May 16, 2022

"New Heights": Gay Guy Leaves Big City to Run the Family Farm

The Swiss tv series
Neumatt (New Heights), on Netflix, is advertised as LGBTQ: "After his father passes away, Michi returns to the family farm" and is involved in small-town intrigues.  100 to 1 he falls in love with...wait, this isn't a Christmas rom-com.  I'll watch Episode 1: "Crash."

Scene 1: Michi (Julian Koechlin) riding a mechanical bull in someone's apartment.  He stayed on longer than any of the other guests, so he wins!  Later that night, he puts his watches in their revolving display case, opens the refrigerator -- nothing but jars of preserves -- and looks out onto his panoramic view of Zurich.  This guy is a posh Hollywood stereotype A-Gay.  

Scene 2:  More preserves, but this time Dad back on the farm is eating them, when feed-store-cap son rushes in to tell him that Olympia is too weak, and needs help.   He hangs back, so Son Lorenz (Jérôme Humm, left) has to help the cow give birth all by himself (nice muscle shots as Son pulls on the baby cow's legs).

Switch to Mom brushing her hair.  Dad comes in, hugs her, and goes to bed.

Scene 3: 
Michi goes to work in a glass-and-steel office, orders an espresso from his assistant, and examines stocks.   He works for Berno, the largest milk producer in Switzerland, which is doing terrible: apparently the previous CEO "gambled things away."  The boss has brought in a retail specialist, Joel Bachman (Benito Bause, left) from Hamburg, to tell them how to keep from going bankrupt.  

Michi isn't paying attention to the meeting; he's looking up Joel on Grindr.  Whoops, he's up, reporting on how terribly Berno is doing in China.  Do they drink much milk in China?  

Later, Michi runs into Joel in the restroom -- but he's at the sink, so no sausage sighting.  They discuss Grindr and flirt.  Michi gives Joel his card.  What year is this?  You plug your number into his cell phone.

Scene 4:  Mom and Dad are in a camper.  So they live on a farm, but they want to get even farther into the wilderness?  They have sex (no beefcake), then get dressed, go outside, and smooch some more.  Switch to Grandma cooking breakfast while Dad and Son Lorenz sit at the table.  I'm confused -- how did he get home so fast?  Is the camper in their back yard?  Did they go there just to have sex?  Mom comes in and wants to know if Lorenz is studying for his important final exams.

Scene 5: A masculine-presenting woman, maybe trans or nonbinary, leading an aerobics class.  Afterwards. a salesman tries to sell them new machine straps, but they protest: last time he sold them rubbish!  Dad looks in, bolsters his courage to enter, and then changes his mind and leaves.  Aha, he can't deal with having a trans or nonbinary kid!

Scene 6: Night.  Dad in the barn, shoveling hay, looking like he's going to drop dead at any moment.  

Switch to Michi at an upscale bar, bringing drinks to his coworkers: Jonathan from the restroom and an unidentified man and woman.  They discuss the company's problems.  Later, the man and the woman get up to dance, and Michi gives him the scoop: Elodie is nice, helpful, and wishy-washy; she'll never get ahead.  But she's only one you should trust.  Pablo is dominant, aggressive, and...whoops, a phone call.  It's Dad, asking Michi to come help your brother Lorenz fix the roof.  Why can't Dad do it?  Uh-oh.

Michi goes back into the bar and picks up Jonathan: "Rules or fun?  Decide now."  Is it against company rules to hook up with a consultant?  

Back in the apartment, they kiss (for about 1/10th the time as Dad and Mom kissed), start taking off their clothes and -- we switch to the farm!  Hey, where's the sex scene?   Lorenz gets up in the middle of the night, goes into the barn, and sees -- what?  We switch to Mom, waking up in the morning.  She notices that Dad is missing, and goes out to interrogate Lorenz.  He just says that Dad is in the barn, leaving Mom to go in and see him hanging from the rafter.  

Scene 7: Back at the apartment, Jonathan wakes Michi up (butt shot).  He is not happy; tricks aren't supposed to stay over.  As he is trying to scoot Jonathan out, he gets The Call from Mom.   He doesn't tell Jonathan that his father just died -- I guess that would put a damper on the whole hook-up.

Back on the farm, Lorenz continues to do his morning chores.  Mom tells him that they're going to make it look like an accident: he fell off a ladder and broke his neck.  Any coroner would see through that story in a second; when you are hanged, there are neck burns.    Lorenz goes out into the cornfield and cries.  

I'll bet you didn't know that Switzerland is 80th most important corn producer of the world, harvesting 150 metric tons per year, about as much as Syria.  

