German Wertarbeit

From reading my blog you might be inclined to think that I hate US television. That’s not the case – in fact, I love it! The reason I feature it so much is merely that I watch so damn much of it so of couse the failure quota seems to be skewed greatly towards American shows.

Today however, things are different, because this article is about the most recent installment of the everlasting German TV show Tatort (“Crime Scene”). This is in episode 978 (!) which aired on Sunday and was probably a new low for the series, which is saying something since the show’s track record isn’t anything to write home about anyway. Nothing really clicked – terrible actors, a wooden, clich├ęd script and a predictable plot that wasted far too much time before resolving things in the last five minutes.

Anyhoo, when the detectives confront a suspect with the theory of him having an affair, he tells them that the tabloids keep quite good track of his love life. He even shows them a magazine to prove his point. The headline translates to “Beautiful Saskia from the Sachsengirls – with him she’s finally happy” and the pictures show the suspect – a member of a folk music group – madly in love with some other folk music singer. Aww, how sweet!

(c) WDR
(c) WDR

They even bothered to add a little bit of text on the bottom of the right hand side – you can’t possibly read it here but it’s legit, not lipsum text. For a tabloid, the layout looks kinda tame, but it’s convincing enough for the few seconds the camera lingers. Note how the page is the centrefold of the magazine.

When the camera switches to another angle, however, the illusion falls apart quickly:

(c) WDR
(c) WDR

The back of the page is blank, which is especially amazing when you consider they even made up a proper cover and full-page advertisement on the back. If you’re not going to bother with creating a duplex printed page, could you at least instruct the actors not to hold the magazine like they want to show off how terrible a prop it is? Thank you.

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