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Monday, April 24, 2006

Confessions of an Addict

One of the uglier aspects of being an American is the fact that I watch entirely too much television. I go to great technical lengths to bring interesting Television to my living room, but I do not appreciate the marvel of technology until it is denied me, as was the case last week in Mallorca.

As mentioned, we stayed in a little village dominated by Germans. Because of this, the hotel we stayed in only provided 7 German television channels (SAT1, RTL, RTL II, ARD, ZDF, VOX, and ProSieben) and RAI (from Italy) ... suprisingly, absolutely no Spanish programming. Needless to say, it was an odd offering.

I have never in the several years I have lived in Germany watched so much of Stefan Raab (if that is how it is spelled), and I can honestly state that I am not confused as to why. Like Jen, I can somewhat embarassingly admit I took some pleasure from watching "Let's Dance", and I might actually watch the next installment.

But what I was really missing were the regular installments of 24, The West Wing, Boston Legal, Law & Order, and a few other things. (I was also missing Bloomberg TV and CNBC, but that was more about being on top of things so I can pay the rent).

You can get most of those shows in dubbed version in Germany, but despite the fact that dubbing has gotten better over the years, there is no substitute for the VO.

Shows like these and the 300 versions of CSI are the reasons why so many people hate America. They are the television version of crack.

If you look at television around the world, there are a lot of interesting, locally-produced shows, like the myriad talking-head shows one finds on German TV. But the shows that generally get watched are knock-offs of the American and British shows produced and aired on private networks, even the dreck shown on UPN and WB. Hate to say it, but even the Brits watch an inordinate amount of American-produced TV.

Hate to admit it, but I rarely watch German TV ... The first Krimi I watched in Germany is perhaps the best reason why. It was about the Customs Police ... it went something like this:

  1. After an hour and a half of following him around, the CP finally got their man for smuggling gold from Switzerland to Germany, as if that is a big crime problem.

  2. They knocked on his door.

  3. He answered and let them in.

  4. They told him he was caught.

  5. He reached across the table for what I thought might be his gun, but instead pulled out a cigarette.

  6. He reached across the table again for what I hoped would be a gun, but instead produced a lighter.

  7. He lit his cigarette.

  8. He then proceeded to drop the dime on all of his friends.

  9. Change of scene to Jail ...

  10. His friends shake their fists at him in his cell as they are led to theirs.

  11. Fin.


When I started to type this, I was watching The Late Show with David Letterman, the real thing from the USA and not the lame German imitation by Harald Schmidt. As I finish, I am now watching South Park. Really dreadful stuff this, but still some of the best in the Modern World (except for RAI and TvE when they've got the cute blondes jiggling around ... just kidding!).

Useless internet fact 4002 >>> Baywatch was the Number 1 watched show in Iran for years, unofficially of course.

3 Comments:

Blogger Just another American Expat said...

Nothing wrong with admitting you don't watch German TV. Personally, I'd rather watch a parked car. ;-)

They say Mallorca is basically a German Colony....true?

6:03 AM, April 25, 2006  
Blogger Mike B said...

Some here in Germany refer to it as the 17th Bundesland, but the Brits haven't given up the fight yet.

12:54 PM, April 25, 2006  
Anonymous Finlander said...

And one shouldn't forget the sizeable contribution by the drunken hordes of alcohol starved Nordics to make Mallorca's nightmare complete.

8:45 PM, April 25, 2006  

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