nineveh_uk (nineveh_uk) wrote,

What I am watching Thursday

I am finally catching up with Deutschland 83 and it's terrific. I suspect that it might be less terrific if I were German; it's twenty-five years since Reunification, I imagine that a lot of the themes will have been explored in the interim. But for a foreign viewer it's a thoroughly engaging and enjoyable sort of coming of age story, focusing on a young DDR soldier who is sent to spy in the West, an assignment arranged by his secret service aunt with the side-benefit of moving his mother up the kidney transplant list. Also, both parts of Germany in 1983 seem to have had really nice weather. I've watched five episodes so far, and am sorry that the final two will have to wait until after the weekend as I'm going to visit my parents and they haven't seen it yet. The plot has occasional moments of "oh come on, he couldn't do that", but the characterisation is rock solid. Our hero Martin is a nice lad, doing his best in a situation that he is, for many reasons, ill-equipped for, and I enjoy the balance of comedy against the edge-of-my-seat moments, of which there are many.

I was predisposed to be interested in Lenora on account of her hair, but I've ended up rather liking her for herself. She's not nice - she couldn't be - but she's interesting. In some ways we know hardly anything about her, including how she feels about her family, and the text plays with that. She's quite ruthless towards Michael - aside from the broken fingers, what if he'd got his luggage inspected at the border FFS! - but It's pretty clear now that she does genuinely care deeply for Ingrid. My next big question is "Did she know about the books?" followed by "What is she going to do when she finds out?" I assume she can't have known or she wouldn't have had Annett move in. I can't imagine it's going to help her own career.

Tischbier, on the other hand, is rapidly becoming a complete bastard. I had a moment of impending doom when he invited Alex to the cinema, though considerable amusement at the giant phallic rocket.* I like him a lot: he's really convincingly manipulative and horrible and I hope that he meets a nasty end. I'm not actually sure whether he's East or West German originally, but he certainly enjoys living his western life in his enormous house and feeling morally superior while wrecking people's lives.

For which exhibit A, Alex. Who unfortunately is young and naive and vulnerable and has thus done exactly what he was set up to do. I hope that he doesn't end up in very serious trouble, but I'm not counting on it. Poor lamb. All the young actors are very good. I had my doubts initially about Linda, who seemed quite boring - until suddenly she really wasn't.

The minor characters are great. I wish there were a series about the East German computer technician and his work problems, he deserves one.

*Incidentally, I must blame fandom for making me notice how often Alex Edel is shown standing like a fragile flower next to or between more physically imposing men. I just hope he doesn't end up like that fish.

Here's the trailer:

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Tags: television
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