I refuse to watch German TV.
It is rubbish. Ask any non German, or even a German who has experienced life and TV outside of Deutschland.
The news is good, my German teacher said in its defence, before continuing that you can't just watch the news.
However, I am not going to go into yet another rant about the awfulness of German broadcasting, because last week the one series that I watch religiously, every year started up again - Germany's Next TopModel with Heidi Klum.
Heidi can be a tad irritiating at times it has to be said, and her dress sense (for someone who must surely have the pick of designers) can be relied on to be, at best, entertaining, but I guess I should just be grateful that she doesn't wear black.
The wannabe models are always bitchy about each other, I don't think there's been a full on cat fight in the last 6 years - but never say never, after all the girls are forced to live in a large house together, far away from home for 2-3 months, and every week compete against each other to be chosen for advertising campaigns and to be the most perfect model.
Last week's show was the first in the 2012 series, we started with 51* pre-selected wannabes and almost 3 hours later** 26 had been culled. From this 3 hour marathon there were a couple of things that stood out for me;
- one girl had corkscrew curls, which were naturally dark brown, except that she had dyed her hair white blonde. There is no doubt that it looked hideous, but the jury declared that it looked like wool, a trifle mean, but I guess she probably doesn't mind, seeing as she survived through to the second week.
- many of the wannabes had travelled to the catwalk show with their family, one brought her pet rat, which she then took down the catwalk on her shoulder, plain weird if you ask me, she also made it through, a move I'm sure the jury will regret because this girl was hyper, she couldnot keep still and could barely string a comprehensible sentence together.
- the wannabes are all terribly tall and terribly thin, I heard that the U.S. version of the show had a "plus size" model amongst their candidates, very PC of them, can't see that happening in Germany for a good few years, they can't even spell PC...anyway, one of last weeks 51 had the temerity to catch malaria (she lives in South Africa) in the time between the original casting when she made it into the 51 (clearly filmed last autumn sometime) and the catwalk show that aired last week (I guess filmed more recently) instead of losing weight as she fought the illness, her mother fed her up on "little fishes cooked in milk" (most of the jury struggled to hide their revulsion at such a meal) and as she said herself, she clearly ate too much of the little fishes cooked in milk, but she recovered from malaria without resorting to drugs. She has put on 10 kilos since she made it into the top 51 and when she appeared at the head of the catwalk the jury weren't sure that they had the right girl. The programme producers clearly knew they had the right girl and were totally prepared, because this girl was forced to walk down the catwalk to the song "Big and Chunky" by Will.I.Am, they had even sneakily edited the track so that pretty much all you heard was the word "chunky" being repeated over and over again. As I said, it'll be a long time before Germany is politically correct.
- the girls are expected to walk down the catwalk and pose, showcasing themselves, selling themselves to the jury, one girl went a little too far by walking down in a swimming costume (it wasn't even a very nice cossie) and had the producers/assistants running on with a silky dressing gown to cover her nakedness, bizarre really when you consider that the next episode is being shot on a beach in Thailand where I'm guessing they wont be wearing winter coats. Another girl had on a stretchy fitted tube style top over skinny jeans, the camper member of the jury didnot like this at all, and jumped to his feet and before you could say "Germany's Next TopModel" he had pulled the girl's top down so that it was (mini)dress length and removed her jeans. The poor girl was mortified and I can't remember whether she made it through to the 25, but if she did then she'll need to get used to stripping in front of the cameras because models are always having to change clothes in front of other people, definitely not a profession for the shy and retiring!
I usually watch Heidi on my own as it's too late for Jas (10) and too uncool/girly/booooooring for Ben(14) and Simon is often just not here, but this time I had the pleasure of watching the almost 3 hour long show with Si - I don't think he'll be back for more!
* 51 rather than 50 (which would have been the obvious number) because last year there was a girl who made it to the first 25 but was then diagnosed with a particular type of cancer and had to pull out of the show in order to receive treatment. At the time Heidi told Melek that they would keep a place for her in the following year's show, hence 50+1.
**this is the main problem (in my opinion) with German TV, they take a perfectly workable TV series from another country, Come Dine with Me, Who wants to be a Millionaire etc. and stretch it out to last all evening, making it time consuming and draining, even if you record it and watch it back so you can speed through the ad breaks, it's still a loooooong show.