As a prolific virus is travelling the world, many of us have some time at home to kill. Quarantine, curfew or precaution – whatever the reason may be: audiovisual streaming services will certainly be in high demand in the next few months. If you are looking for pastimes (other than reading this blog, of course, or listening to the equivalent podcast), here are 3 German shows you should definitely put on your watch list.

In this blog – and certainly also on other occasions – I have been ranting about the deplorable quality of German TV. Meanwhile, as the entertainment industry is growing, streaming services are cropping up and competition is on the rise, I have more often than in previous decades happened upon the odd gem here and there. And while we’re at it, why don’t we go ahead and select the ones created by and/or featuring extraordinary women?

Here are three German Wonder Woman shows you should not miss:

  1. Ku’damm 56

Currently offered on (German) Netflix and ZDF Mediathek, this miniseries created by author and screen writer Annette Hess is a genre-defying masterpiece. In 1950ies Berlin, the Schöllack family find themselves ‘headless’: Mother Caterina and her three teenage daughters Monika, Helga and Eva, are left to their own devices and must figure out how to keep the family ballroom dance school running. Control-freaky matron Caterina keeps plotting marrying her daughters off – but each of the young women has her own way of struggling with her expected role.

To call Ku’damm 56 a period drama would be telling merely a fraction of the truth. Depending on one’s focus, one could call it an audiovisual treatise of family psychology, a feminist manifesto, a socio-critical analysis of 1950ies Germany, a passionate plea to follow your heart, an empathic tale of the tribulations of individuals in times of harsh social judgment.

I was instantly drawn in and deeply moved by the powerful storytelling and scintillating acting. Especially the chemistry between Sonja Gerhardt’s Monika and Trystan Pütter’s Freddy is a staggering feast.

The sequel Ku’damm 59 is also recommended, and another series (Ku´damm 63) is underway. Another series that Hess created also deserves a special mention here: Weissensee.

2. Aenna Burda: Die Wirtschaftswunderfrau

This two-parter starring Katharina Wackernagel sheds light on the life of Aenne Burda, a woman who defies her traditional role and becomes an icon entrepreneur against all odds. In post-war Germany, the wife of women’s magazine mogul Franz Burda comes up with an innovative concept for marketing sewing patterns and sets out to revolutionise the world of women’s fashion by stealth.

The inspiring story of an unconventional quest.

3. Erich Kästner und der kleine Dienstag

This film from 2016, written by Dorothee Schön, portrays one of the great German authors Erich Kästner and tells a captivating story of his friendship with a boy who is also one of his most ardent readers. As Nazi laws get more and more restrictive in 1930ies Germany, the progressive writer not only sees Jewish friends perish but also finds himself under fire. Eventually, he is faced with the decision of whether or not to leave the country and comes up with a heart-breaking ploy to protect his young friend.

This work is a call to courage (Hello, Brené Brown!) and a moving tale of defiance in the face of human tragedy.

Next time, we’ll look at some more entertainment options.

The Pommes Buddha says: Shall we put the telly on?

Listen to this text as a podcast episode:

4 thoughts on “Gendertainment

  1. Liebe Sarah,
    vielen herzlichen Dank für diese Tipps.

    Ku’damm 56 kommt ganz oben auf meine Liste. Die Serie Weissensee hat mich vom Anfang an gefesselt. : )

    Weiterhin viel Spaß beim Bingewatching!


    ps. “Shall we put the telly on?”
    Yes, please!!!

    • Liebe Marta,

      sehr gerne! Freut mich. Ja, Weissensee ist wirklich auch eine tolle Serie.

      Ich stelle in letzter Zeit fest, dass es mittlerweile viele gute deutsche Produktionen gibt. Weitere Empfehlungen von mir:

      25 km/h (großartiges Mofa-Roadmovie mit Bjarne Mädel und Lars Eidinger)
      Der Vorname (nach einem französischen Theaterstück adaptierter, sehr unterhaltsamer Film)

      Dir auch viel Spaß und lass Dich von der Corona-Krise nicht unterkriegen!



  2. Liebe Sarah,
    25 km/h fand ich auch großartig. “Der Vorname” kommt auch auf meine Liste. Ach, ich könnte den ganzen Tag nur tolle Serien schauen und tolle Blogs lesen. : )

    Leider ruft die Arbeit gerade …

    Alles Liebe


    • Ja, ich weiß – geht mir ähnlich. Gestern habe ich schon wieder einen genialen Film geschaut: Welcome to Marwen.

      Eine gute Zeit und bleib gesund!


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