Producing For an International Audience

Rodas Dechassa - ABNORMAL SUMMIT: TV SHOW
Jake Macfarlane's picture Jake Macfarlane 2 years 5 months ago
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"Abnormal Summit" is a South-Korean talk show that airs on the Korean network JTBC. It has

been on air in South Korea since July 7, 2014. The show is composed of a panel of men from a

variety of nationalities that live in Korea and speak Korean fluently. The format of "Abnormal

Summit" is meant to mimic a meeting between world leaders with international

representatives and viewpoints. They try to incorporate humour most of the time but the

discussions do get very serious at times. There have been panel representatives from countries

such as Australia, Japan, Canada, The Netherlands, Thailand, Ghana, USA and plenty more

throughout their 139 episodes. The panel debates a plethora of topics that span across

international horizons. The topics can range from their countries' different customs when it

comes to dating to Trump's immigration ban. Episodes are often uploaded onto JTBC's Youtube

channel where they provide subtitles for those who don't speak Korean but wish to learn of

these different perspectives. The show aims to provide audiences with an abundance of

perspectives from all over the world on specific topics, making viewers more aware of different

cultures and nationalities.

 

After watching a couple episodes, I was taken aback by how multi-layered the subject matter

and discussion could get. For example, one of the German representatives explained how

problematic he found it to be that in South Korea, Koreans would often hail Hitler as an

amazing person. The discussion surrounding the topic showed that what can be perceived as

common knowledge in one country doesn't mean it is in another country. Another interesting

discussion was how the Ghanaian representative found the nickname for black men in Korea to

be unsettling and offensive for him. The South Korean representative admitted that Koreans

have no idea that it was an offensive term. The show creates a conversation about a topic that

otherwise wouldn't have been brought up in such a homogenized country. It doesn't stop with

Korean audiences learning new things, this show also appeals to an international audience

because of how diverse the panel is. "Abnormal summit" showcases a wide range of topics that

appeal to everyone but the panel offers several different takes on it, much like the Global

Campus Network. I would enjoy the program more if they had more women as regular

contributors. They do cover taboo subjects such as transgender issues and sexism but having a

diverse panel in terms of gender and sexuality could also provide a unique voice to the

discussion.

 

Overall, I believe this show can appeal to Canadians as we have a more open attitude towards

differing opinions. The topics are appealing towards an international audience so I don't think

international viewers are left in the dark when it comes to the discussion. The roles of some of

the hosts extend beyond the show and into cultural ambassadors. Numerous members of the

panel have represented Korea and their own countries at numerous summits and conferences,

spreading the idea that healthy debates should be a norm within all cultures.