The last word: Anke Engelke deals with death

Is there a right way to grieve? In the new Netflix series "The Last Word", Anke Engelke deals with death.

Dying is part of life. But death is a taboo subject. Hardly anyone wants to talk about it. Actress and comedian Anke Engelke (54, "Ladykracher") deals with this in the new Netflix series "The Last Word", which will be available from September 17, 2020. Different stories of grief, death and life are told in six episodes.

This is what "The Last Word" is about

Karla Fazius (Anke Engelke) suddenly and unexpectedly loses her husband Stephan (Johannes Zeiler, 50) after 25 years of marriage. The funeral doesn't go according to the widow's ideas. She surprisingly finds new energy by becoming a funeral orator. In doing so, she relies on unconventional methods that break every rule in the funeral industry. This is especially a headache for undertaker Andreas Borowski (Thorsten Merten, 57). With her new job, however, Karla seems to be suppressing her own grief. Her family is also falling into more and more chaos.

The death, the grief and the survival

How do you deal with the death of a loved one? Many people are overwhelmed with the grief of relatives or their own. Hardly anyone knows how to behave. Is there even the correct behavior in the event of a death? One hears again and again that sensitivity is required. But that often backfires. There can be bizarre moments when people try to behave particularly correctly. Lots of absurd incidents also take up "The Last Word", for example when a tantrum including a smashed chair blows up a funeral.

Funeral ceremonies usually follow certain rituals and guidelines. But can it also be a celebration for life? With loud music and smiling faces? Hard to imagine in Germany. Anke Engelke tries it out and approaches the funeral industry in a slightly different way. Should there be a rethink here? Thorsten Merten and Aaron Hilmer (21, "The most beautiful girl in the world") appear as a father-son duo with a troubled funeral home. The latter surprises with his weakness for the morbid.

Anke Engelke and her series family go through various phases of grief, including anger, disorganization and depression. She also finds out that she didn't know everything about her husband. He had a great secret from her. How do I handle this? "Why?" She asks more than once. She can only guess the answer. Serious son Tonio, played by Juri Winkler (born 2003), asks: "Why does everyone want me to be fine?" How long can you mourn? Does grief have a time limit? Do you have to laugh even though you want to cry?

"The Last Word" is dedicated to taboo subjects that are far too rarely discussed in the general public: death, mourning and survival. The Dramedy series mixes serious approaches with bizarre moments that make people laugh and smile. There is chaos, coupled with tears, pain and absurdity. Is there a right way to grieve? Anke Engelke says in the series, "maybe there is no wrong way to mourn". And maybe that makes you think.