I make no secret (or apology) for the fact that I believe German TV to be complete and utter s***e but there is one series that I watch religiously - 'Germany's Next Top Model with Heidi Klum'.
It's not ground breaking stuff, it's nothing new (seeing as its a format copied from the U.S.) and it doesn't teach me anything, apart from working on my German language skills that is.
I'm constantly being told I should watch German TV and hear German being spoken but when the choice is either American (or English) TV programmes dubbed (they don't like subtitles here) or crap gameshows that we (English) left well behind in the 70's (Wok World Championships anyone?) I would happily watch no TV (or alternatively Sky...)
But at last it's the time of year again for Heidi's show, so I can be a good German student and watch 2+ hours of German TV each week for the next couple of months.
When I first started watching Heidi maybe three years ago, I wasn't too impressed with her, she annoyed me, but I've grown to like her more and more. Don't get me wrong, I can see she has many faults, but I've learnt to be amused by her foibles...
- Heidi is Queen Bee, this is HER show and no-one else is allowed on who might possibly overshadow her. Each season she's accompanied by two other jury members who do a lot of the donkey work with the wannabe models, both are always male, one slightly more heterosexual than the other (this year's is cute too - eye candy, what a bonus.) But each year she changes the jury, gossip has it she doesn't like them to become too famous.
- For someone who's been involved in the fashion world for so many years her personal styling is poor...sometimes she look like an explosion in a pattern factory, the first episode this year she had on patterned black tights, latticed shoes and a black and white patterened dress. At the Oscars (the Yanks lurve Heidi for some reason) she had on a dress & shoe combo that was almost OK, but was just too much, shoes too sparkly, wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyy too much leg on show & then the bodice of the dress...and chandelier earrings. Someone needs to tell her that less is more.
- The show might supposedly be about finding Germany's next top model but in reality it is a vehicle for Heidi. She will always be the star. We're two episodes in and in the first one, after making the wannabes parade along little more than a diving board over a swimming pool, she and her co-hosts dived, fully clothed, into the water (she went first of course, although I can imagine that she wont have been pleased when watching it back, that the new cute juror totally upstaged her with his fluid dive.) The second episode was in London and the final 'catwalk' was shot in a church with the models wearing teensy weensie 'wedding' dresses. One refused. She's a Catholic girl and the thought of wearing such a short dress in such a holy place was too much. After much tears and drama she walked down to the jury in her street clothes and Heidi magnanimously let her stay (bet she gets the boot next episode!) Germany is a fairly religous country and so it was a pretty canny move on the Klumster's part to appear to take the girl's issues seriously.
- Next episode we're promised a photoshoot with rats, I bet Heidi lets them run all over her just to show how it's done.
Best of all with GNTM there is no dubbing. And I know you're now thinking that of course there's no dubbing, it's a German show, therefore everyone speaks German therefore no dubbing required. Well, you're right, however, this last episode in London with Heidi's UK hair stylist, they spoke in English and subtitled it into German. Each year the wannabes end up in a mansion in L.A. (so Heidi doesn't have to be too far from home for most of the filming) and whenever there is interaction with an English speaker there will always be subtitles. Heidi also insists that her 'Mädels' can speak English, because she knows what an important language it is worldwide, last year a girl was almost booted off because her grasp of English was so poor.
This year the post production effects might just drive me crazy though, whenever they want to make a point of something, the clip is repeated with weird effects and there are annoying echoes, this is all compounded by Heidi's own little asides to camera.
Ah well, if it's this or 'Schlag den Raab', I'll take Heidi and her glamorous show over Stefan Raab's bid for megalomania any day.
Word for the day; das Mädel - girl