Greetings from Germany (March/April 2011): Everybody Loves “Jemma”

So much has happened since the last edition of this column, and most of it involves one of the cutest female couples that has ever fought and kissed on TV. Also: While one show makes us proud, another one is set to screw up big-time, and a few thousand women turned a regular German beach into an “L-Beach” for a weekend.

If you read the previous edition of this column, you might remember that I told you about two developing storylines on two different German TV shows. While I already had a thing for Jenny & Emma on Hand aufs Herz back then, I thought that the love affair of Jasmin & Lily on Anna und die Liebe would become the storyline that would evoke a stronger response, especially internationally. Wow, was I wrong!

In the last few weeks, an increasing number of people from all around the world have become addicted to one of the cutest and – in my opinion – best written and played couples that has ever been on any TV show, and I’m not talking about just the German ones. Even though YouTube accounts with clips of the show get suspended faster than Emma could flee from the auditorium after Timo caught her and Jenny kiss, and people have to set up new accounts more often than Emma can say “I’m sorry”, the number of non-German speaking fans has been growing like Jenny’s crush on Emma and her frustration with Emma’s insecurities. And this weekend, even AfterEllen succumbed to the growing number of “Jemma” fans begging them for recaps and started to cover the storyline with a hilarious article written by the one and only Heather Hogan (aka Goddess of Lesbian TV Couple Recaps).

What makes the storyline so appealing – apart from “Jenny” Lucy Scherer’s dimples, “Emma” Kasia Borek’s cute smile and their amazing talent both as actresses and singers (as if that wasn’t enough) – is how well-written this story is and how much time the writers took to develop both the characters and their relationship.

They went from fighting to becoming friends, to fighting again, to a suprising kiss and an even more surprising love declaration by Jenny, to more fighting because Emma couldn’t handle it, to making out, to Emma hurting Jenny because she couldn’t be honest about her feelings, to Jenny hurting Emma by sleeping with their classmate Ben because she couldn’t forget Emma, to Emma apologizing to Jenny in a beautiful love letter, to Jenny declaring her love for Emma in the girls’ restroom after Emma found out about Jenny’s night with Ben, to Emma kissing her best friend Luzi at Jenny’s birthday party to get back at Jenny – and all of the time, it was obvious that they were both so in love with each other and were just meant to be together.

It helps that the writers of the show are as in love with this couple as we are, as the show’s creator Petra Bodenbach wrote in a comment on AfterEllen, because the care they put into this storyline (and the entire show, I might add) shows. So next week, both the fans’ and Jenny’s patience will finally pay off, as Emma realizes just how much Jenny means to her and that she wants to be with her, even if that means having dinner with Jenny’s parents after having just made a fool of herself in front of them.

Of course, as this is a TV show, there’s more drama already looming on the horizon. But thanks to the statement the show’s creator left on AE that said that Jenny & Emma’s love story is here to stay and that there’s so much more to come for them, we can all relax.

So, after all the talk about “Jemma”, you might wonder what’s up with this other storyline I mentioned before. Well – don’t ask. But if you have to know: After some sweet love scenes, Jasmin & Lily were caught by Lily’s boyfriend Jojo, who kicked Jasmin out of the apartment they shared. But since he is such a goody two-shoes, he found another sleeping-place for her, Jojo and Jasmin soon reconciled and became friends again, and all three of them get along well again, and… Let’s just say: If you think that what this storyline is heading to is a scenario that a lot of straight guys call a dream, you’re right. And this is something that I don’t have to spend precious time on watching. And especially not if there are cute “Jemma” videos I can watch instead…

Fortunately, this kind of storyline isn’t the rule anymore, but an exception. Another example of a German TV show that managed to avoid clichés was an episode of popular crime show Tatort. In the episode “Im Netz der Lügen”, a woman accused her husband of rape and he was convicted for it. When it turned out that the woman went on to live with her (female) lawyer, everyone involved – the husband’s judge, the police detective and the audience – thought that this might be another case of the evil lesbian couple who wouldn’t refrain from framing an innocent man of a heinous crime in order to get rid of him. Luckily, this cliché was soon debunked as what it was – just a cliché. (You can find my German review of this episode here.)

