Sep 16, 2013

TKKG: German Boyfriends Who Solve Mysteries

Radio dramas about TKKG, a group of German teen sleuths like the Three Investigators or The Famous Five, first appeared in 1981,and are still going strong, with episodes like "The Treasure in the Dragon's Lair," "Fear on the Autobahn," and "The Murderer from Another Time."  They are arguably the most popular juvenile pop culture icons in Germany, with novelizations, comic books, cartoons, and video games. And, of course, movies: Drachenauge (Dragon's Eye), 1992, and TKKG und die raetselhafte Mind-Machine (2006).  

TKKG is named after the initials of the teens:

1. Tim (previously Tarzan), age 14, the leader and the jock of the group (played by Jannis Niewohner in 2006).

2. Karl, the gay-coded, androgynous brain (Jonathan Dumcke, left).

3. Dumpling (Kloschen), the chocolate-loving fat guy (Lukas Eichammer)

4. Gaby (Svea Bein), the girl who keeps being told "stay here where it's safe."

The radio series has some gay subtexts between Tim and Karl, making them veritable boyfriends, and gives none of the characters significant heterosexual interest.  But the 2006 movie drops boyfriends and girlfriends all around.  Although Karl remains gay-vague and androgynous.

Jonathan Dumcke died in August 2013, at age 22, while on holiday with his family in Italy.  No word on whether he was gay in real life.

Jannis Niehwohner became the standout star, going on to fame in the young-love Summer (2008), the girl-power comedy Freche Madchen 2 (2010), and the time-traveling fantasy Rubinrot (2013), plus the upcoming tv movie Heroes (2013), in which two brothers "become soul mates" as a black hole threatens to destroy the world.

Maybe he'll finally get another soul mate.

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