“It was fun,” says Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg at the end of the show, around 11:32 p.m., after almost 200 minutes of “people, pictures, emotions”. In these more than three hours, the Iranian Sanaz Safaie talked about how she was raped, came to Germany four years ago and today has to watch as Western politicians maneuver between the nuclear agreement and the energy crisis.

Vitali Klitschko was connected live from Kiev and reported on the situation on site, with no heating, no electricity and the harsh winter approaching. The journalists Paul Ronzheimer and Kavita Shahrma recalled their life-threatening missions in the war zone. Olga Okara from Mariupol tearfully told how she discovered her dead father in a video, saw her dying mother lying in a bed in a TV report about a hospital.

“It was fun”. Well then.

Almost 365 days in 2022 are over, rarely in the years before has the review been so full of tragedy, death and tears. One would have needed someone like Günter Jauch all the more. It’s hard to imagine how often the man may have slipped back and forth on the TV couch at home, clasping his hands over his head, staring at the ceiling at a loss, just like in those moments when the WWM candidate also received the umpteenth Note studiously ignored in the 500-euro question.

TG and KT would have needed something like a telephone joker here and there, although it started out reasonably solid. A credit above all to Wotan Wilke Möhring and Antonia Riët, who presented their joint film “Because we champions are” again. Möhring, a matter-of-fact, emotional PR man for a good cause, Riët, a super likeable young woman, who one would have liked to hear a little more about.

One would have liked to hear less of Gottschalk in a talk with little Amelia, whose song from the film “Frozen”, which she sang in a Kiev air raid shelter, went viral in the spring. “Did you want to be famous when you sang in the bunker?” TG asked her in all seriousness if she did it for fame. Judging by little Amelia’s long line, someone in the synchro-interpretation department had relented and turned off the sound. Gottschalk’s attempts to “snuggle up” with the eight-year-old also went ‘lost in translation’. Finally, the joy of the girl, who was able to flee to Poland with her grandmother and her brother Misha shortly after her stay in the bunker, was heart-rending in view of the gifts presented by Gottschalk – a really emotional moment.

Finally, a talk like the one from the in-between world by Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg with Finance Minister Christian Lindner, who, qua self-accusation, “jumped over his own shadow billions of times to avoid going into debt.” The answers of the “person Lindner” and not of the politician, that’s what KT had wanted. One of the questions people are most likely to be waiting for the answer to, given cold heaters and freezer burns in front of the TV: Will Ferraris still be affordable next year?

At Lindner’s wedding location, on Sylt, the question will probably be answered in a similar way to Dortmund, where Chico became a 10-fold millionaire in September and first of all treated himself to one, namely a Ferrari, just to tell all the envious people demonstrate. After a life full of missteps, he would have wanted to show his critics that he was good for something and what he was capable of, he confessed to Gottschalk, with whom he lounged on the bonnet of that very vehicle. On the other hand, none of the millions would have brought his dream woman, Sarah Connor, who had been announced in the spot minutes earlier, to the show. Ms. Connor did what you do when you realize just before the big day that it might all be a bit much: get a yellow bill. Flu! Get well soon from here.

Gottschalk saw it through his own empathy glasses during the live phone call with the singer: “It was a shitty year, but there is also good news: Sarah Connor canceled”, he said to the team. Again: get well soon!

Finally, in the last third, after encouraging stories from Paula Rüpcke, whom Tobias Hilsmann had saved with his bone marrow donation, and flight attendant Alex Böhmer, who fought his way back to life with a lot of guts after suffering from bone cancer, politics again with Sahra Wagenknecht, who from the Klimaklebern demanded that “society should not be taken hostage with its methods”. It’s almost touching how, in view of the “Pictures of the Year”, in which hurricanes and forest fires, heat battles and tornadoes alternate this time, the protest methods are still grumbled instead of tackling the content.

Football also took place when the European Vice-Champions Alexandra Popp and Lena Oberdorf were first questioned in detail about their male kicker colleagues and then listened to KT footballer sayings from the Pleistocene. And then the “Wetten, dass…?” wind blew through the studio when Westernhagen performed “Zeitgeist”, his comeback single from this year. “Cheating is considered clever,” was how the eternal Marius put it in his brief monologue on the state of the nation. In view of the fact that he utters these words in a program that is moderated by Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg of all people, one almost wants to quote the same: That, dear Marius, was fun.

“We should manage a shitstorm,” said the two moderators, one a status rookie, the other mentally in early retirement, at the beginning of the show. In view of the waving of cue cards and misplaced grins, a long line and cutting off words, it should probably only be enough for a warm breeze. Maybe next year…