Thursday, November 10, 2005

Golod: Berlin vs. New York

RussianNY has also cast its gaze on the reality TV series Golod (Hunger): Survivor - extremely Russian!

Summarizing the show, RussianNY says, “the participants must share the fate of many Russian immigrants thrown into the fire of the Big Apple: not knowing three words of English, the young people must not die of hunger and get what they need to survive in any way they can on the unforgiving streets of Queens!”

“To the credit of the involuntary immigrants,” the article continues, “they have demonstrated exceptional ingenuity, each in turn justifying the moral of the saying “golj na vydumku khitra (the poor are clever in ideas).”

The article also compares this season to last year’s Golod, set in Berlin:

Last year, the organizers threw the group of guinea pigs in Berlin without any knowledge of German… and even did not tell them where they were being taken, which almost ended in an international scandal when the police intervened after receiving numerous reports about strange Russians ready to do anything to earn a bit of crumbs. This year, organizers decided to soften the conditions – on the insistence of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, which was not pleased that the contestants were being taken around the world like little more than prisoners of 21st century slave traders. And beyond that, the show’s organizers have guaranteed the Office of Film, Theater and Television of the Office of the Mayor of New York that none of the participants will suffer or die of malnutrition during filming.

In November 2003, Reuters featured the Berlin show ("Hungry" Russians Stranded On TV Game Show in Berlin), after the daily Bild reported that "Russian TV lets young women starve in a Berlin container." In the Reuters article, TNT producer Dmitry Troitsky responded to accusations that the contestants would turn to crime or prostitution, saying that "the contestants are sent into the city with camera teams, so there is no question of them resorting to crime."

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