(My favorite Tatort is set in Niedersachsen, with Charlotte Lindholm (Maria Furtwangler) as the detective, and because I missed it last Dec. it has been about TWO YEARS since I have seen the characters. Niedersachsen is my favorite, so I would be able to pick up on Lindholdm's story - probably - but this week Hessen drew a blank).
Okay so we were in the magical realism of the circus. It was very 'shraeg' and 'skurril' and completely Wim Wenders in Berlin, except in lovely color. I did enjoy the pictures. Tatort of course had no business being there, and the detective was continually told, "You belong in a different world." HE DID. Who wrote this Tatort? A writer's collaboration of middle-aged, average-looking men? Because the detective, Buhrow, was a very dull man of middle years yet women from all points on the age continuum were falling in love with him. JUST NOT POSSIBLE. Wish fulfillment of the most pathetic kind on the part of the writers. Guaranteed no young writer would have ever posited this very unlikely sub-plot.
Of course this Buhrow, radiating some kind of magical aura invisible to the television audience, was chosen out of a circus audience to perform with the circus. NO. This bit totally did not work. I was reminded of "Stars in the Manege," a German favorite. This Tatort was put together by a group of RETIRED writers, for sure. At the circus, a woman in the audience stood up and screamed, but was pretty much ignored by everyone. I immediately recognized her from a recent Tatort (March 2012?) where she played a spoiled wealthy housewife. This time she was an ex-prostitute from Slovakia (revealed later). This is another pet peeve: the same actors appear in Tatort ALL THE TIME. It's like Germany only has thirty actors and half of them are employed as Tatort detectives and the others have to play ALL THE OTHER ROLES.
This was even more startling when the very next victim -- Charlie -- was Florian, the prime suspect from two weeks ago!!! I could not believe that! You guys, suspension of disbelief here!! Don't they have to declare all the other Tatorts they are working on? How can you play two Tatort roles in two weeks, once as victim, once as suspect? Sure, he was cleaned up, he wasn't snivelling (okay just a little) or mad, as a piano player in a louche circus he looked like a clean-cut kid whereas two weeks ago as a teenie in a middle-class family he looked like a homeless man on drugs -- but that was so lame. SO LAME.
The only one who came out with any dignity was the woman detective, yes, again a woman of a certain age, but she behaved with grace at the circus and had the courage to pair maroon palazzo pants with a fitted red jacket and a fur collar. Classy. I do love how German actresses show their wrinkles and gray hair and are still totally self-possessed.
Tatort, I'm hanging on by a thread here.