Cultural Differences

But I’ll Miss TV!

One thing I knew would happen when we moved to Australia was that I would no longer get to see my favorite American shows on TV. Not too big of a deal, right? Besides, I’m not a huge follower of television shows. The big one John and I have been watching over the past few years is Blacklist. And now, This Is Us is a favorite.


However, what’s been a pleasant surprise since coming here is that Australia plays American tv shows! They don’t have a lot of their own original Australian shows because the airwaves are so taken up with British and American shows. In America, we didn’t have cable so I didn’t have a chance to watch some of my favorite HGTV shows like Fixer Upper, House Hunters, or various home improvement shows. Here though, those are on free-to-air tv! I’ve watched Fixer Upper from the comfort of my recliner–hearing the Texas accent again makes John and I feel like we’re at home–and then we hear Australian accents in the commercials and we’re brought back to the land we currently live in. They have House Hunters, House Hunters International, and House Hunters Renovation. For the guilty pleasure watchers, they have Keeping Up with the Kardashians and The Bachelor/ette. And they have Call the Midwife, other BBC production shows, and Downton Abbey. Some of these shows are older episodes that air a couple years behind, but some of them air the next day.


For those shows that are no longer on TV, like The Office, we rely on Netflix. However, Netflix Australia is different than Netflix America, which is sad because most TV shows on the American site aren’t on the Australian site–The Office is one of those shows. Although that may not seem like a sad thing, it was hard for me to overcome, especially when I was pregnant. I’ve watched The Office through every pregnancy. There’s something about the humor and the comfortability of knowing each and every episode, character, line, and joke that makes it a show I come back to time and time again. I don’t know how many times I’ve gone through the series, but I’ve watched it in bed when I’ve been sick with morning sickness, I’ve watched it on the iPad in the hospital when I’ve been in labour, and I’ve watched it at night when I’m hugely pregnant and nothing makes me laugh except Michael being his awkward self. Knowing that we couldn’t watch The Office for this pregnancy was a hard pill to swallow. However, John is a wiz at computers and figured out a way for us to watch The Office on American Netflix legally and above board, so I didn’t have to give up my pregnancy TV craving.


One good thing that comes with being able to get American TV shows on our Apple TV, even in Australia (because of my husband’s genius computer skills) is that we can also get all American TV app networks like NBC, CBS, FOX, and ABC. When Blacklist airs in America and is put on the site the next day, we’re able to watch it here as well. Or when This Is Us has an incredibly emotional episode (although which episode ISN’T emotional), I’m able to watch it the same night!


I know this may seem like a small thing, especially to those who don’t watch any TV, but it’s just another thing that we thought we had to give up when coming to Australia, but then it turns out we didn’t have to. It’s nice living in a globally integrated world–although I’m sad Australia doesn’t have a lot of their own TV shows, I enjoy being able to watch my American shows, even from an ocean away.


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