On being Germanized

Image if you will … it’s 20:15 on a Sunday evening in Germany. Anywhere in Germany. Anywhere at all in Germany really. The show is on. Tatort. The familiar flickering of the super sized boob tubes cast their long familiar ambient spells and stun their captive audience into a mute fascination. It begins …

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It’s only TV I know … and TV is furniture but it’s the fun kind of furniture to sit and watch. Germans love watching their TVs. Especially on Sunday evenings when Germany’s longest running crime series airs. Tatort first aired in November 29, 1970 and continues to this  day.Funny thing is I remember this show from it’s black and white days when I was still a younger lad.

And I believe that now that I’ve begun to settle into the weekly viewing habit, and rather anticipating the next show that I’m beginning to become more German. You see, it’s tradition in many households to watch this sometimes riveting crime scene murder investigation.

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Watch Tatort on Sundays and investigate together here with us at 20:15

And yes it is a little different than the run of the mill ‘mercan crime shows. I find that this show in particular makes the viewer think a bit as she/he tries to figure out the current case and what makes this show rather interesting is the fact that often an unanticipated twist takes you places you weren’t anticipating. That’s one of the reasons I like the show.

No, I don’t always like the episodes but that’s to be expected but I’ve come to like this or that detective duo and the particular chemistry that make them work, or not work.

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And in the months preceding my move back to Germany a couple of years ago, I used Youtube to watch as many of the online shows as I could to get the language back into my ear and head. Now that that’s in there my Sunday evenings are scheduled, ha.

It’s always interesting to discover what kind of a story and writers came up with. See you on  the couch next Sunday evening; German style.

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At the movies – German Style

It’s a Friday afternoon when the urge to see something on a screen bigger than the smallish TV we have strikes. Lets say it’s … oh, 16:00 or thereabouts. This urge does not strike too often thank goodness, given the admission prices at most movie theaters and really good films/movies are few and far between. So I generally avoid the rubbish.

I check local theaters on-line and find something worth the price of admission, a French flick that I initially mistake as something German.

Paulette, French Film

Paulette, French Film

Ok, honest mistake I insist, even if the name Paulette does not have that Teutonic ‘Klang’ at all. Instead of reasonable start times that I am used to from the North American movie entertainment palaces, I find myself struggling with the odd menu offerings where this film is shown then but not later, or that one later and not earlier. And I find it a bit constricting in terms of an impromptu movie binge.

The constraints don’t stop there. Oh no, it gets better. In fact it is very organized this movie viewing thing. You see you just can’t just buy a ticket for a certain show and simply wander past the ticket taker and into the theater and pick whatever seat suits your fancy at the moment. No, you must choose a seat via screen at the time of ticket purchase. Meaning that you buy your specific seat. Perhaps that is so because most theaters around here are fit into existing buildings instead of the mega entertainment mecca’s that consume valuable acreage in or around most fair sized towns and cities elsewhere. It’s more discreet here. You can even pre order/reserve seats online or via phone if you so choose.

Ok, so we (I didn’t go alone) bought our tickets and selected our seats from the available slots onscreen and settled in for the pre-show. The place was nearly empty, not bad for a 200 seat room. Most of those taken were behind us and I was enjoying the leg and elbow room when to my right I spied a group of four studiously comparing the fine text on their tickets to seat row numbering and then narrowing in on the row we were seated in. “Come on” I thought … “this can’t be”. It was. They edged their collective way past us and much to my surprised dismay they sat down in the seats right next to my left elbow. “Damned” was my next thought.  Row upon empty row before us, and more empty seats further along this row. I had to smile because somehow that sense of German efficiency had calculated that someone would choose exactly those seats; and not be swayed to move a few seats over so as to give some ‘personal space’, even after it became apparent that no other movie gowers would occupy any other of the empty seats. I even chuckled, cause the guy who got to sit next to me never even once tried to rest his right elbow on the arm rest between us; I having laid claim to it by rights of having sat down first. Weirdness indeed.

The movie was worth the experience and we laughed at all the right places. Well enjoyed indeed. Check it out if you get a chance.