It probably isn’t terribly surprising to learn that what you can find on French television greatly differs from what you might be used to on DIRECT TV. However, some truly bizarre (at least from American standards) and fascinating stuff can be found on French programming, and you don’t even have to really look that hard.
French television programming has often been characterized and described as subtle, minimalist and expressive. The decidedly “French” style of storytelling relies more heavily on emotional queues inherent to the action of the characters rather than expository dialogue. You the audience really aren’t given a whole lot of instruction when it comes to approaching these stories.
To many Westerners, this form of storytelling is almost too distant and unapproachable, creating a sense of tension that greatly outweighs the intrigue. However, in a culture that values art in its various forms, television is just another genre and another medium. They craft elaborate programs and stories that are largely open to interpretation with no unifying theory.
If you have the chance to check out a piece of French television or cinema, you ought to give it a try. It might not be for you, but at least you can see what the other side is like.