One interesting thing about living in Germany was how easy it was to not know what was happening in the entertainment world. Not to be wrapped up in celebrity gossip, not to know the latest funny saying from a TV show, not to even know the TV show. It wasn't a perfect vacuum of course; I knew about OJ Simpson's trials and had heard of Paris Hilton even before she came to Oktoberfest to promote her prosecco in a can. But it wasn't constant, day-in, day-out coverage of the stars.
Since German TV often didn't have the most current television shows or weren't worth watching in German (comedies are a pain to watch in German due to the fast nature of the humour and the untranslatable puns), I didn't watch many shows. In fact, I often feel that a decade of pop culture is missing from my life. I left Canada after the 3 seasons of Seinfeld. I missed the entire run of Friends. I don't regret missing them or anything, but I do feel that in ways, I've lost touch with people my own age for not being able to know and reference things like this.
Now living in the UK, I'm back in the thick of things. I knew about Britany Spears shaving her head and Paris Hilton going to jail (and leaving, and then going back again) within hours of the events happening. I know what the cool shows are and can watch them if I so choose, very easily. I'm horrified to know anything about Big Brother, but I have learnt from the radio that there are twins in the house for this season.
This new source of information isn't very useful, but it does in a way make me feel connected to the world around me. It's good to have cultural references in common, so that you can feel part of the culture. Whether I like the culture is perhaps another question...