Stream it or skip it?

You know, not everyone who reaches the end of their thirties and early forties feels empty without children. Some people never want to have children and are completely happy with this choice. But on TV and in movies, it seems like the happy childless among us aren’t interesting characters; it’s the people who want the moody kids who seem to keep looking at people. A new Danish drama proves, however, that this desire can still be interpreted empathically and for laughter.

BABY FEVER: Stream it or skip it?

Opening shot: As we pan across a wall filled with photos of healthy children and their happy parents, we hear the sounds of someone stumbling in the dark.

The juice: We then see a photo of Nana Jessen (Josephine Park), one of the best fertility doctors at the Copenhagen clinic where she works. She’s the drunk one who stumbles in the dark. She takes a sperm sample and an insemination kit and inseminates herself. She wonders if she can go to jail for this. “But I could have a baby.”

Three days earlier, we see Nana at work in the clinic. She seems to be perfectly satisfied with getting others pregnant and she has a knack for being able to relate to them by making up stories about her children, who don’t exist. She is so good that her boss Helle (Charlotte Munck) asks her to help her and her wife conceive. Nana also seems alright to have sex with boring but sexy guys like the well-known physiologist. But when the clinic nurse / her best friend Simone her (Olivia Joof Lewerissa) helps her break through a new ultrasound with an exam, she Nana discovers that she has 3 follicles left. In other words, she is about six months before she has no more eggs.

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While mingling with Simone for bowling and some booze, Nana takes the shock of her life when she runs into an old flame named Mathias (Simon Sears) outside the clinic. They broke up years ago when he left Denmark to work for an NGO; he is there to deliver a sample to the sperm bank.

Simone receives information from Nana Mathias, which should be kept confidential, and they go out for a nice date, which Nana blows by asking him if he wanted to have children. A night of filming at the clinic with Simone after that debacle leads Nana to inject that sperm sample into herself. But she is not just a champion; is that of Mattia.

Child fever
Photo: Tine Harden / Netflix

What shows will it remind you of? The tone of Child fever (Original title: Skruk) corresponds in some way to that of Catastrophemixed with Jane The Virginthe initial presumption.

Our outlet: The reason why Child fever, created by Nikolaj Feifer, it works so well is Josephine Park. From the first time we see her, we know that she plays Nana as a woman who is sure to feel as she approaches her 40s. She’s in a profession where she helps women conceive, and she’s really good at it, but she finally feels a little bit empty that she herself is single. But she isn’t pushed to any action until she realizes that her pregnancy period is short and what she ran away is back in her life.

All of these emotions can be seen in Park’s performance. She is ambivalent, then sad, then ambivalent again. She likes her work of hers, even though she gives her a sense of emptiness. She is good with children, as we see when she interacts with Simone’s son. And when Mathias returns to her life, you can see her light up with the prospect that there is some hope, albeit brief, that a fulfilling relationship is on the horizon.

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His best relationship, though, is with Simone and, at the start of the series, it’s also one of the things that makes us want to watch. It’s a solid friendship and Park and Lewerissa have a great chemistry. It will be interesting to see if their friendship is threatened by Nana’s actions or by her relationship with Mathias, who will initially proceed on shaky ethical ground.

But as long as Park keeps his performance at the same level as we found in the first episode, where he makes the sperm theft from his own clinic seem like a sympathetic act, the story will be worth following.

Gender and skin: With all the talk about children, there is no sex at all in the first episode.

Farewell shot: Going back to her drunk night at the clinic, we see Nana putting the needle between her legs and injecting Mathias’s sperm. “Nobody has to know”, she thinks to herself.

Sleeping Star: There seems to be a good number of secondary characters in Nana’s office who could create interesting side stories, such as Helle’s desire to conceive with his wife or another doctor, Nils-Anders (Mikael Birkkjær) who wants to sell packages to patients. of drugs.

Most of the pilot line: Nils-Anders suggests that the office give Helle a sea kayak for her birthday. When Nana says that Helle will never use it, Nils-Anders says “she will, wait and see”. How can he be so sure?

Our call: STREAM IT. Why Josephine Park puts on such an empathic and funny performance, Child fever it becomes less of a show about someone desperately trying to fill something missing and more about a woman making a decision with far-reaching ramifications, but also the potential for something wonderful as a result.

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Joel Keller (@joelkeller) writes about food, entertainment, parenting, and technology, but he doesn’t fool himself: he’s a TV addict. His writings have appeared in the New York Times, Slate, Salon, RollingStone.com, VanityFair.comFast Company and elsewhere.

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