Flipping through the myriad of cable channels the other evening, I landed upon House Hunters International, a staged-reality show where buyers are shown three homes and have to pick one of them to buy or rent. I say “staged-reality” because this isn’t a true reality show. As far as I have understood, it is made to look like a reality show but behind the scenes, the final decision has already been made, the documents signed, and thus the drama and conflict in the show are contrived.
All that is neither here nor there, however, because the location of this particular episode was in Würzburg, Germany, and I found myself staying up long past my bedtime in order to watch fake reality TV.
The rewards were plentiful: stereotypical German realtor, stereotypical American expectations, stunted and parallel communication, and cookie-cutter German apartments. Continue reading