened.

jazz said...

i LOVE mark consuelos!

Andy said...

That actually sounds a lot more interesting than springer... but I think a car wreck is more interesting than springer... less grotesque, too...

lucasjackson7 said...

wow, mark consuelos? your public television kicks ass. we have this one public channel that is a 24 hour channel of a picture from space looking at earth. i know, i know, it sounds boring, but when you come home from a night of partying and drinking, it's really the most settling thing to watch on television.

btw, have you seen the Growing Pains episode where Brad Pitt plays a pop star who shows up for a concert at ben's school?

Jon said...

You always remind me that there is entirely too much television to be watching instead of working or sleeping… I’m doing this life thing all wrong. And I am again reminded of another song by Suburban Rhythm called “Gameshow.” I too wish that life was like a gameshow…

cadiz12 said...

people always ask me what the hell it is that i do that keeps me up till 6 a.m. after i get home from work every night. and usually i can't come up with anything, but between the public tv, netflix and books, i'm pretty busy.

did you know that brad pitt in that episode of Growing Pains was tracey gold's first kiss? talk about memorable.

Guyana-Gyal said...

Cadiz, I've heard of tv addiction...I had to wean myself away from Matlock, Columbo, Sesame Street, E!

But I don't think I stayed up until 6 am, haha...

Ahh, I love tv, anything and everything...but nothing can make me get hooked on Jerry Springer.

Oh, try writing your posts offline first, then copy and paste to blog. So even if you get booted, you still have the thing you wrote.

Syar said...

man, that does sound riveting. for me late night tv is all about reruns of shows I couldn't watch because my sister insists on watching "Groove Squad Cheerleaders" on Disney for the billionth time or any number of too-stupid-for-words made-for-tv-movies/animated movies and The Nanny which is shown on Hallmark. I used to watch this aussie teen show called short cuts which showed at 3 a.m on disney. artsy angsty teens in a film class. then there was that show about ghosts and a girl who has psychic powers. Disney as well. all I remember was that erik von detten was in that one as the girl's brother's best friend. they travel in a tour bus because the girls mom is some sort of singer.

I'm rambling.

poor kevin. rebecca rags on him, the girlfriend dumped him and his father is dead. what a life.

cadiz12 said...

dude, you've just proven, yet again, that if i had cable, i'd be a dead woman.

1/2 hour till 'c.w.e.' starts! i think kevin and rebecca are going to their uncle's farm. i'll let you know if anything exciting happens.

cadiz12 said...

oh i am pissed. they have some stupid-ass human geography show on! WHERE THE HELL IS MARK CONSUELOS! i guess i have to settle with watching an 'access hollywood' rerun.

i should have known that stupid schedule would be wrong, what with all the easy-to-read synopses.

willowtree said...

Im laughing to myself right now because I wrote about this on my blog today. A few years ago I had to use the Connect with English program, and the only thing that hooked me was Mark Consuelos. My students hated the program, and actually called it "a cross to bear". They were all male, Im surprised they stuck with it as long as they did. We changed the program for the following session.
I watched the whole series.
But that Rebecca really got on my nerves.