|TV: Love is for Everyone!|
by Constantin Jacob in Media & entertainment , 20 January 2020
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The German television landscape is colorful and diverse, but it doesn’t shy away from cliché programs. Public TV channels broadcast cooking and debating shows, while private broadcasters continue to pay tribute to trash TV, looking for new, unsuccessful superstars and unnamed top models year after year.
It is quite remarkable that in this advertising-relevant market almost every target group is catered for. However, looking for a tailor-made TV show for the German GLBTQ community in the overkill of TV formulas is like looking for a needle in a haystack.
Are the German producers too afraid? Is showing love between two people of the same sex still a sensitive subject? Or is the fear of poor ratings simply greater? The USA was a frontrunner in looking for Prince Charming in “Bachelor”-style. In 2016, former *NSYNC member Lance Bass presented the show, only to be remembered because of his past as a young heartthrob. In November 2019, the German broadcaster RTL finally took the criticism to heart and let twenty men look for their very own “Prince Charming.”
In a beautiful beach villa on the sunny island of Crete, the participants set up their tents and tried to win over the heart of twenty-eight-year-old Hamburger Nicolas Puschmann during nine episodes. According to the unwritten laws of television, fights, laughter, intrigues, reconciliation and gossiping were expected, and friends were made for life. For Prince Charming, we see these handsome men cry on television and be more emotional than ever before! Holding Back?
Certainly not! A real man shows unrestrained feelings, regardless of whether the camera records this or the sound is set even higher to get everything in and on the screen right up to the last tear shed.
In the selection of the participants, the production team also has done everything in its power to get a cross-section of gay men. From the confident party animal, the tough but sweet-natured body-builder, and the well-built stripper, to the emotional drag queen, “Prince Charming” showed that gays are not all the same, which rightly gave the show a lot of goodwill in the community.
The show also got positive reviews outside of the gay world. The genuine way in which Nicolas and his twenty men made us melt in the cold winter days was memorable television. The memorable outburst of participant Pascal with his hysterical statement “that bitch just called me a slut,” will undoubtedly remain the most quoted sentence from the first season.
Although “Prince Charming” is a welcome change from the mating rituals in the usual bachelor shows, a dark cloud hung over the idyllic background that was the Cretan blue sky. Why was “Prince Charming” only aired on the paid streaming portal TV.NOW and not on free TV? Apart from the usual responses to pilot projects and the testing of new ideas, the answer was ultimately not satisfactory.
It is understandable that new programs have test runs to prove their suitability. But frankly, much less important or ground-breaking television shows do get the prime time slots on German television. Why the first gay dating show is only available to paying customers of TV.NOW greatly lessens the joy of a show that thematically should have been shown much sooner.
RTL ruined the great start of this program. Because what the boys truly reveal in their struggle for Prince Charming is the important message that can never be communicated enough: Love is for Everyone! It would have been a good thing if this show would have attracted more viewers. The creators must be thanked that they put on a show that is entertaining, without seeking sensation. They simply presented the love between two men not as an extraordinary fact, but as TV entertainment.
After I enthusiastically told a straight friend about the program for days on end and said he had to see an episode, his conclusion was: “It’s perfectly fine, but it’s nothing special.” This is the biggest compliment you can give “Prince Charming.”
Constantin Jacob is our new German correspondant, who at times writes about things he notices
Photos © TVNow, Arya Shirazi
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