Scene 8:
Instead of jumping on a train immediately, Michi goes to work and gives his presentation.  Then he rushes out and drives to the farm -- apparently it isn't very far away.   Dad's in a coffin in the barn.  No coroner?  No autopsy?  "Have you told Sarah?"  Michi asks.  Mom looks startled.  Maybe she doesn't like to admit that she has a trans daughter.

Cut to Sarah from Scene 5, at the gym.  She argues with her teenage daughter: do your chores, or no cell phone!  Wait -- she looks 20-22 years old.  How can she have a teenage daughter? Must be adopted   Then the phone rings with The Call.

Sarah is played by Sophie Hutter, age 32.  No indication on IMDB that she is trans.

Scene 9: Dad being hauled away in a hearse.  Suddenly Mom discovers that Dad left a note: "For Michi."  She hides it as Sarah and her daughter arrive.

Michi goes up to his old room and looks through his stuff, while Mom and Sarah make up the guest list for the memorial service.  "Do we have to invite the Kellers?  We hate them!"  

Mom stares in shock as Dad walks in!  He's not dead after all!  No -- it's Martin (Roeland Wiesenekker) and his wife, offering condolences.  Wait -- Martin and Dad look alike.  Did I miss something?   I go back -- in Scene 4, Mom is having sex with Martin, not Dad!  That explains the camper.  And I'll bet Dad killed himself when he discovered that Mom was having an affair with his brother.  The plot thickens.

Scene 10:  Mom prepares tea and cookies for Martin and his wife.  "Is there anything we can do to help?  We could--um-- buy your farm."  "WHAT?  Absolutely not!  Get the heck out of here!"  

Later, the three siblings prepare to milk the cows.  Michi doesn't know how to attach the machine, and has to be instructed.  Um...didn't he grow up on the farm?

Later, Sarah and Michi argue about who's going to move to the farm to help out.  They both have important jobs and don't want to leave.   Michi notes that Dad called him just before he died; he didn't call Sarah.  So being gay is fine, but trans is scandalous?  This upsets her; she stomps off.

Michi goes up to the bathroom and snorts cocaine  He had time to pack cocaine? Or does he always carry it with him?  He finds a prescription drug, which upsets him.

After arguing with Mom a bit ("You're never around," and so on), he returns to Zurich.   Mom wanders around the house, feeling guilty.  Grandma consoles Lorenz.  

Scene 11: Dinner.  Sarah cooked.  She wonders what will happen to the farm: Lorenz can't run it by himself; he's still in school.  Besides, he's plagued by blackouts.  Ulp -- did Lorenz murder Dad while blacked out?  Is that why he didn't tell anyone until morning?

Later, Michi showers (no beefcake), cries, and goes out dancing, Sarah works out on a punching bag and cries, and Mom burns the rope that Dad used to hang himself (or the murderer used to hang him).  She reads the "For Michi" note and is shocked.  The end.

Beefcake:  A tiny amount.

Other Sights: A tiny amount of Zurich

Gay Characters: Michi and Jonathan, of course. Sarah is trans or nonbinary.

Heterosexism:  Mom smooches with her affair d'amour.

Plot:  I hope it's about "who killed Dad?", with everyone having secrets.  If it just about grief over a parent's death, I'm leaving.


  1. The series is about coming back to one's roots, that both gay and straight people can have support from the family - and sometimes be sabotaged by it. Michi is fully nude a couple of times, from behind.

    1. So , Dad wasn’t murdered ? The mysterious note , the missing time ,the blackouts , and Mom’s cover up attempt are clues to nothing ?

    2. Seen a surprising number of lesbian farmers recently, so it's also a trend.

  2. Some stuff to help understand: - In China, many babies are raised by grandparents, because mom has to work (in a factory far away). So those babies are fed with formula. There was a big scandal when Chinees milk factories diluted their milk with water and covered that up by adding a toxic chemical. Many babies died (in a country with a one-child-policy!). So now everybody wants milk (-powder) from Europe (or New-Zealand). A Swiss milk company doing bad in China? That is very bad, indeed!
    - I guess daughter Sarah got pregnant as a teenager (age 16/17/18), kept the baby but did not marry the father. So her ultra-conservative parents kicked her out.
    - Covering up the suïcide was probably done to still get money from a life insurance. Or to prevent (more) scandal in their ultra-conservative community.
    - The long hetero sexscene was probably added to "compensate" the appearance of gay men ... ("Don't rock the boat too much, or the public will boycott us!" Sad, but better than nothing at all? Perhaps 30 years ago...)

    1. Probably to avoid a scandal. Too bad it's not a murder mystery. I find family dramas boring unless they have some mystery or paranormal to liven things up.


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