What popular TV commercial makes you wince
New episodes of "Jerks" : Why is embarrassing so popular
Those who live in Potsdam or even Babelsberg do not find themselves with their homeland too often on fictional television, apart from the “Soko” thriller on ZDF. Maybe that was a reason to give in to the urge of colleagues and friends who raved about the supposedly best German comedy, also shot on Griebnitzsee.
"Have you already seen 'Jerks'?" Was often the question that lured into the world of Fahri Yardim and Christian Ulmen, or better: into the world in which the actors Ulmen and Yardim pretend to be Ulmen and Yardim - how off Wednesday again, with two double episodes at the start of a fourth season.
Who hasn't seen "Jerks" yet, what's it about? Mainly about the - again in this double episode - the unequal male friendship between Christian Ulmen and Fahri Yardim (known from the Til Schweiger “Tatort”). The two pretend to film their everyday acting life in Potsdam in the 25-minute episodes.
It consists of: vulva workshops, sex with coma patients, wheelchair thefts for the disabled, erection problems or the extremely detailed treatment of the question of whether sex with Fahri's wife Pheline (Pheline Roggan) is just as much fun after natural birth, including a suspected perineal tear as previously.
Discussable matter. "Jerks" fans say that watching the series together with a boyfriend or girlfriend does not necessarily lighten their relationship mood. Most of the time someone gets up and leaves the living room in protest. Illegitimate children and partner swaps have never been discussed so openly on German television as in "Jerks", which is now running on streaming service Joyn (further episodes will be broadcast on Pro7 due to delayed shooting in the summer of 2021).
The series makes viewers wince more than once per episode. What some consider great art - with "Jerks" the funniest storylines that are cut out in other series - is for others the annoying endless loop of two late-pubescent adults, the development of which leaves much to be desired.
It's not that cryptic after all
But that, a development by the protagonists, would turn the format concept off its hinges, similar to the US American "Curb Your Enthusiasm". There, too, a television celebrity plays himself and repeatedly gets into embarrassing situations because of his behavior.
Apparently there is an affinity for foreign shame. As is well known, this occurs when another person violates norms or values and does not notice it himself or does not feel embarrassed. It is therefore an important regulator. Just like "Christian Ulmen", who constantly disappoints his series girlfriend Emily (Emily Cox), forgets promises and appointments.
A catharsis with the audience? Why? Elms and Yardim are having fun. Where 40 years ago Loriot would have exposed hairline cracks in the facades of bourgeois society, "Jerks" shook the foundations of civilization with wild determination, wrote the "F.A.Z." The fixation on embarrassing sex or fecal accidents is not quite that subtle.
With its mostly improvised dialogues, “Jerks” should not always be comprehensible and, above all, politically correct. Often the texts are at the limit of what can be said. There is no such thing as a “politically correct scissors in retrospect”, said Ulmen in an interview with the “Weser-Kurier”. “I don't see any educational mission in our stories either. Everyone can do what they want with it. From indignation and sympathy to laughter giving comfort, everything is allowed. "
At times, the "Jerks" criticism has been directed towards the fact that one should not give room to the sexism or racism of the main characters. The series, so Ulmen, invites you to this criticism. "I think, Jerks’ is the most anti-racist and anti-sexist series on worldwide television, the frame of reference is clear. "But that is just his view of this charming little series from Potsdam.
Brandenburg's metropolis can live with that. TV tips from friends and family will continue to be accepted.
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