“The Last Word” puts humor first

photo by Netflix

“The Last Word” is a dramatic comedy that released on September 17th on Netflix.

Netflix’s new dramatic comedy series, “The Last Word”, is an emotional roller coaster that will leave viewers either on the brink of tears or in a fit of laughter. The six part series was originally released in German, but English dubbing and subtitles are available on Netflix. The show follows a family in Berlin after their father, Stefan, dies unexpectedly.  Karla (Anke Engelko), newly widowed, finds a new passion for eulogy-writing that helps her discover a new passion as well as a way to cope with her loss. 

The fast-paced storyline of the show is an emotional whirlwind, in which the viewer can not  tell the difference between when a character hits rock bottom and when they are  living their best life. This is because every scene has a humorous silver lining, no matter the context. The humor largely stems from Karla’s lively character, which adds lightheartedness to every moment in the series.  

Most of the heavy-hearted moments are reserved for the first episode in the series.The show becomes more comedic as the story progresses and as the characters recover from their loss.  

Despite the struggles  Karla and her family experience, the show has plenty of cheerful moments,many of them extremely cheesy. For example, characters go as far as to sing songs for each other. Corny scenes throughout the show help draw a bolder line between which scenes are sad and which are happy within the series.  

The show largely relies on the character’s thoughts and actions rather than outside influence to move the storyline, and in a series revolving around loss and recovery, this is only expected. The show emphasizes each character’s individuality through this concept when the character’s methods of recovery cause their paths to diverge and reconnect by the time the viewer reaches the last episode. For example, Karla copes with the loss of her husband through the beginning of her newfound, eulogy-writing career while her son, Tonio, copes with Stefans loss by getting help from a therapist.  

The show also expresses the development of characters through subtler ways as well. For example, there are multiple scenes included in the show in which Karla spends time with the supposed spirit of her late husband.  These interactions are a representation of her thoughts while she is confronting her inner conflicts and insecurities, and expressing them this way makes it easy for viewers to follow Karla’s mind throughout her recovery.  

The show also emphasizes the importance of family when each character is struggling. This is because their interactions with each other play  an essential role in their recovery. Throughout the series, Karla, her son Toni, her daughter Julia, and her friend Andy are able to assist each other in different ways. For example, Andy serves as a constant reminder to show empathy for Karla because of his compassion, while Julie helps Karla make responsible decisions which, in most cases, guide her away from potentially harmful situations.  

Packed with humor, personality, triumph, and defeat, “The Last Word”  proves to be a great watch, and be sure to have a box of tissues at the ready because the show is sure to bring you to tears.

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