Is “TV drama” correct?

Q: Many Japanese learners use “TV drama” like “I like American TV dramas.”
Is the expression correct?. How about TV program, TV drama series, or TV show?

A: “TV Program” and “TV show” are both correct. However, TV program is quite old fashioned, so we rarely use this anymore. Most people use TV show, as in “What kind of TV shows do you like?” “I like American TV shows.” Native English speakers NEVER say “TV drama” or “TV drama series” when we are just casually talking about television.

“Drama” is a genre, just like comedy, mystery, horror, romance, etc. So “I like American TV dramas” means you ONLY like dramatic TV shows, which is generally not what people mean, and also not how native speakers refer to these types of shows. In fact, we rarely mention the genre at all, unless we are at an awards show, or asking for recommendations. (I’m in the mood to watch a comedy. Do you know of a funny show?)

Here’s a little bit of British English vs American English trivia for you: “series”, when referring to television, doesn’t mean the same thing in both countries.

In the US, we refer to an entire show, every single episode, as a series. When we want to talk about just the episodes that aired in one year, we call that a season. So I might say “Last weekend I binge-watched season 4 of Supernatural. It’s my favorite season (one year’s episodes)!” or something like “My favorite series (the entire thing – every episode) of all time is Hannibal!”

In British English, they don’t use the word season. They refer to each year’s episodes as a series. So where I would say “I like season 2 of Sherlock.”, my British friend would say “I like series 2 of Sherlock”.

Q:日本人はTV dramaという表現をよく使います。(たとえば、I like American TV dramas.)
この表現は正しいですか? また、TV program, TV drama series, TV show はどうですか?

A: TV programとTV showは正しいわ。でもTV programはかなり古い言い方だから、滅多に使わないわ。ほとんどの人がTV showを使っているわね。
“What kind of TV shows do you like?” (どんなテレビ番組が好き?)
“I like American TV shows.” (アメリカのテレビ番組が好き) と言うわ。
普段テレビの話をするんだったら、英語のネイティブスピーカーは絶対にTV dramaやTV drama seriesとは言わないわ。

dramaというのは、コメディー、ミステリー、ホラー、恋愛ものみたいな、ジャンルの一つなの。だから“I like American TV dramas.”というと、あなたはドラマチックなテレビ番組だけが好きということになってしまって、意図された意味ではないし、ネイティブがこの種の番組を表す表現でもないわ。実のところ、私たちは賞番組やおすすめを尋ねるときでもない限り、ジャンルについて滅多に言わないのよね。(コメディーを見たい気分なんだけど、面白い番組知ってる?)