In my never-ending quest to improve my German, I thought last night I would watch some TV and given that my choices weren’t very inspiring, I thought I would watch some reality TV on the assumption that the language probably wouldn’t be very complex and I could probably guess what was going on without needing to understand the dialogue. These assumptions were right, but, I was not prepared for the horror that is German reality TV.
My first exposure to German reality TV was Die Wollnys – Eine schrecklich große Familie! The tagline of this show is ‘a terribly big family’ and they are definitely right about the terrible fact. This family was like The Duggars if the Duggars weren’t scarily religious and were on welfare. I learnt some great vocab if I ever want to accuse my husband of being a lazy slob. You can witness the fantastic family dynamics on the RTL II site where they have entire episodes online.
My next foray into the world of German reality TV was far more frightening. I had the misfortune to watch Traumfrau gesucht. I thought this was going to be harmless dating show, kinda like The Bachelor or Beauty and the Geek, but I was wrong, horribly wrong. The show is about three guys Elvis, Walther, Manfred who go to Eastern Europe to basically find a mail order bride. After watching the show for just 5 minutes you have no doubts why these guys are single and can’t find a single woman in the whole of Germany who will date them. They honestly made my skin crawl. Fortunately, most of the women on this show also had enough sense to look suitably horrified. These men in all their creepy glory, especially Walther who thinks nothing of buying a woman he doesn’t know a thong and nylons as a 1st date gift and has a catalogue of women, can be seen here. It’s terrifying stuff.
I’m not sure my German language skills were improved any by watching these shows but they have certainly given me an interesting view of a slice of German society.