There seems to be only one thing that German television viewers like watching better then shows about people who fail here and go off somewhere else in the world to start a new life. It is to see these very same people fail there, too.

Shows about what I call auswandering (immigrating) are still booming in Germany, and anything that lasts more than a few weeks on television anywhere is socially relevant in my book, although asocially relevant would probably be the better term to use here. You can imagine how these shows work: So-and-so’s company went broke and his house has been put up for auction and “Lanzarote is the only chance for him to escape a life of unemployment.” It’s hilarious, really, and these aren’t even comedies. And that’s probably the reason why. Of course poor so-and-so ends up unemployed on Lanzarote, too, but at least the sun always shines there and he can hang out at the beach.

The broadcasters of these shows stress their asocial relevance/value by selling them as programs with educational value, which of course they are in a way, somehow, somewhere, but certainly not in the way they intended them to be, or did not intend them to be, I should say. Critics of these programs say that their only function is to entertain those who stay at home. And these guys are right on the money, too.

Of course some of these intrepid immigrant individuals actually appear to succeed at auswandering, but German viewers, being clever as they are, know that this is really just some statistical scam to give these shows a more “realistic” touch or something. They know better. If you can fail it here, you can – and will – fail anywhere.

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