Monday, July 2, 2012

Mix-Up Monday: Television/TV

Television around the world is pretty similar. Endless house of entertainment that can be found through just pushing a little button.
The Germany and the USA are extremely similar when it comes to television...partially because a rather large percentage of shows on German television are American. When she first moved to Germany this surprised her. Somewhere deep down inside she guesses she knew that the entire world listens to American music and watches American movies and television shows, but knowing is not the same as seeing. There is not a moment when she has turned on the television here in Germany and not found something originally made in America (that doesn't mean it is always the best choice of what is on though). We don't watch too much TV and when we do we often watch online through sources such as Netflix or Hulu. This started because her German was not strong enough to understand everything going on and because she was annoyed by listening to the actors and actresses she was so used to having "silly" German voices. Now she understands basically everything she watches so there is no real reason to watch shows online, but even he has gotten to be a fan of seeing things in their original format and listening to the actors in English. 

Beyond the choice of shows and the dubbed voices, there are other parts of television viewing/owning she find strange.

Die Tagesschau (
First, in America television shows are always (at least 99.99% of the time) start on the hour or half hour. For example, 7:00 or 7:30. When a 30 minute show is on it starts at either time. When the show will be one hour long it starts on the hour and ends on the hour. This is not the case in Germany and even after all this time she still has trouble remembering when things start. Shows in Germany can start during any 15 minute increment. The most popular prime time seems to be at 8:15 in the evening. One news show, Die Tagesschau, starts at 8:00 pm and goes until 8:15 pm. This is apparently (she even learned this in German class in the USA) the time you are not supposed to call anyone in Germany because they do not want their viewing to be interrupted.She has never tested to see if it is true but he says calling then is definitely a good thing to avoid.

20:00 - time for Die Taggesschau! (
It is too complicated to get into cable/satellite choices for television in the USA and Germany and as far as we can tell they are very similar...even the entire USA varies by region so who knows what "normal" is. The big difference when it comes to paying for TV in Germany is a tax that must be paid by every German household if they own a television, radio or computer (uuuh does anyone not own these things??) This same tax exists in England and you can hear tale after tale about people trying to avoid the tax and having officials come to their door and try to look through their windows. This tax, although a bit strange to both of us, does pay for public television which is quite entertaining and well made in Germany.

The final and perhaps largest difference between TV in the USA and Germany is what comes on after 10 at night. She grew up in the USA which is also known to the rest of the world as a prude prude country. To say she was shocked would be putting it mildly the first time she turned on a German TV after 10 pm. Channel after channel has naked women. From selling phone apps, phone chatlines or even quiz shows where the hostess is nude is not uncommon. It is not even uncommon, it is very common! It is impossible to change a few channels without passing one with naked women (he wants to point out that they are only mostly naked, the important girly parts get covered). There are also many many documentaries about prostitutes (legal in Germany), swing clubs, so on so on. When the children go to bed, the Germans come out to play...except every German she has had the topic come with, has complained that it takes up too many channels, there are too many annoying naked girl advertising. This is something that you would never see on basic television in the USA that is not especially purchased (i.e., HBO).

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