Sunday, October 07, 2007

Throwing Down the Gauntlet

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.)

9 comments:

Carol said...

I'm just impressed that you could eat fish sticks when pregnant! :-)

Carol

PapaScott said...

For me, the ultimate low points of German pop culture are 1) Modern Talking and 2) the Eurovision Song Contest. But you're right, Wetten Dass is in the same league.

christina said...

(LOL at Carol's comment!!)

I'm with you, Claire-Dude, I CANNOT stand Wetten Dass or that awful, awful Thomas Gottschalk. My kids love both. Where did I go wrong?

ChristinaG said...

I agree too, I can't stand Wetten Dasd. Luckily, my German isn't a fan either (although he will watch it if he's bored). Now we just have to keep Oliver from watching and we're home free!

Anonymous said...

You are so very right. first of all they don't have any original TV. everything is dubbed. when they decide to go original, this is what happens.

vailian said...

It is terrible! And even worse are the commercials TG makes with his even-more-irritating brother...
I wonder what the most popular show in America is? Probably something just as obnoxious.
Anyhow, I don't think he is the worst. Günther Jauch, Stefan Raab etc are even lower on my scale.
OK, I admit there are things I like on German TV, Harald Schmidt is intelligent and witty, and RTL Samstag Nacht was a worthy imitation of Saturday Night Live.

But ask your German to explain the show "Piep" with Verona Feldbusch...

Gardner said...

Dave Letterman does basically the same thing with his Stupid Human and Stupid Pet tricks bits. But they are about 15 minutes each once a month or once a quarter.

2 hours is a bit too intense for me. If it were 15 minutes and mainly the stunts, I'd enjoy it every now and then.

Debbie said...

I can't stand German television in general, lol. Luckily my German agrees and actually prefers to watch British satellite channels with me. But I'm sure he's had plenty of years of Wetten Dass already. And all those boring Lawrence Welk style cheesy folk music fests that play nearly every day on random channels, omg.

BethE said...

You are completely right about Thomas Gottschalk. I am surprised I don't have nightmares about him and his stupid DHL commercials.