My favorite show on TV (and there’s alot of shitty shit on Italian TV) is not shitty at all, but a surprisingly clever and pointed program called Le Iene (The Hyenas). The show is a cross between Michael Moore’s “The Awful Truth”, CBC’s “This Hour has 22 minutes” and MTV’s “Punk’d!” The hosts are two comedian guys and a really tall blond women and their interstitial commentary is hard for me to understand. But it’s funny-sounding because they’re sly and righteous. Then in the briefs various “Hyenas” get up to trouble and use hidden cameras to document various injustices. For instance the rip-off artists who run ferry boats in Venice. They blew that shit wide-open. As well as stuff like following Italian sex-tourists in Thailand, or trying to buy a Russian wife. But they also bust the balls of politicians, cranking on them outside the parliament building, holding their feet to the fire, as Jon Stewart would say. This show is the exception to Italian TV, the rule of which is: “crappy, crappy, crappy.” It’s also interesting that it’s on one of Berlusconi’s Mediaset channels. Despite the fact the mandate of the show is to help little people, bust liars and cheaters and swindlers, and generally shine light on injustices. This runs directly contrary to Berlusconi’s whole power paradigm. However, I guess the show makes money for him. At any rate, you can’t really have anything on TV in Italy without Berlusconi having his hand in it. He does own half the channels and appoint the directors of the other half (Mediaset and RAI, respectively) Anyway, it’s fuckin rad.
P.S. I also am way into “Distretto di Polizia 5,” a bad-ass cop serial. I like it because it’s a gripping, well-paced drama, with full complex characters. Also, the actors mouths move the same time the words are being spoken, a rarity on Italian TV.