“SK Kölsch” is a German crime-series, first aired in 1999 and running till 2005 with 80 episodes. The main character is Josef – called Jupp – Schatz (played by actor Uwe Fellensiek), the chief detective of the Cologne homicide department. He is one of those guys who often act first and think about it later. He often thrust his guts more than his brain. Jupp is divorced and although he has his affairs he still loves his ex-wife Ellen, who runs the bar “Rättematäng”. In the second season Ellen dies in a car-accident and Jupp has to take over the responsibility for his teenage son Florian, called Flo by nickname. Something that isn’t easy first because Jupp’s job often calls for his full attention and second because somehow he himself still is a big child. He loves the Cologne Karneval (something like the Mardi Gras) and the FC Cologne, a football (soccer) team. And he hates anyone from Düsseldorf, calles them the “Düsseldoofen” (doof = stupid). His son also plays soccer as a goal keeper.
Jupp’s colleague and representative is Klaus Taube (Christian Maria Goebel). Taube was the first gay detective in German TV history and most likely in the whole world, probably even the first really serious gay character besides sitcoms and soap operas. Although it’s known to his friends and colleagues that Klaus is gay he thankfully is not one of this cliché fags movies and series so often featured. Before he took over the job in Cologne he was a well-known profiler for the Federal office of Criminal Investigation. Opposite to Jupp Klaus is a person who thinks first and analyses a situation thoroughly before he acts. Or at least he tries to do so, Jupp often don’t give him much time for thoughts. Klaus is a serious, reserved person, likes to be well dressed and trimly. After his lover cheated on him during a vacation he is alone, except of an affair in the third season which doesn’t last long.
Although Jupp expresses more or less regularly some prejudices about gays, Klaus and he are close friends, which spend a lot of their spare-time together. For a while Klaus is living as a subtenant at the home of Ellen and after her death at Jupp’s. After the third season the actor backed out of the show and so Klaus Taube, who went to Interpol, was replaced by Falk von Schermbeck (Dirk Martens).
Falk was educated on a British boarding school and also worked as a profiler before he came to Cologne. And he also is gay. He’s a more open person then Taube was, likes to enjoy his live, goes to the Christopher Street Day, has some flirts and affairs and even gets a wedding proposal. Jupp and Falk also quickly become friends although their relationships seems not to be as close as it was between Jupp and Klaus. Falk has his own life and interests where Klaus was very much attached to Jupp’s need and his life.
Jupp’s boss is Heinrich Haupt. In the last season he gets a new one, Gesine Westphal. A double shock for Jupp because he had hoped for the position and now a woman got it. Other characters in the show are the pathologist Marie Weiß, a tough woman who gives Jupp contra when ever she can, Achim Pohl, a nice, a bit shy guy who is responsible for searching through the documents (therefore called “Aktenlurch”) and Jenny, a blond, a bit naïve assistant. In the first season they also have a female detective, Gaby, and an Italien one, Dino. Dino later is replaced by Gino, about Gaby’s whereabouts after the first season nothing is told. Later Jupp’s mother Bertha comes to Cologne and takes over the Police Department’s canteen and later the “Rättematäng” as Anna, a close friend of Ellen, who run it after her death, became pregnant. As she is a very dominant person that’s not easy for Jupp, who’s father has died years ago.
Although it’s a crime-series dealing with murder in any episode the main focus more lies on the humour rather than the action especially in the later seasons. It is also very much influenced be the typical Cologne atmosphere like the Karneval. And as Cologne counts as the most gay German city from time to time there are gay topics like the Christopher Street Day.
For pictures and episode-guides I recommend the German site: www.merlinas.de