Is German television as banal as what Americans must endure? I asked my Intermediate English students at Munich’s Volkshochschule (like a Community College in the USA) for their opinion. They worked together in teams of two to write a short statement about a TV show they know. Keep in mind that they are intermediate students and they had 10 minutes to write, with no opportunity to edit. Great work, ladies! I corrected a few mitakes, but this is what they came up with:
· 7: My favorite program is the documentary called “Welt der Wunder.” It’s very interesting and educational because you learn a lot about the world’s animals, people’s lives, and nature. I like it very much because I see places I probably will never visit during my life. Human relations and health issues are also discussed.
· 6: Sendung mit der Maus. When I wake up each Sunday morning, I look forward to 11:30 AM because the Mouse and the Elephant is on ARD. It’s a very interesting mix of cartoons and documentary. I always get excited about “Shawn the Sheep,” which is the last show. Last Sunday I got upset because it started early at 8:30 and I didn’t wake up until 10 o’clock. Footnote: They always tell funny stories about a Scotsman, his dog, Bizer, and three pigs.
· 2: Every Tuesday evening after nine, there is show called “In aller Freundschaft” on channel one. It’s a series set in a hospital. Some of the doctors and nurses are friends. I’m very interested in watching the series because I can learn something about medicine. Every week I look forward to the next episode!
· 1: We are very upset about all the people and their children watching TV every day. It’s much more interesting to spend more time with friends or just reading a book. Or, if you live in Bavaria, you could go the Deutsches Museum. All those silly soap operas, reality games, sitcoms and advertising… We think the world really doesn’t need it! Go out for an ice cream and have a nice walk with your girlfriend!
· 3: Once I watched “Big Brother” on TV. After watching it for a while, I found it very boring. Although the way people behaved made me upset, it annoyed me even more that some executive could put this on the air!
· 4: I prefer watching the crime series, “Commissario Brunetti” . This crime series is very interesting since it shows an interesting city like Venice. Many situations, however, are very confusing and the endings are often annoying!
5. 5: Soap Opera “Dahoam ist Dahoam” I watched it for a while, but it was very difficult for me to understand. It was so confusing! I think it’s just a Bavarian fairy tale. It was very interesting for me to see the fantastic original Bavarian clothing and the wonderful landscape of beautiful mountains and lakes. But, I’ll never be able to understand that Bavarian dialect!
Just for the record… I am hooked on the soap opera Dahoam ist Dahoam. I started watching it in order to practice my Bavarian (mainly so I could understand Karl in Böbing J ). Anyway, it takes place in a small fictional town called “Lansing.” It brings to mind great times with the great folks I know in the small towns of Bavaria, so I gradually got interested in the characters. Plus, you can download the episodes daily via iTunes, so it’s really easy to follow when I’m in the States and need a “Bavaria” fix!
So, my North American friends :You can see that the TV landscape here is also a vast wasteland. Yes, there are some decent shows here and there, but I tend to agree with my two students who chastised all us TV watchers: Step away from the boob-tube and get an ice cream with your girlfriend!