Close, But Not Quite

(I wrote this in the Frankfurt airport yesterday… just now getting around to posting it)
You know, you’d think I’d remember how weird watching familiar TV shows in different languages is. But, I’m an idiot, so of course, it’s a shock every time. I didn’t want much TV this week, but when getting ready in the morning, or more often, when in the transition from “nerding out” to “good gravy, I’m exhausted and ready for sleeping, brain shut off now” and needing something to distract me from vertical text, mixed left to right and right to left text interspersed with vertical text and all the problems that poses for CSS (and the world in general – is it too late for Esperanto? And no, Richard, I’ll never join the Internationalization Working Group… one day was enough).
Where was I, oh yeah, TV. In the hotel, they had a collection of stations:
* a bunch of French channels
* a station from Monaco in Italian
* Eurosport – where all the commentary is English, but the ticker and commercials are German
* BBC One – If you don’t know what the BBC is, umm, you need to get out more.
* CNN International
* Rei Uno – Italian
* RTL – German
* and Russian, Chinese and Arabic stations.
For some reason, I was drawn to Rei Uno because they had the Italian version of Big Brother, you know, Grande Fratello (it might have been Fratello Grande, I can’t remember – I’ve been up for a long time). It was funny as hell, really. I didn’t need to understand anything they said, the situation was easy to figure out. We’ve seen the situations all before, and there seems to be something about Italian TV that even if you turned off the sound, you could tell exactly what was going on.
And, the kings of reality TV, the British, have put together another absolute winner: Millionaire Mansion. You know those shows where people bring in old crap and some tweed-clad aristocrat tells them that it’s really a Victorian bowel de-obstructor and is worth, wait for it, eight thousand pounds!!! Hooray for worthless old crap that turns out to be treasure! The BBC has taken that rather stuffy premise (I watched it getting ready one morning, and wow, it is), and turned it into a reality game show!! I couldn’t turn it off… People off the street, in family teams, have to pick the most valuable item out of three, and then answer some really ridiculous pop culture questions in order to win a vacation in Barbados. Yeah, it’s just as good as it sounds.
It’s good to be heading home. As I’m writing this, I’m sitting in the business lounge in Frankfurt, catching up on TV from last week that I didn’t have time to watch (because I was pulled in by virile Italians trapped in a house crying and then confessing, and then making out).
More to come…

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