Here’s your weekly German media recommendation from Monoglot Anxiety. Because I missed a newsletter before, this week is twice the usual recommendation. And because every two-pack needs a theme, I’m going with this pair of Austrian series on Netflix: Altes Geld and Freud.
The plot of this dark comedy mini-series orients around the chaos unleashed in an absurdly wealthy family after its evil, billionaire patriarch discovers that he needs a donor liver — and promises that whoever finds it first will be his sole heir. Things, inevitably, do not go well. The show is firmly centered on the slowly deteriorating billionaire Rolf, but numerous subplots spin away to follow his family as they scramble for a donor liver and often fall deep into their own problems. Almost all of the major characters are at least a little evil, and it’s as fun as it is disturbing to watch everything play out.
This show was my first introduction to Austria’s (in)famous gallows humor, an boy did it not disappoint. Nothing is sacred to this show, which hits on everything from incest to lobotomies. It’s definitely not for everyone, but if you want dark, dark laughs that you will feel guilty about later, look no further.
If you’re expecting a docu-drama, look elsewhere. Freud is more of a paranormal mystery thriller than it is an attempt at portraying the life of a real person. The eponymous Sigmund Freud is the protagonist, but the plot doesn’t exactly orient around his biography. Instead, there’s a string of mystery murders to solve, political intrigue to unpack, and maybe even a dash of the supernatural.
To be honest, I’m not entirely sure I can “recommend” Freud, because it was sort of bad. But it’s the “oh-god-what-now-I-can’t-look-away” sort of bad, not the “I’m bored” one, so I say watch the first episode or so and decide for yourself whether you’re entertained enough to continue. There’s a lot of sex, plenty of really creepy supernatural stuff, medical horror, pseudo-psychology, random incredibly heart-warming moments, dialect that nobody understands, a sprinkle of history, and lots and lots of cocaine. I both hated and enjoyed it. There’s really no way to know if Freud‘s total absurdity is your kind of absurdity than to watch it.
Both shows are available to stream now on Netflix.
I hope you enjoyed this week’s double recommendation. That’s it for this week!
Elise from Monoglot Anxiety