I watch an unholy amount of television. It’s sort of my raison d’etre. And with the fall season starting next week, I’m going to be even more glued to my TV than usual. So why, then, have I become addicted to two shows that aren’t even on in the United States? Yup, I have joined the legion of fans keeping up with German sudsers Verbotene Liebe (Forbidden Love) and Alles Was Zahlt (All That Matters) via YouTube.
At first, my interest in both was purely professional. It’s always good to cover soaps overseas, especially if they’re globally popular. And both VL and AWZ have gained a lot of notice, due to their well-written gay storylines. Being able to e-mail interview with VL‘s Jo Weil (Oliver) and Thore Scholermann (Christian) and AWZ‘s Dennis Grabosch (Roman) and Igor Dolgatschew (Deniz) was a really cool opportunity. I also got to hang out with ex-VL head writer and current AWZ writer Tom Chroust last year. It was great to pick his brain about U.S. soaps vs. German ones. But my interest was mostly, as I said, professional and educational.
I would catch up on VL once in a while, but there was at least six months where I lost track of what was going on. (For instance, I had no idea Gregor and Rebecca broke up. Oops!) Now I’m checking every few days for new clips. By virtue of Christian/Olli being “in demand,” they’re the only storyline with subtitles, so I still really have no idea what’s happening on the rest of Verbotene Liebe besides Christian being a landscaper and Olli manning No Limits. (And that Gregor and Luise ran off together and Olivia is still the awesome bitch she’s always been. LOL.) But I love it, and the show just brings a smile to my face. It’s very feel-good.
For AWZ, the subtitled clips of the Roman and Deniz storyline actually include other characters and I am floored by how soapy the show is! I mean, on what planet would Roman be able to pass as a female ice skater? LOL. And Deniz is such a emotionally handicapped idiot! Is it healthy to scream at your laptop screen? ‘Cause I had a whole tirade along the lines of, “Oh my GOD, Deniz, would you just tell Roman you love him so he won’t leave town?” And then there’s their skating rival, Jennifer Steinkamp, who is a bitch on the level of VL’s Olivia (I’m a sucker for these kinds of characters). And she’s having a dirty-hot affair with Deniz’s father, Marian. (Anyone who knows my love for GH’s Coleman knows that good-looking middle-aged bartenders are totally up my alley.) His loved ones hate her and she’s pretty much slumming, so it’s basically a forbidden romance. I had to crack up this week, when Marian had a vivid fantasy of Jenny washing his car, set to the Jessica Simpson cover of “These Boots Were Made For Walkin'” and then they went at it on the kitchen table. They’re insanely hot together.
Good television is good television regardless of what language its in. And I think the mark of both shows’ quality is that I’m not just interested in the gay boys. I actively wish I could watch all of both series, because the entire canvas is so much fun. In fact, I don’t really understand people who can only watch a show for one story. I like being engaged by everything! And I think I’m slowly starting to pick up some German, too!
Mein Gott. I’m going to have even less of a life than usual this fall, aren’t I? LOL.