The creators of the memorable "living history" miniseries "Schwarzwaldhaus 1902" had gold in their hands here but somehow managed to turn it into treacle -- or something less savoury, to be perfectly honest. To me this was the letdown of the century as the predecessor had been a rare instance of stellar, bigger-than-its-screen TV in Germany; but although I had eagerly anticipated the start of the new series, I ended up staring at the screen in disbelief, and then holding out for several weeknights in the futile hope that there would be a change for the much better once the series had "really gotten underway". Alas, in vain. In an apparent attempt to "make it accessible for the masses" the documentary approach had been so dumbed up and watered down that it ended up being a "Big Brother" in costumes, and without the voyeurism. The only thing that kept my attention was figuring out which character I disliked more: the pretentious teacher? the phlegmatic stable boy? the docile housemaid? the tyrannical cook? ... to name but a few. Witnessing the superiors turning into tyrants at the drop of a top-hat, and the subordinates handing over their spines along with their sneakers and mobile phones instilled a deep-seated dread of the human race in me. Thanks for nothing.
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