Helen, Fred und Ted (2006)

TV Movie   |    |  Comedy, Drama

This ironic comedy focuses on the often absurd occurrences in a Munich practice, ran by three very different psychiatrists. Although planning his retirement, psychotherapist Dr. Frederick ... See full summary »


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28 May 2007 | Gordon_Harker
| Excellent basis for an offbeat series
I saw this late last night, repeated on 'Das Erste', both parts shown together. It's typical of the well engineered, thoughtful and consistent material regularly churned out by the German public channels. OK, it was never going to become a blockbuster, but I can't help thinking that it's got 'the legs' to become a popular series, so I'm disappointed by the news in the 'Trivia' section that it's not going to be developed.

German film and TV stalwarts Von Thun, Sawatzki and Berkel do an excellent job of bringing to life the characters of three psychoanalysts, each of whom have a different approach to their work and to their own problems. In this two-parter we see them treating a range of 'typical' conditions, in what I suppose are not wholly unconventional, but nevertheless interesting ways.

What really strikes me about this two-part film as 'pilot' is the enormous potential for developing the characters and situations in the course of a full series, e.g.:

The different approaches of the analysts and the way in which these themes can be developed to explore the modern practice of psychoanalysis ,e.g.:

  • Fred's somewhat traditional belief that the client has to feel it in the wallet (or at least the Krankheitsversicherung) to get the full effect of the analysis

  • Ted's holistic strategies (no end of possibilities here!)

  • Helen's transition from psychiatry to psychoanalysis (perhaps the most interesting theme to develop to give the series a bit of an academic undercurrent)

The huge range of themes that can be explored with all the different cases that are presented to the practice - all sorts of opportunity here for social comment etc.

Frau Nitsche and her very un-Nietzschean approach to those around her.

Overall, I can't help thinking that this would work well as series and help offset the preponderance of 'Krimis' as the main series based dramatic output of ARD (not that I've anything against those, I learnt half my German from watching 'Tatort' and 'Polizeiruf 110!').

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