This critically acclaimed drama focuses on the Drombuschs, an average German family living in Darmstadt near Frankfurt. Siegfried, the father, runs an antique shop, while his wife Vera ...
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This critically acclaimed drama focuses on the Drombuschs, an average German family living in Darmstadt near Frankfurt. Siegfried, the father, runs an antique shop, while his wife Vera looks after their home and the three children Chris, Marion and Thommy. Chris is a duteous police officer who marries the complicated Tina, daughter of a wealthy family, but his sister couldn't really handle her life after she gives birth to little Daniel and becomes a single mom. Then, Siegfried's mother moves in and annoys the whole family. After a while, Vera and Siegfried buy and begin to renovate an old mill, but the financial problems and the stress is too much for Siegfried who dies after a heart attack. In this difficult time, Vera is supported by uncle Ludwig, a relative who suddenly turns up. In secret, he falls in love with her, but she starts a disappointing relationship with journalist Martin Sanders whose wife Brigitte tries to destroy their love. The following years, the family has to ... Written by
Everyone who was old enough to watch this series when it ran on German TV remembers it, mostly as the most beloved kitsch ever to run there. What else would we expect from a family series anyway ? Indeed we don't meet an exactly poor and uneducated family, and that almost painfully white apartment the first season starts in evokes almost automatically associations with "Das Traumschiff" and even more those cheesy hospital series. But think again. Isn't the screenwriter Robert Stromberger the same who only two years before the start of this series made a movie about a high-school student's committing suicide, "Tod eines Schülers", that was so serious it got banned from TV ? In comparison, you will indeed find that there are a lot of similarities, starting with the fact that almost the whole cast was recycled and that dramaturgy and the way the dialogs are constructed are quite similar: everyday situations that are always on the borderline to escalation. Oh, and both are set in Darmstadt. But what's more striking is one thing: the series never stops showing perfect examples of casually dysfunctional family life in action. Let's start with Sigi. He is a clear case of an obsessive-compulsive fusspot, an absentee dad who is only there for his children to be patronizing towards them and who can't let go of the idea of having three shops, a political career and a stressful house construction at the same time. Then Vera: can she ever not yell all the time when passing an information ? And does she really at one point say how much she craves for jealousy from her husband ? The kids never do anything around the house, complain all the time about her mother's cooking and obviously never learn how a washing machine works, even when moving away. They have a hard time to grow up, and they are hardly encouraged to do so. Even the oldest and most reasonable, Chris, having a stable job as police officer, is basically acting like a big teenager staying his mum to save up for a sports car. His sister Marion doesn't have a lot of consideration for responsibility. Marion's son, result of an accidental pregnancy with a random guy she toured with, should suffer some real emotional damage from his early years. We never know who takes care of him with her working all the time, and judging from the fact that baby never makes any noise and looks away, it seems like a case of autism or severe hospitalism. Marion's younger brother Thomi, is a a neglected child that hardly can get anything done in life, struggles in school from the start and ends up bumming around at some point. The list is long and not even complete. There are sane characters in the series, but they are not the central ones, obviously. It should be clear, anyway, that the judgment as kitsch for this series could be everything but justified.
All this doesn't reduce the merits of this series in no way. In fact, it is only astonishing it has been considered as cheesy for quite a long time. Maybe this says quite a bit about the society it was watched by. If it considered all that as heart warming kitsch, what does it say about what goes on in it's families everyday ? Maybe screenwriter Robert Stromberger knew that and was just mocking the German public. If he did, it was an ingenious way to do so.
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