Fresh from my recent Lisbon posting about what’s hot on TV in Portugal, I’ve just spent a few days in Athens. So what’s hot on TV in Greece, judging from the advertising in Athens?
Well, purely from the advertising in the centre of Athens, you’d think nothing at all. There is none. Ewan McGregor, however, is everywhere and it turns out he speaks remarkably good Greek. He’s in the airport.
Ewan here is saying: “Our name is changing. The values, however, remain exactly the same.”
He’s also all over bus stops and the Metro.
Look carefully and you’ll spot two Ewans on the other side of the tracks.
Here, Ewan is revealing that insurance group ING is now becoming NN: “New name, same vision,” Ewan there doing a nice bit of wordplay on “όναμα” (‘onama’ or name) and “‘οραμα” (‘orama’ or vision).
But TV? Nothing in the centre of Athens. However, head off towards the port of Piraeus, about 10-15 minutes down the road, and we start to head into more media-friendly territory, albeit radio. Pretty much every bus stop here is dedicated to 90.1FM.
In case you can’t read that: “ΝΕΟ ΠΡΟΓΡΑΜΜΑ, ΝΕΑ ΠΡΟΣΟΠΑ” (‘neo programma, nea prosopa’ aka ‘new schedule, new faces’). Basically, the entire station is (re)launching with new programmes and a whole new bunch of hosts, usually of the “schlubby older man, hot younger woman” variety. But sometimes two schlubby older men for a bit of variety.
Still no TV, though. But along said road to Piraeus (the unimaginatively titled “Athens-Piraeus main road”), you’ll find every side lined with adverts for the new channel Epsilon TV, “the new channel for young people”.
As the logo, the “ΠΕΡΙΟΔΙΚΟ” (‘periodiko’ or ‘magazine’) tag and the fact that EPSILON TV is spelt out in English suggest, Epsilon is somewhat akin to the US/UK E! channel. However, there is some scripted programming, too, including Σουλεϊμαν Ο Μεγαλοπρεπης (Suleiman the Magnificent), which is described as “A series set in the 16th century and depicting the powerful love/erotic story of Alexandra, who is captured by the Turks and ends up in the harem of Suleiman the Magnificent”.
However, this is actually a 2011-2014 Turkish TV show, Muhteşem Yüzyıl (Magnificent Century).
So repeated soap operas and reality TV. Ah, Greek TV – this is why I don’t write about you much…