Equipment and costume have done a murder job in this Corona comedy: In the corner lies a vacuum cleaner, which one of the apartment occupants there has probably left powerless after an impromptu cleaning attack. At the butt of the other occupant of the apartment, the exhausted, misused sports büx has probably been hanging at half-mast for days.
When the jogging pants wear mourning: in the first episode of the ZDFneo miniseries “Love. Now” the crisis aesthetic, which is currently celebrated somewhat too enjoyably by German television, is being pushed to the extreme. You look at the TV and see yourself – especially this person, who you don’t really expect from your partner anymore.
Couple therapy in front of the laptop
Housing inmates one and two, that’s in “Love. Now” Thorsten (Jürgen Vogel) and Jana (Natalia Belitski). He: already married a few times and rather so I-don’t-careType. She: pregnant for the first time, with the child of the jogging pants-phlegmatier. The two may love each other, but you can see them arguing in the entertaining 20 minutes of the first episode. Before the Corona Crisis, the two agreed on couple therapy, now they hold the first session on the couch in front of the laptop.
It is the prelude to six episodes (already in the ZDF-Mediathek, from Sunday evening linear on ZDFneo), in which etudes with changing main characters and leading actors are about the new techniques of initiation of love and love processing in the times of Corona. In spite of the virus, everything goes on, only under difficult, often digitally flanked conditions: data and zigzagging, growing together and living apart. And the filmmaking too. Well, a bit, at least with ZDFneo.
While almost all regular filming for TV movies is put on hold because of the Corona crisis, the recently rather flexible, young arm of ZDF is releasing one new sitcom after another. Previously, for example, “Inside – on the Internet are all the same” with Lavinia Wilson. The word sitcom has an extended meaning in the ZDFneo productions: it does not only refer to the Sitcomedy, but also the fact that the joke is largely in the Sitgenerated by Because the characters hang in front of the computer most of the time.
This is not new. Eight years ago, the small channel TNT Comedy released the social media sitcom “Add a friend” with Friedrich Mücke and Ken Duken, where the main character, who was tied to the bed by a car accident, communicated with the world via webcam, thereby spreading modest chaos. At that time there was the Grimme Prize, but it has to be said that the series got into the humorous idle in the second season.
ZDFneo now follows “Add a friend” with its quarantine comedies. And you can celebrate this approach as minimalist television. Or pity as television in the waning stage. What is certain is that it will be some time before the broadcasters have fought their way out of this emergency TV.
Optimists hope that regular filming can take place again as early as June. What is certain, however, is that work still needs to be done in a very different way than it did before the Corona crisis. Due to the regulatory restrictions and the associated, still unexplained insurance requirements, the substances are likely to be much reduced in their implementation either way – and at the same time much more expensive in production. It is hard to believe that films will be shot in the same way again by the end of this year as they were at the beginning of this year.
Seen in this way, there are likely to be some other formats of “Love. Now” (directed by Pola Beck and Tom Lass). It will be important not to rely entirely on the charm of improvisation, as one is willing to accept in the early days of this hybrid format. The game of Jürgen Vogel in the opening of “Liebe. Now,” for example, his textile equivalent finds his textile equivalent in the jogging pants: Sometimes he just flits himself too sloppy past the punchlines.
If the new seat comedy a la ZDFneo has a future, the joke must become even more precise and evil. The foreseeable hardeningofs of the next few months will provide plenty of material for this.
“Love. Now,” already in the ZDF-Mediathek. From Sunday at 9.45 p.m. on ZDFneo