Saturday, May 13, 2006

TV, My Love

John’s grandmother-ish person digs this German tv series, Kommissar Rex (Police Commissioner Rex), so John has been taping episodes for her. This is the perfect show for Mystery-Science-Theater-fication. Oh my god—sometimes the comments John and I come up with are entertaining enough to justify having to watch “Lassie Meets NYPD Blues” every Saturday night until the tape is full.

Basically, this German shepherd is the brains behind the entire police force. The most basic procedural work falls under their radar (like searching a suspect’s apartment, especially his computer, and NOT OPENING THE SCANNER), and Rex has to pick up the slack. I think he may also double as the force accountant.

He’s also the master of diversionary tactics. While the other cop is trying to make her getaway, he pushes the bad guy down the stairs. Then he rolls a chair down after him.

He’s so well trained that he keeps attacking the perp, even when the guy’s waving a chainsaw at him. Of course, the other cops are so incompetent that when the bad guy with the chainsaw falls off the roof, they don’t bother to check if he’s dead or slowly crawling away out of sight of the screen. They just sigh and smile and shake their heads when Rex peeks over the roof, completely unharmed.

And Rex turns his head away discreetly when his owner is kissing someone. An officer *and* a gentleman.

After hours, he likes to fetch birthday cakes (episode “Happy Birthday”). Who puts the dog in charge of bringing the cake?!

In other tv-watching news, we are still trying to come to terms with a couple of German shows that we just can’t seem to wrap our brains around. One is called “Wetten, dass...?” (“Bet that...?”). Here’s how someone on the Internet Movie Database described it:

“Each show has several celebrities invited who have to bet on different contestant(s) achieving his/her/their goal of performing a stunt. If the celebrities fail to anticipate whether their stunt will succeed or not, they have to meet their stake. Usually one stunt takes place outside the studio. At the end of the show, the best stunt is being voted for by the audience. There is also an audience bet, a stunt which the audience does choose from a preselection, which is not prepared and must be organized by the host city within the time the show is running. If the stunt succeeds, the show's host has to meet his stake.”

This show has been on for *25* years people, and the celebrities? Tom Cruise. I shit you not. Just a couple of weeks before Katie Holmes popped. His stunt (heh) to bet on was whether two 8th or 9th-grade girls could guess the identities of their classmates (male and female) by their *lipstick prints*. Depeche Mode was the musical guest once. And the host, Thomas Gottschalk, is a German icon. He also pimps the Haribo gummi treats. mmm... gummi bears.

But the concept of celebrity in Germany seems a little broad. Ok, ok, I know we have Paris Hilton et al., so maybe my impression is a bit pot/kettle-ish, but they still have nobility that are famous for doing nothing but having the right parents (and now we’re back to Paris Hilton). And some entertainers don’t ever seem to have regular jobs, they just bounce from one celebrity special to the next (and they seem to be on every week). The one I just saw advertised is for a putt-putt golf special. With celebrity guests. Mind-blowing. We’ve also seen this format on the “ABCs of the Smurfs” and “The Best Dance Songs” (whose “Time Warp” made me gnash my teeth in horror). But on the other hand, the dance show had a crazy-ass-looking band called Rednex from Sweden that played their version of the “Cotton-Eyed Joe”, which I promise you will never, ever hear in any Austin country-western bar. But I liked it.

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