“Wendehammer”: corpses in the basement of a multiple-choice society

Whether the skeleton in a basement is worse than an underwater basement largely depends on the body, the basement, and the water level. In “Wendehammer” in the fictitious provincial town of Greubstadt, the following applies as of today: As long as the cellar is flooded with corpses, everything remains in order – if the cellar was not a lake in which four women once drowned. As its level slowly begins to decline, it shifts the body toward daylight – thus giving the ZDF Series a surprising boost at least, which tends to be pretty cool.

Named after the cul-de-sac of the same name with easy retrograde, “Wendehammer” turns out to be a piece assembled with astonishing depth after the (relatively stunning) presentation of its most important inhabitant and annex. A mother of two, Mike (Mike Drust), for example, is a cliché of an immigrant city woman with a cargo bike in the semi-green countryside, who struggles for daycare accommodations and self-esteem in her new apartment home.

On the other hand, her complete opposite is the childless local journalist Nadine (Frederic Linke) whose debts are even greater than the chaos of their long-distance relationship. More organization, but above all: more money and teenagers in a decently furnished home, on the other hand, the dominant hockey mom Franzi (Suzanne Howeke) is obsessed with cleanliness and cake, while clinic doctor Samira (Al-Mira Rafizadeh), unlike her husband has a career But he does not want children. That conglomerate alone would be enough for one true satire of Small to Medium Worlds, which RTL+ expanded to include “Herzogpark” in Munich at the start of the week.

However, since there is something criminal, something is added to bring the German imagination a little closer to universal archetypes. Unmistakable here: “Desperate Housewives,” who had similarly symbolic and real skeletons in the basement of their fictional suburb. None of them should be deepened on the “rotary hammer” for tension reasons. Just that much: A mega golf course project for investor Marcus Steinert (Heikko Deutschmann), better known as “Sun King,” threatens to dig water into the nearby lake and thus expose the basement bodies of the school’s four friends – which they want to prevent with all their might. It must. Because the skeleton at the bottom appears a little more with each slope.

Director Ester Amrami, who was professionally raised in “Lindenstraße”, creates screenplays for Alexandra Maxiner, known for light family fare from “Pubertier” to “Pinocchio”, i.e. a psychosocial portrait of society with a chilling spirit. It’s no coincidence that creatively (and financially) responsible for even producer Diana Hawk are mostly female, just like their main characters. Wendehammer is not only told from the perspective of women who fail in various ways when faced with the social demands of multitasking care companies; Unlike in filmmaking, they don’t need male clichés in bed to break up the female.

Neither Samira Martin’s husband (Jonas Lowes), who is focused on reproduction, nor Nadine Hanes’ boyfriend (Timo Jacobs), who is via Zoom, nor Ronnie attentive Mike (Aram Tavrishian), nor even exaggerated tennis player Kai (Max Vaughn). Pufendorf) is on the conscious side of Franzi, and thus frantically symbolizes his testosterone levels that make true equality more difficult even in post-championship 2022. In that regard, Hyun Wanner was almost perfectly represented as the father of the child of longtime student Julia (Alice Dwyer). With a leather bag, dignity, and a belly full of wealth, Felix helps make up for her nervous illness as a failed descendant of a lawyer dynasty who has difficulties joining the Wendehammer.

When these characters interact, the pedagogical impulse of German authors and directors to evoke every word, every gesture, and every meaningful look is missing. When Samira Martin wants to talk to her about childbearing at breakfast, as is often the case, he responds to her objection to having children, “I’m not,” only without a tone “But that’s me,” and then cements himself with silence rather than ambivalence. When they met a colleague in the hospital d. Tauber (Mark Ben Boch) then blames the chief medical contender for being accused of “compulsively commenting on things that are none of your business”, and reacts with “Did you give me a condition?” .

The communicative thread runs meticulously across the first four segments bearing wreaks like Mayor Fischer (Aykut Kayacik) as little weight as dramatic punches. The neat local editor’s office, for example, in which volunteer Mona (Nellie Tripps) gets close to the mysteries of the spinning hammer, fits more in big cities than small towns today. And the postman whose cat hair allergy anticipates his sweetheart’s hour with Nadine is more funny than helpful. But that doesn’t matter: the focus with which the appropriately diverse (and not overly) diverse team moves our multiple-choice community into a cold state is well worth watching for 45 minutes per episode. Rarely has the skeleton in the basement from a comedy made for prime-time audiences been more hidden.

All six episodes of “Wendehammer” are available in the ZDF Media Library. ZDF will show them on Line TV starting May 12th Thursday at 8:15 p.m. in double episodes.

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