is a West German TV series from The Eighties
, made by director Helmut Dietl and Patrick Süskind of The Perfume
fame, the team also behind Schtonk!
and several other successful and high-quality German movies and TV series.
The series features the adventures of "Baby Schimmerlos", gossip reporter for a fictional German tabloid, and his photographer sidekick Herbie, in the high society circles of Munich in The Eighties
Provides examples of the following tropes:
- Accidental Misnaming:
Baby (to Haffenloher): "Nah, thanks, Herr Pfaffenhuber."
Haffenloher: (Guess what.)
- Affair Hair: In episode 2. Baby doesn't even care to deny it.
- All-Star Cast: An all German Star Cast, if not all Bavarian Star Cast.
- Ambiguously Jewish: Herbie.
- Arms Dealer: The Swiss "Massaker-Raeber", which means exactly what you think it does.
- As Himself: Among others, singer Konstantin Wecker and chef Eckard Witzigmann.
- Attention Whore: Baby's mother thinks that the naked blonde woman she finds in Baby's apartment is this and only wants to use Baby to make the headlines.
- Big Fancy House: The villa of the late painter Wilfried Schildkraut in St Peter am See. For just 3½ million marks, a real steal!
- But I Play One on TV: Franz Xaver Kroetz who played "Baby" was asked by some German newspapers to write columns for them and did so - despite the fact that he had no experience with this kind of writing and the result was... meager.
- Camp Gay: There seems to be at least one per episode.
- Catch Phrase: "Edda, schreib!" (Edda, write!) for Baby. "Hysteriker!" (You hysteric!) for Edda.
- Confessional: One of them is used in episode 3 for some discrete bribes. This is admittedly done to thwart
the bad guy an even worse guy, but the Catholic church still wasn't amused.
- Cos Play: OK, not the kind you tropers may know, but how would you call it if some guy regularly dressed as King Ludwig II of Bavaria (the mad castle builder) and even rode in a horse-sleigh?
- Depraved Bisexual: Karl Banz (episode 6).
- Determinator: Baby is willing to pull through an important meeting even when he has broken his leg. "I can do anything if I want!"
- Distracted by the Sexy:
Baby: "Edda, I can't concentrate if you're showing me your tits!"
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: Episode 4. More nazi references than you can shake a stick at. Young blonde German women training with wooden clubs as if the wanted to recreate the "Glaube und Schönheit" (nazi organisation for young women), policemen yelling ununderstandable but menacing stuff, a police president named Doktor Adolf, and the protagonists using the aliases "Siegfried" and "Wieland" (while posing as the nephews of a Jewish composer, of all things). Oh, and the latest fashion for women apparently means that you have to look like a cross between a US marine and a neonazi skinhead.
- Downer Ending: Baby lost his job at the newspaper, Mona left him, and he doesn't get famous with his story - instead, Banz bribes him with half a million.
- Dumb Blonde: Herbie's one-episode girlfriend, Lisa; Baby's affair in episode 2, and Liane von Alvensleben in episode 5.
- The Eighties
- Even Jerkasses Like Their Mamas: Baby ...although he learns it only when she's dead.
- Extra! Extra! Read All About It!: Episode 5.
- Filler: In episode 6, Baby's articles about events mostly consist of archive photos, the menu of the day and the guest list. Reason: He is spending all his work time spying on Banz.
- Food Porn: The descriptions alone may qualify.
- "Friends" Rent Control / Improbable Food Budget: Averted; Baby regularly spends more money than he makes, is deep in debt and has to start to take what you make call, well, bribes.
- Gambit Pileup: In episode 3, consul Dürkheimer, Baby and a conservative Bavarian MP fight for a villa, each one with his own agenda and planning to cheat/double-cross someone else.
- German Brevity: Only six episodes, if very good ones.
- God Save Us from the Queen!: Katharina of Mandalia (nee Kathi Maiböck), who's really behind the brutal fight against the guerilla in her country and doesn't even mind doing business with the Arms Dealer herself. While in her negligé.
- Good Girls Avoid Abortion: Averted; Mona did this at least once.
- Hide Your Pregnancy: What Baby suspects the actress of Düsseldorf is doing.
- Intrepid Reporter: Except that Baby is just interested in gossip, not in uncovering political scandals. Except-except in episode 5.
Dr. Adolf: "Do you know a place where we could get some amusement, at this time?"
Herbie: "Only one I know would be a private brothel, in Waldtrudering..."
Dr. Adolf: "Waldtrudering? Oh, too bad, I think I had that one busted last week."
- It's a Costume Party, I Swear: With a twist. Baby and Herbie were told that Banz wants to make a "Middle Eastern" themed party and put on disguises in Arabian Nights style. Unfortunately, Banz rather meant "Afghan mudjahedeen" with that, so the two stick out pretty much.
- Jerk Ass: Baby.
- Millionaire Playboy: Karl Banz, who makes millions for doing nothing.
- Mobile Shrubbery: Baby and Herbie hide behind cut-off fir trees to take photos of Banz.
- Name's the Same: Letter-by-letter with an attack name in King of Bandit Jing manga. It is very probable that this is mere coincidence, though.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: The series features expys of the then-minister president of Bavaria, Marlene Dietrich and others. Heck, even Baby Schimmerlos is supposed to be German gossip reporter Michael Graeter.
- Older Sidekick: Herbie.
- Open Mouth, Insert Foot: The minister president of Bavaria really isn't the most eloquent one.
- The Quiet One: Herbie, the photographer.
- Really Gets Around: According to Baby, this was Queen Katharina of Mandalia in her youth in Hasenbergl, a poorer part of Munich.
- Ripped from the Headlines: In the Show Within a Show. From Baby's headlines, nonetheless. (He had accused princess Caroline of Monaco to be a nymphomaniac who slept with several Arab workers who were adding pink marble to her bathroom.)
- Sarcastic Confession: When Mona has enough of Baby and his affairs in episode 2 and wants to kill him, a security guard asks her whether she wants to kill someone with the big knife in her handbag, which she simply answers with yes.
- Sassy Secretary: Edda.
- Screw the Money, I Have Rules!: Baby, who won't take bribes of any kind, only because people want to read about themselves in his gossip column. He changes his mind.
- Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: Glue producer Heinrich Haffenloher. "I'll shit my money at you until you give up!"
- The Sequel / Spiritual Successor: The movie Zettl, which came in 2012. Originally they had planned to expand it into a similar TV series, and have Baby as the main character again.
- Show Within a Show: Düsseldorf, the German version of Dallas.
- Spiteful Spit: The butler in #3 when the parliamentarian offers him a new job with them, after the consul has committed suicide.
- Swapped Roles: Former diva Claire Maetzig has her servant Marie Craemer play her.
- Theme Naming: Could be, with the girlfriends of Baby and Herbie (named Mona and Lisa), but lisa appears only in episode 1, so this might be coincidence.
- Those Wacky Nazis: The consul in episode 3 makes the Hitler salute when Herbie tells him to take a pose of triumph. Strangely, nobody is shocked.
Herbie: "Not now, in twenty years maybe!"
- Unfortunate Names: "Schimmerlos" means clueless. "Baby" should be self-explanatory. For some strange reason, no one in-series ever lampshades this.
- Worst News Judgement Ever: Baby sneaks his article about queen Kati into the evening print without telling anyone. With the result that the headline "Queen Kati - we love you!" stands right next to Baby's article "Queen Kati plans genocide!" Justified because he is the only one in the paper who knew about her plans.
- Zany Scheme: When he wants to confirm that the actress is indeed pregnant, Baby thinks up one to get some of her urine, for a pregnancy test.