The German and I often take good natured shots at each other about our respective "cultures." I make fun of schlager and the German rips apart country music. American movies are too patriotic and German movies are depressing. Everything is usually said in fun and we never really get upset about it. However, yesterday night while watching TV, I threw down the gauntlet.
It was Saturday night, and we stayed in (as we usually do when I work on Saturday). Of course there was nothing on TV except that good ol' German standard, Wetten, dass (Wanna Bet That. . .). This show is over two hours long and involves normal people who bet that they can do something "extraordinary," i.e. stupid. For example, last night a Swiss guy bet that he could put 5 large ping-pong balls in a basketball net using only the exhaust from his old timer tractor. The various celebrity guests bet whether or not this dare can be accomplished. If the celebrity loses, he or she has to do something. Last night Jamie Foxx had to yodel after losing a bet.
Wetten, dass is 26 years old and the "most popular TV show in Europe." Germans love it, including my German. Last night I decided definitively that I do not.
First, I find the host, Thomas Gottschalk, supremely annoying. After watching his wacky grin for two hours, I really needed a drink. He has weird hair and even stranger clothing. He is also known for putting his hands on the knees of his female guests. Second, I find some of the bets just dumb. Last night a girl could identify puppets blindfolded by just smelling them. Finally, it is too long. It can be anywhere between 2 and 3 hours with no commercials. Ugh.
When I announced my opinion of the show, the German looked at me with surprise. "But, it is the most popular show in Europe." "So, I still think it is too long and the host is annoying." I truly think that he was offended. I felt like I just destroyed some German national treasure. However, I am standing by opinion.
(PS The fact that the German and I were sitting on our sofa on a Saturday night drinking tea and eating fish sticks while watching "Wetten dass" is a definite indicator that we are a) broke and b) old.)