Mit viele Zauber!
September 10, 2017 7:25 AM   Subscribe

What German tv shows and Movies might I like?

I took many years of German language in both highschool and college, but I never got into German film or tv shows, and part of that is I kept trying to watch the highly recommended but depressing shows like das Boat, goodbye lennin etc... and I like comedy, fantasy, and magic!

I also like cooking shows, gardening shows, as well as documentaries or interviews relating to human rights/environmental issues. For those in the know, what are some good german tv shows or movies that are light hearted and fun/funny?

Bonus points for family friendly comedy my elementary kiddo could watch! Thanks!
posted by xarnop to Media & Arts (15 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
You really want to see Toni Erdmann
posted by ouke at 8:22 AM on September 10, 2017 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Anything by Fatih Akin (not sure it's all totally jugendfrei): Soul Kitchen, Im Juli, Auf der anderen Seite, (his Gegen die Wand is BRILLIANT but VERY violent)

Moritz Bleibtreu is always a good bet: Run Lola Run, Knockin' On Heaven's Door, Mein bester Feind, Die dunkle Seite des Mondes etc.

As is to a lesser extent Jürgen Vogel, ESPECIALLY Das Leben ist eine Baustelle with an unexpected turn by Ricky Tomlinson as an ageing rockabilly.

Comedian Harmonists is a lovely biography of the group

Goodbye Lenin has to be mentioned, and Daniel Brühl is a good middle-of-the road bet.

Schultze Gets the Blues is so slow-moving you'll think the DVD's jammed, and very very gentle

Modern German films that are ACTUALLY funny tend, IMHO to be a bit dark, but warm with it, while the blockbuster comedies that try desperately for gags are awful crude slapstick (Alles Auf Zucker!, Fack Ju Göhte, Der Schuh des Manitou (god save us) etc., so a bit of bitter-sweetness has to be in Kauf genommen.

There's a rich vein of slightly melancholic but comic slice-of-life films:

Berlin is in Germany, Sommer vorm Balkon, Halbe Treppe, Toni Erdmann, Wir sind die Neuen, Die fetten Jahre sind vorbei, Wer früher stirbt, ist länger tot... etc.

Honourable mentions: Wir können auch anders, Bis zum Ellenbogen, Dampfnudelblues

(Finally, anything claiming to be about "humorous cultural differences" between "Turkish" and "German" characters, "East meets West" etc. that's NOT by Akin is generally something to be very cautious about.))
posted by runincircles at 8:39 AM on September 10, 2017 [4 favorites]

Not exactly a comedy but German fantasy: Momo, by Michael Ende. There is the original movie from 1986
And at least one remake.

Not sure how old your child is, but i think 8 or 9 yrs is ok, depending on the child. As far as i recall no one is killed but the grey men are scary. I took my son last year when he was 8 to play based on the book (the movie is based on a YA novel) and he was fine, and enjoyed it as good triumphs over evil.
posted by 15L06 at 11:30 AM on September 10, 2017 [1 favorite]

The link disappeared but there is a wikipedia page in English, if you Google Momo the movie 1986
posted by 15L06 at 11:31 AM on September 10, 2017

And then there is the fantasy writer Wolfgang Hohlbein, very prolific. I am not a fan tbh (but then I am Austrian, and have always preferred English language sci fi and dystopia such as Banks to German writers),but if you like fantasy i think Hohlbein will meet both criteria, German and fantasy.
posted by 15L06 at 11:37 AM on September 10, 2017 [1 favorite]

Deutschland 83 if it's still available.
posted by Obscure Reference at 12:02 PM on September 10, 2017 [2 favorites]

Crime Scene Cleaner (der Tatortreiniger) Is dark comedy. Not family friendly, but funny. Typically, each episode has the cleaner, Schotty, show up at a murder scene. Someone involved with the victim happens by, and the rest of the show is a long discussion between the two.
posted by The Incredible Gnome at 2:53 PM on September 10, 2017 [3 favorites]

Loriot is lighthearted and family friendly, as well as a classic of German postwar humor. I never truly got it, but Papa Ante Portas is my German partner's favorite movie. A lot if it just pokes fun at characteristically German middle-class neuroses and obsessions, showing people stuck in humorously absurd social situations.
Also: exemplary and clear use of the German language.
posted by ipsative at 9:00 PM on September 10, 2017 [1 favorite]

Also: seconding Comedian Harmonists, Wer Früher Stirbt is Länger Tot, and Sommer in Orange. All good fun for all ages!
posted by ipsative at 9:02 PM on September 10, 2017 [1 favorite]

(my partner also suggests: Der Superstau)
posted by ipsative at 9:03 PM on September 10, 2017 [1 favorite]

"Nicht Nach Machen!" - is a hilarious and crazy show in which two very funny guys do a plethora of things you really shouldn't. The hosts are as funny as the things they do.
posted by From Bklyn at 4:07 AM on September 11, 2017 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: These recommendations are awesome, I've watched a few previews so far and am excited to start watching these!!!! Thanks!!!!
posted by xarnop at 5:33 AM on September 11, 2017

You absolutely want die Sendung mit der Maus. Kid friendly and sweet, informative little dokus.
posted by athirstforsalt at 10:21 AM on September 11, 2017 [2 favorites]

Also for the "recent German melancholic slice of life comedy" files: I really liked Oh Boy!
posted by athirstforsalt at 10:24 AM on September 11, 2017 [1 favorite]

Nthing Sendung mit der Maus. Especially the Sachgeschichten (which are basically short films on how things work) will totally be useful for you as well to pick up/expand vocabulary. I:ve watched them for years with my son, and we both still enjoy them so much.

Another film you (but not suitable I would say for a child) might enjoy is Lola rennt it is funny and smart, in rather German way.
posted by 15L06 at 12:35 AM on September 13, 2017 [1 favorite]

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