Channel U

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David Tan
Listing created by David Tan on October 20, 2012    

The entertainment channel for the working professionals and internet generation, one of the two Chinese channels in Singapore.


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wider variety of dramas

I think Channel U is the best channel among all the free-to-air channels in Singapore. Free-to-air refers to channels which are available to the public, free of charge. The free-to-air channels in Singapore are Channel 5 (English), Channel NewsAsia (English), Channel 8 (Chinese), Channel U (predominantly Chinese), Vasantham (Tamil), OkTo (for Kids and the Arts channel), and Suria (Malay).

Channel U has Korean dramas, Hong Kong dramas and Taiwan dramas/shows. I don't even bother watching Korean and Taiwan dramas anymore, because their story lines are ALWAYS essentially the same. Mr Popular/Stuck-up falls for Ms Act-cute-but-so-innocent and changes his ways, OR the pushover woman growing to become a mature, strong society-defying lady with a man always there to help her. I prefer the Hong Kong dramas though (i recommend them strongly) - more exciting!!

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Refreshing alternative

For someone without cable TV (yes I have no life, you have guessed it right) Channel U is actually pretty important in exposing me to the international drama serials.

Channel U is a great alternative channel to the local dramas often aired on Channel 8, as it often airs instead, popular Korean, Taiwanese, Japanese and Hong Kong drama serials and variety shows. I really enjoy watching these shows from other countries that is aired on Channel U because it's often refreshing to see some new (and beautiful) faces as well as plots and take a break from watching our local drama serials.

That said, Channel U has also many impressive locally produced variety shows that I remember well enough. Personally, I prefer variety shows with educational meaning or charity-related, and Channel U launched shows such as "Let's Talk" and "World This Week" that either explore societal issues or international happenings. It is often eye-opening and they give me really new insights I've never thought about before.

I am really looking forward to more dramas and shows on Channel U!

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Changed from Local to International

I used to watch Channel U when I was a crazy fan of all things Chinese in the past. Together with Channel 8, Channel U used to screen local dramas featuring many local actors and actresses - I still remember toggling between channels to watch the different shows that were ongoing at the same time.

In fact, sometimes I would be spoilt for choice. With two local dramas running with characters that I liked, it was hard to choose which cliffhanger to continue off with the next episode.

However, in recent times, I have switched from watching Channel U to channel 8. Channel U no longer features local dramas but now features Korean Dramas - not so much my thing anyway.

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(Updated: April 10, 2013)


Channel U is definitely the underdog amongst the local channels available on television. I realized that advertisements involving what and when programs will be aired from channel U is a rare occasion via other channels. Yes, we see channel five actively advertising the new 9 o' clock dramas from channel 8 but where were the ones from channel U? I had totally no idea what is shown there till I chanced upon the catch up TV Xin Msn website under the Channel U category.

The local show productions there are actually not appealing at all! It's quality is on par with the local shows shown on channel 8. Even the actors and actresses commonly sighted acting in Channel 8 dramas were spotted being recycled for a good cause in channel U's local drama shows. The story-lines available there are refreshing. It's narration and plot twisted and turned unlike the usual flow that Channel 8 commonly adopted.

Oh, Channel U even plays the much sought after Korean dramas. They aren't event the old repeated telecasted ones. Apparently, they're recently released in Korea. Applaudable. The shows there are actually more current or efficient than those shown on S One. S One fared remarkably well for several months when it debuted onscreen. Unfortunately, S One now morphed into the number one avenue for you to catch a repeated telecast of anciently backdated dramas aired back to back. Yawn.

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Better variety shows

To me, Channel U is a more youthful channel compared to Channel 8. Other than just offering local variety shows, Channel U also airs Korean, China, Taiwan and Hong Kong dramas and variety shows. While those who are truly fans of the foreign shows would have already streamed them on the Internet, the programmes aired still provide entertainment and an alternative for those who have not.

The introduction of talk shows like Let’s Talk has injected vibrancy in the slightly dead local variety scene. Xinmsn also allows you to catch up on programmes you might have missed online.

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Pretty good

Channel U is one of the better channels out there, seeing that it knows its consumer market and target group. Riding on the Hallyu Wave, they are showing more Korean variety and dramas (such as Running man, City Hunter, Secret Garden) to match rising demand for Korean entertainment. Which I must admit I actually enjoy.

I love that they are actually airing Running Man, which actually contributed a little to its popularity in Singapore. Running Man is perhaps one of the most engaging and funny k-variety out there, and one of the better shows Channel U is airing. Also, the fact that Channel U do not neglect the fan base in Singapore for Japanese Variety (Run For Money) and Japanese Dramas is something I really appreciate.

Definitely recommended for people who prefer productions from abroad.

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Channel U has got to be the worst one among all the free to air channels. I think that Channel 8 shows most of the high-quality local shows as compared to Channel U. Furthermore, the regional shows that Channel U shows, such as Hong Kong shows, are delayed by like years. Best to get pay-for channels for these regional shows, much faster the the dubbing/subbing is much better. Even in Prime time, I'm not attracted to their shows. Maybe it's just me lah, but there is no time, even if i'm super bored, that I will watch chinese shows from U. I get most of the good Hong Kong drama from starhub cable channel 855 (pay-for-channel), so my advice is to go there.

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The usual favorites.

This channel shows mainly productions from abroad, like hongkong and taiwanese shows. They show a larger variety of shows as the ones from Channel 8.

My favourite would be the travel and food shows they play and even the chinese variety shows which singapore can never win at. However, they do come up with some of their local productions where i remember one was a real hit amongst many viewers.

I'm hoping they would be able to come up with more of their own local productions which it would be a refreshing change from all the other chinese dramas from overseas.

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Had its glory days.

I remember a better time for Channel U.

Channel U used to air Asian horror movies late at night, and being the horror movie junkie that I am, I would tune in to get my kicks from these films. They had extraordinary taste in selection, and they didn't play any of the mainstream box office hits, but they aired real horrifying and bone-chilling horror movies that absolutely guaranteed to frighten you into a cold, pale, hair-on-end, shaking wreck.

I do realise that I sound oddly masochistic.

Channel U also used to screen actual Singaporean productions. I loved these television shows, they had this sort of flair to them, something that made you want to watch them on and on and on and on, on constant reply.

But anyway, those days are long gone. Now, Channel U airs Korean and Taiwanese dramas exclusively, with cliched plots that somehow always involve the prince opting for and falling in love with the toad instead of the princess, or boys fighting over a particularly sweet and pretty girl. Their selection is astoundingly tasteless, and I sometimes wonder if they were chosen by a thirteen-year-old girl with a distorted perception of reality, who basically lives in fairytales and lands with magical unicorns and builds castles in the air. This thirteen-year-old girl would also be strapped to her comfort zone, too timid to ever venture out of it.

I won't judge too much though, because let's face it, these dramas are strangely enthralling, and I just know if I ever started watching one, I wouldn't be able to stop. But that they are seemingly ALL THE SAME is a real problem.

No go for me.

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