Aging in an unexpected place|Yuriko Mikami|KnowLedge World Network|Activities|KNOWLEDGE CAPITAL

  • 2019.05.17
  • Aging in an unexpected place
When I was little, TV-watching time at home was very limited due to the idea that watching too much television was bad for you. In reaction to that, I woud watch TV in secret when I was home alone while my parents were out, for as long as I could no matter how long they were gone. When I noticed they had come home, I would turn off the TV in a hurry and greet them with an innocent look on my face, though both the TV and the spot in front of the TV where I had been sitting were both rather warm. Looking back, I can assume that they had known every time and just pretended not to know, and now I cringe at my own lack of intelligence.


Back then, when I would see kids my age on an NHK program called "Okaasan to Issho (With Mother)" and say to my parents, "I want to be on TV like them," they would say to me things like, "If you want to be on TV, you have to be really smart." I was somehow convinced by that as a child and gave up with a frank, "Oh, I see..."

Maybe it was because of that experience, but growing up in Japan as purely as a viewer of television, I thought that the job of appearing on TV was completely unrelated to myself. However, after coming to Italy, somehow, I managed to actually get a foot in the door in the television industry.

To sum up my thoughts on the handful of television appearances I've had in a few words, it would be the realization that even a program with a comparatively simple structure requires the work of so many people.

There are a lot of political debate shows in Italy, and during the daytime there are a number of programs like counseling for romance and family issues. No matter what type of programs they are, the common quality they have, with the help of some deliberate staging, is heated arguments. Sometimes there are scenes of the quarrelers grabbing each other, and that can either have viewers on the edge of their seats, or if it seems forced it can just bore them.

One trend that I've noticed lately is that the ages of the shows' hosts tend to be rather high.


Cooking shows seem to be little more than a bunch of grandmas and grandpas moving their denture-filled mouths, and I cringe at them explaining the recipes as they cook. Even on the pop music and dance entertainment shows most of the hosts are veterans who are getting up in years. While it's hard to say if this is a particularly welcome phenomenon, but the reason that a middle-aged woman like me was able to work in television is thanks to the aging of the programs. On the other hand, the way young people have distanced themselves from television is quite remarkable, and it leads me to think that it could spell the end of television, which makes me feel that times have greatly changed.


When asking young people about it, this is the kind of response I got: ”TV? When I do watch something it’s usually Netflix or Prime Video or some other streaming service. I don’t bother with seeking out a program and planning my schedule around the time a show comes on so I can watch it.”

The aging of Italy’s TV programming is accelerating at rapid pace.

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  • Yuriko Mikami
  • AgeDog (INU)
  • GenderFemale
  • JobMusician

A cellist based in Milan. Performs solo and ensemble concerts, as well as produces multi-style stage performances that combine theatrical shows, images, dances and live music.

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