While I had to stay home to write “Jemma” recaps, other lesbians were lucky and got to attend L-Beach, Europe’s biggest women’s indoor festival. This was the second time the festival took place, and from what I hear it again was a huge success. Wanna see what I missed?

Congratulations to the organizers, and I promise to make sure to be there next year, Jemma or not.

But wait, there’s more:

In March and April, billboards all over Germany’s capital Berlin showed a lesbian doctor and a gay mechanic respectively and featured the slogan: “I’m lesbian/gay, and Berlin has my back.” The campaign was initiated by the “Berliner Bündnis gegen Homophobie” and is directed against homophobia in the workplace. Well done! +++ German news magazine “Die Zeit” ran an extensive article on a family with two moms. (Maybe Callie & Arizona should read it, so they are prepared for what to expect.) +++ In an article for German media magazine, the magazine’s creator and editor-in-chief, who is gay himself, raised the question why so few homosexual TV actors and TV hosts dare to come out, and came to the conclusion that it’s because they fear that the viewer might not accept them and they might lose their careers. While he was mainly focusing on the men, I of course wondered whether this is the same for homosexual actresses or female TV hosts. Unfortunately, it is.

That’s it for now. If you have anything to add, or would love to read more (or maybe less?) about a certain topic/show/woman, let me know in the comments.

Autor/in: Meike

Bloggerin aus Leidenschaft, Bachelor im Seriengucken, out and proud since 1998. Ich sehe fern und schreibe darüber. Mehr Infos über die Bloggerin und ihren Blog gibt es hier.

5 Kommentare

  1. First, as a (yes, I am one of the really rather shy one`s on posting until a few weeks ago…) huge part of an iceberg, I am proud of your recapping and creating an international forum on Jenny and Emma, I think you were the first one?! And I love it! A lot of us do know it´s an incredibly good written storyline and I second you on being one of the best internationally!

    That leads me to

    Second: Jasmin and Lily on “Anna und die Liebe“, it´s crap and I am glad I gave up on those two, weeks ago!.
    Funny, I started to watch both shows at the same time, and I didn`t think that Jenny and Emma had a lack of chemistry from the very start -as a lot of women thought on several blogs and websites- I am so glad that I didn`t give up! And then:

    Third: I don`t want to give away the storyline of Callie and Arizona for non-american viewers here, but maybe if we are rather up to date -especially on German television- I am looking forward to an interesting discussion on a forum here. I`ve been reading the “Zeit“-article you mentioned and yes, those two really should read it! I read the comments on this article and some of them were really very discouraging and some were deleted, because of the obviously unappropriate content…, there`s a long way to go…

    Fourth: The L-Beach festival seems to be a lot of fun and I found a very hilarious video from Lizzy on youtube:

    So, maybe next year;-)…

  2. @ulo67: I’m glad that you overcame your shyness and started posting. Thanks a lot for this extensive comment and all of your nice words. If you’re proud of the international forum, just imagine how I feel! I had the impression that Emma and Jenny might fall for each other when I watched the episode in which they first meet, but then nothing happend for a while and I stopped watching again. So it wasn’t until I saw a clip of Emma singing “If I Were a Boy” that was posted by the ladies of “coming out of tv” that I started to watch again and started to fall for this couple immediately. I think that they have great chemistry, and always had.

    As for L-Beach: I was there last year and it was great, so I was sorry I couldn’t attend this year, but I was too busy. It’s a lot of fun, and I’m so happy for the organizers (some of whom I know personally) that it’s such a success.

    @Chubby: Judging from the comments over at AE, Lucy might have a pretty good shot to make it into the Top 100. They love her!

  3. Mel
    I wondered what was going on . I don;t seem to be able to access the forum ?? is it voume or something?

  4. Hi Mel
    I just spotted your tweet looks like your server was over exercised!!!!
    It all seems a wee bit crazy right now – good luck if I can help with anything just let me know.