Here’s your weekly German media recommendation from Monoglot Anxiety. This time, it’s the satirical late-night show ZDF Magazin Royal hosted by Jan Böhmermann.
I realized I’ve been a bit inconsistent with the newsletters lately, but I will be trying to get back on track to send out a newsletter every week going forward. I am also going to be working on revising and updating the Monoglot Anxiety site as I figure out what makes sense to focus on given my time constraints (grad school isn’t a cakewalk!).
If you have any feedback or suggestions for what you’d like to see more of from Monoglot Anxiety, please let me know! Send an email to email@example.com to get in touch.
That said, onto the recommendation!
If you enjoy late-night satirical news programs like The Daily Show and Last Week Tonight, why not check out their German (and in my opinion, better) counterpart? ZDF Magazin Royal with host Jan Böhmermann is not just great German-language content, it is great content period. Böhmermann’s show has all of the real-life trolling you might expect from a pre-pandemic John Oliver, and his team’s strategic deployment of the odd meme or video clip is great. The show is a great way for high-intermediate German learners to get a handle on domestic problems and politics in Germany while simultaneously growing an appreciation for certain aspects of German pop culture and meme-ery that you won’t find in a textbook.
A few episodes I can recommend are the ones on Austrian Prime Minister Sebastian Kurz and Germany’s would-be prince seeking reparations (you read that right) for property seized by the Soviets during WW2… The episode on internet speed issues in Germany is also great.
We’re always more aware of domestic issues than we are of those that impact people living in other countries. Especially being American, it’s easy to think that Europe has absolutely everything better figured out than we do. Whether it’s true that the US (or wherever you live) is really is the disaster you might joke about it being, it can be good to remember that other countries have their own issues, too. Using satirical late-night shows to get a handle on the issues that are important (or unimportant/overlooked) in Germany was fascinating to me as a German learner — and it made me feel a bit less down on the US. People are awful everywhere! What a comforting thought…
That’s it for this week!
Elise from Monoglot Anxiety