The Last Word (or Das Letzte Wort) is a German comedy-drama series written by Aron Lehmann and Carolina Zimmermann and starring Anke Engelke and Natalia del Riego.
No right way to grieve
The Last Word follows Karla and her family, who try to grieve after the sudden death of her husband Stephan. On the path of navigating grief, love and death, she realises that she has an great ability to write heartfelt eulogies.
The series has its moments. It totally follows Karla and her family, and all six episodes are about them trying to grieve the sudden death of someone very close. Each episode has a new family that Karla has to write eulogies for, and it’s a moment of learning for her. She becomes close with the undertaker, Andi, and we see a blossoming friendship. There are also a few parallel storylines featuring Karla’s daughter Julie, son Tonio, mother Mina, and Andi as well. Additionally, there’s also a hint of romance in her life. But this series is more of a lesson in grief that a comedy.
Sure, I am not saying that it’s not funny – it is sometimes. However, those moments are short and not very densely packed. Most of the show is about all these characters coming to terms with a shocking incident, and growing as individuals because of it. Each and every character has some amount of growth, although it is Karla who finds it the most difficult.
All these characters are some amount of annoying that does not help. I am saying this because even though The Last Word is a pretty short series, it still tends to drag quite a bit. There are moments that feel too cliched, or are just generally not interesting. The humour, too, lacked in a sense for me. You do hope these people get to see the light at the end of the tunnel, but sometimes their annoyance can test your patience.
I think I was most impressed with Tonio’s character. He’s a 15-year-old kid who is obviously going through a lot, considering he’s in his teens and the added baggage of a dead parent. From being reclusive to seeking therapy and realising that being “in love” with your therapist is not a good idea, Tonio creates a special place in your heart. He’s an innocent kid who just wants to be noticed but is too afraid to come out of the closet, literally. There’s something very genuine about his character that makes you glad whenever he crosses a hurdle. However, there’s a scene of his with his therapist in her office which was quite uncomfortable and was just not okay.
I really enjoyed the background score of The Last Word as well. It’s fun and peppy at the right moments, and gives you that added layer of fun in an otherwise gloomy scenario. Cinematography is good as well, but nothing out of this world.
I think what I felt about The Last Word is that the series tries its best to entertain, does not feel anything new. It’s light-hearted with a few decent characters, but it’s not something that can hold your attention for too long. We have seen similar shows in the past that have done a better job. The series, thus, even though sometimes entertaining, isn’t really a show that does anything innovative.
Summing up: The Last Word
The Last Word features some decent performances from its characters and shows a good picture of grief and that there’s no correct way to do it. It’s a look at life and pain essentially and how it’s okay to take it slow. Did I roll on the floor laughing? No. It had its moments where it was funny, but not enough to warrant it as a laughing riot. As a one-time-watch, The Last Word promises to be somewhat entertaining.
The Last Word is streaming on Netflix.
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