There are few better ways to get to know a place than through its popular media. Television and movies — whether it’s Hollywood (in the United States), Bollywood (in India), or Nollywood (in Nigeria) — tell stories about the stories we tell ourselves: what a culture’s values are, what its concerns are, even what its sense of humor is like.
Even if media depictions aren’t wholly accurate (see, for instance, every single depiction of a New York City apartment in American television and film) misinformation is just as valuable.
What details does a culture’s media get right? What do they get wrong — and why? (The true size of most New York City apartments is too dismal to share.) Whether you’re looking for a new movie or TV show to watch on Netflix this month, or your thirst for Anthony Bourdain news can never truly be satisfied, Travel + Leisure is here for you.
The Bollywood classic Diwalhe Dilhania Le Jayenge once played in a movie theater in Mumbai for 20 years straight, from its opening in 1995 until 2015. Seeing it is a great way to experience this city without booking plane tickets.
A more modern example is the 2017 Taiwanese costume comedy, The Village of No Return, which epitomizes the burgeoning Chinese-language Lunar New Year genre, a season for humor not unlike American summers full of action.
Italy’s film giallo — garish, bloody, and melodramatic — says as much about the country as its understated neo-realistic or high-brow surrealist works. And the perennially cheerful Great British Bake Off is the United Kingdom reality television show America wants, but can never have.
Culture hounds and cinephiles should absolutely watch the Japanese anime franchise Ghost in the Shell before attempting (or not) the 2017 American film adaptation. Do the same with the Colombia telenovela Betty La Fea before tackling the American Ugly Betty.
Whether you’re looking to get your next Property Brothers fix, or to figure out what shows are available to stream this month, Travel + Leisure has the latest on TV and movie news and trends.