Do you remember dr. Marc Meier, the overbearing protagonist from the RTL series Doctor’s Diary? The ZDF has probably remembered and tried in dr Nice the Sunday evening “Herzkino” series with its own Dr. to spice up Marc Meier. Although it also works according to the “hard shell, soft core” principle, it is much more compliant with public law than the original.
dr Nice actually called Dr. Moritz Neiss (Patrick Kalupa) and is not as “nice” as the name suggests, but rather arrogant and self-centered. His meteoric career as a surgeon has been forced to pause due to a hand injury, so Dr. Neiss to Sydney as soon as possible, where he can be treated by the best doctors. Before that he has to make a stopover in a village near Flensburg. His 16-year-old daughter Lea (Maj Borchardt) lives there, and until recently he had no idea that she existed. But now Lea’s mother has died and a notary appointment should clarify whether Dr. Neiss gets custody of the 16-year-old or Charlie (Josefine Preuss), who raised Lea together with her mother.
Doctor, arrogant, coming to a small town? This is less predictable than it sounds
The story sounds predictable at first: an arrogant surgeon finds out about a teenage daughter, doesn’t want to take on the role of father, but then stays in the village and falls in love. Most of it actually happens in the 90-minute episode in a similar way, but not exactly the same. That could be because dr Nice Part of the “ZDF for everyone” strategy, with which the broadcaster also wants to appeal to a younger audience. (That’s how, remember, the influencer came up with this dream ship.)
With the expectation that everyone knows the story anyway, Stefan Raiser’s production also plays – and sometimes does it really well. It starts with the male protagonist Dr. Neiss does not enter into a romantic relationship with the female protagonist Charlie because she was in a same-sex relationship with Lea’s deceased mother.
“ZDF for everyone” does not only mean modern family pictures, but has already driven traditional “Herzkino” series such as “Rosamunde Pilcher” and “Inga Lindström” from their previously unrivaled places on Sunday prime time. So, partially: “Rosamunde Pilcher” was reduced for 2023.
Despite everything, “Herzkino” still remains Herzkino, i.e. a deliberately calm alternative to Sunday thrillers. That’s why the plot is in dr Nice sometimes very predictable and also the portion of kitsch and drama are unavoidable. But it is also a balancing act to convince not only younger viewers but also the long-established Pilcher audience with the “ZDF for everyone” strategy.
dr Nice Although it breaks with some traditions, it is otherwise a classic “Herzkino” contribution for everyone who consciously longs for shallow entertainment and wants to watch ZDF directly as it develops into a “channel for everyone”. Although one could also think about a new title for the “Herzkino” series in this context.
dr Nice Sunday 8.15 p.m. on ZDF, and April 23, 8.15 p.m. Available in advance in the media library.
You can find more series recommendations here.