Vive La France: TV and Culture in France

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Does France manipulate TV to great effect?

I’ve got France on the brain. My brother is over there at the moment, as is a good friend, and having learnt French all through high school I’ve got this deep memory of just how ardently La Republique Française fights to maintain its image and culture.

So does this translate to TV?

In the past, the gouvernement Français has historically chosen to ban the burqa (Allen, 2010), could potentially be the 14th country to legalise gay marriage and oh, that bizarre thing called the foie gras controversy where ducks are fed more than they should be because ‘foie gras belongs to the protected cultural and gastronomical heritage of France’ (French rural code L654-27-1)

Unfortunately, it seems this sense of patriotism doesn’t translate to the screen. One of the most popular on French screens is “Des Chifres et Des Lettres’, basically ‘Numbers and Letters’ an analytical half hour game show that tests numeracy and literacy of its competitors. Instead, the French love US shows. A poll conducted by ‘Promise Consulting reveals that French tastes for regular television are overwhelmingly American.’ (Toot La France, 2012), with the most popular being Criminal Minds followed by The Mentalist and NCIS (CBS must love the French).

Given this evidence, should we be placing such a huge importance on content as is suggests in ‘Reality TV, you’ve been a bad boy‘ and ‘Contentious displays of family‘? Or rather should we be looking to the law makers and their influence as a direct impact on the content society chooses for its entertainment?

Food for thought.

Allen, Peter 2010 “France’s Senate backs National Assembly and bans women from wearing the burka in public”. Daily Mail (Associated Newspapers Ltd) Available at: [Accessed 16 April 2013]

2013 ‘New Zealand 13th country to adopt gay marriage, France could be 14th’ euronews, world news. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 17 April 2013].

2012 ‘French Prefer US TV Series’’ Toot La France [Online] Available at: [Accessed 15 April 2013]

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One thought on “Vive La France: TV and Culture in France

  1. Pingback: Representation of Family in Television – Annotated Bibliography | yearingcat

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