Monday, March 12, 2012

Wok 'n Roll

Who says German TV is rubbish?

Oh yeah, I remember now, that'd be me...

Well, Saturday night we thought we'd give it a second (or was the third or fourth?) chance, after all if a channel is going to show something really good then it's going to be shown peak time isn't it?  So that'd be the 20:15 slot on a Saturday evening surely?

We even watched one of the "better" channels (Prosieben) and what did we watch?  

I kid you not.  Grown men & women racing down a toboggan run in a reinforced wok with ladles (yep, ladles) strapped to their heels.   This was the jubilee year for the "Welt  Meisterschaft"* Wok competition. Ten years they've been doing this, a whole evening's worth of 'entertainment', adults sliding on ice in kitchen utensils.   And I thought football dragged on a long time, at least that's only 90 minutes (plus the half time tea/toilet break) the Wok racing started at 20:15 and finished sometime after midnight (I say "sometime" because we went to bed around 11, yes it was mildly entertaining but it was live, I'm sure the only editing done to the show was choosing which shot to broadcast and when to cut to an ad break.  It got a little repetitive to say the least, although it was very professionally lit.**

The teams (after all it was the World Championship and so it couldn't just be Germany taking part***) seemed to be made up of Z list celebs with an affinity for Germany (such as the Right Said Fred boys from back in the 80's) or the "celebs" owned by the channel (these ones had the honour of representing the two German teams) such as Stefan Raab (who is responsible for the game, seriously, it can't be termed a sport can it?) and Georg Hackl who was three time Olympic and World champion luger, who on completing a magnificent run declared this would be his last year (but I get the impression that he says that every year).  But at least in the Wok World Championships there were other countries participating, Brazil, Ireland, Great Britain (oh, the ignomy) the Netherlands, Switzerland, Austria, Turkey and even America was represented by "Evil Jared".

The first guy (Ailton, Brazil - who spoke perfect German and an ex pro football goalie, who has also done the I'm a Celeb Dschungelcamp) came to a complete stop partway down the course and had to be pushed off, then he stopped again this time 3 guys helped him away from the scene, it was declared by the cackling commentator, a true wok of shame.

The Italian, fuelled on spaghetti (that's what he told the pre race camera) went down the track mostly backwards (the woks spin very easily) which was maybe a good idea as he confessed to having done no training at all, after all, it's not a sport, it's just entertainment so why take it seriously...apart for the fact that it's a German show and should therefore be taken seriously, because the people who make it clearly do so.

The 'top favourite' to win, the seven times champ in the single wok, was Hackl (sponsored by Babybel, although I do think the organisers missed a trick here, it would have been far more amusing to have had Georg Hackl sponsored by a company such as Zewa****) the Olympic winning luger so maybe he had an unfair advantage, and it's no surprise that he went on to win the individual event.

Evil Jared was the American solo wok racer who was sponsored by a condom company, he reckoned that he was picked for the job (despite his clear lack of German) because he was the only yank they could find weighing less than the weight limit of 130kg... and despite his weight advantage he didn't do that well.

The second competition was the team event, 4 crazy people in 2 stretch woks joined like a bendy bus, at least they had less tendency to spin...

The East Germans had Olympians in their team (when you want to win you do need to take it seriously) but this didn't help as they went too high on a curve and they all fell out...they managed to kind of stay in but it wasn't pretty - rather like the film Cool Runnings according to the commentator, while the female interviewer thought it looked like a gang bang.

The Swiss team nearly did the same trick but somehow managed to stay in their woks, the Italians fell out completely after the first guy lost his glove right at the very beginning - disaster, and the English team of Right Said Fred plus 2 desperadoes (one of course a total exhibitionist) managed at least to stay in their woks.  The West Germans also had medals (from luge, bobsled and pole vault) in their wok, they were a heavy team and hoped that this would help, they nearly lost it but somehow manged to keep control and went on to win.

Would I watch this show again next year I was asked today, I might, I guess.  If I had nothing better to do and could accompany it with good wine and good company (I really wouldn't want to watch it alone, it's rather like the Eurovision Song Contest in that respect, part (if not all) of the fun comes from watching it with someone else so you can point and laugh) but I have a feeling I might have something more interesting to washing my hair or cleaning out the garage.

Wok on.

*  Welt Meisterschaft = world championship
** personal joke
*** on which note - how does the U.S. still get away with calling their baseball competition the "World Series"?
**** Hakle is a toilet roll manufacturer as is Zewa


Jayne said...

Gawd Verena, watching Wok racing must truly top the list of desperate shows on TV!

Apologies in advance........if it was a timed event, did they play 'Wok Around The Clock' by Bill Haley & the Comets?

*boom boom*
..........closes comment box before evil spells are cast my way!

verena said...

very droll Jayne, they also missed he opportunity to play 'Wok this Way' by Run DMC & 'Woking in Memphis'...Germans, no sense of humour!!

Bryan said...

Thanks Verena, I caught an episode of this a number of years ago whilst in Vienna (bloomin marvelous it was) and have been wondering to this day what it was called. Mystery solved.