A series about the supermarket in disarray

If you watch the branch manager Thorsten do nothing for a while, and if you also hear all the capricious, self-important and at the same time vulgar chatter of his utterances, you are – if you are old enough – shocked by sad memories of the last few years of smaller grocery stores .

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In the 1960s, owners and saleswomen (mainly) in their white coats and holy strife about milk and flour sounded as dangerous as the Doctor’s Uncle, who came home with his coat blown in the air to relieve a fever. A small team who knows the quality and effect of their merchandise well, who always weighs things politely and packs them in paper bags, who advises customers and takes out the chocolate biscuits from the children’s big biscuit jars on their mothers’ skirts.

It was a well organized shelving world where sometimes something was only ‘off’ and had to be ordered. It all ended when the supermarket, with its seemingly endless supply, found its way even into the big villages and untied the personal relationship between the salesperson and the customer and vice versa. They loved Aunt Emma and Uncle Ernst better and betrayed them anyway. to the special offer.

Camera team illuminates the daily lives of work shy people

At the beginning of the presentation of the new Amazon series “Die Discounter” (actually streamable), one has to admit that one does not know a declining sales team like the one I encountered in this Christian Ulmen-produced series. Otherwise, people may be ordering groceries online from now on. Ulmen, not acting himself, sticks to the fictional principle in the style of “Stromberg”: the invisible camera team seems to capture daily life in one of the three branches of “Feinkost Kolinski” – everything that happens in the sales room, in the cash registers in the parking lot and behind backstage.

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For example, in the cold room, where Flora (rapper Nora Habib Omar), who really wants to be a rapper in the series, cools down her heat with a ten-minute stand with suppliers. Her attitude to her employer: “Fuck the supermarket where you can!” Her Attitude Towards Customers: “They Hate Us, We Hate Them!” So she gives the woman a very small euro and gives her new apprentice Titus (“antagonist” – co-author Bruno Alexander) too. That’s advice — and yes, it’s probably the bare minimum. The employees of “Kolinski-Altona” repeatedly turn to the camera in individual statements to explain how they see their small world.

Branch manager Thorsten is afraid of relegation

As a spectator, how are you supposed to love someone like Thorsten Krause (the wonderful Marc Hosemann), who has no idea what he’s doing, who has somehow become a branch manager, but will keep that position no matter what – i.e. he’s very close to insurance peer Stromberg Professionally unsuspecting.

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Thorsten is afraid to go down. This is completely justified. Anyone who finished third in the three Kolinsky branches like him could be replaced very quickly. Biggest Fear: “Sabine is coming!” He sighs when she finally shows only her right hand instead of her boss: “But the numbers don’t look good,” in the meantime she tells a nervous Thorsten. Who will do all sorts of inappropriate and illogical things in the upcoming episodes to score points against the two competing markets. His darkest secret – €15,000 embezzlement – threatens to come out every 16-20 minutes (that’s how long the episode lasts).

It’s hard at first to love these kids and losers

And should one like Peter (Ludger Buckelmann), who considers himself an indomitable womanizer and at the same time suffers from a serious educational complex? Warm up for Sami (David Ali Rashid), a pretty boy who had occasional hits with the women but almost fell off a forklift due to sheer laziness? Old widow Wilhelm who wanders into the pawn shop like a ghost? The human-hating sex monster Flora? Totally clumsy security man Jonas (Merlin Sandmeyer), whom even the not-too-intelligent Thorsten considers “like a fetus incapable of life”? Sausage Leah (Mary Blushing), the mysterious Alpina (Clara Lang)?

So that’s what they should be, typical of Corona’s heroes, who were applauded on the balconies, the brave ones, who to this day remain at the forefront of the perilous monkey scene of those unwilling to vaccinate, and who put themselves at risk for a handful of euros in order to get Care to guarantee the republic? Really now?

Well, to be clear: the events at “Die Discounter” are obviously taking place in the present day, but in a parallel world in Germany where Corona is not an issue. Nobody is wearing a mask here, nobody is keeping the epidemic at minimum distances. Kind of another planet.

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Mouse for exhibitions “Kolinsky Imspotel”

Is this supermarket 2021? Steal from employees and customers using every trick in the book? Where does everyone take their smoke break at the same time while people are stuck inside in the exit line? In which of the skaters use the merchandise to build the obstacles that they then jump onto their skateboards in the fairways? Where do mice gnaw on pizza boxes under the freezer? And who is trying to encourage the rat-caught competitors from “Kolinski Eimsbüttel” until they fall back to third place on the list? Branch war.

In addition to these fights, it is also told how society emerges from seemingly irreconcilable individuals. This is generally arrogant in a series, but it’s only funny in the first 10 episodes of this series in particular if you can also enjoy frustrating things and put up with the low mood for a while, which isn’t that easy at the moment.

Much more can be revealed: Fall in love with this panoptic of comic and wildly exaggerated everyday characters that fill with adorable impromptu scripts. It all starts with the blonde Titus, who charmingly accepts a cute and immoral offer. Lia and Pina appear early on as displays of identification – as voices of reason in Kolinski’s kindergarten-like chaos. And soon, even from macho catastrophe, Peter will be able to prove with a kiss in time that he has a good heart.

In the middle of the chain, the drop in gluttony evaporates

And the libidinal monster Flora, who is a bit frankly afraid, gives a soccer shove who’s embarrassed about paying for his girlfriend’s tampons an unforgettable and hateful lesson — going out with the class. From episode five onwards, our bipolar depression (also completely unknown from “Stromberg”) evaporated without really noticing how it came about. We tap our feet to the funky and cool music, which has a semi-rhythmic electronic cash register built into it.

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Fahri Yardim, the lead actor alongside Ulmen in “Jerks”, also plays an unsympathetic role in this series based on the Dutch production “Vakkenfullers”. In a brief guest appearance, he sorted organic eggs into a box with cheaper barn eggs, which celebrity-loving detective Jonas found too much.

And the great Doris Kunstmann, as cashier Mrs. Jensen, gives the series the realistic attitude shown by the less glamorous American series “Superstore” (2015-2021). She’s singing about the job and dreaming of something else. And when the celebration of a Thorsten branch manager’s 20-year existence ended with general drunkenness, one would have been delighted with the tenth episode. But this is “made of” where the makers tell how they did it. Great as well!

“Discount” , Ten episodes, written by Emil and Oscar Pelton, Bruno Alexander, with Marc Hausmann, Bruno Alexander, Marie Bloching, Nora Habib Omar, Doris Kunstmann (streaming on Amazon Prime Video)

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