New Heights season 1 review – the Swiss series articulates the pitfalls of blood ties beautifully

May 13, 2022
Daniel Hart 2
Netflix, Streaming Service, TV Reviews
3.5

Summary

There’s something compelling about Netflix’s New Heights, provided mainly by wonderful performances.

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3.5

Summary

There’s something compelling about Netflix’s New Heights, provided mainly by wonderful performances.

This review of the Swiss Netflix series New Heights season 1 does not contain spoilers. 

The first thing that struck me about New Heights (also known as Neumatt) is the burdening feeling of family. In western society, the makeup of a family can be eerily complicated. There’s less emphasis on structure and community. A child can move himself outside of the boundary line of helping a family business and conquer their own life. This is absolutely fine, but the ideals of what family means can be confusing. For the character Michi Wyss (played by Roeland Wiesnekker), his life is suddenly changed — from a successful financial consultant encroaching on high-end investments to a chilling call from his family.

Michi’s family business is farming. One day, the father of the family takes his life. The weight of responsibility now lands with his wife and his children. The transference of responsibility between the patriarch to the rest of the family makes for fascinating viewing. From propelling the nature of grief to inspiring the action to save the family is a well-devised directional approach. The premise forces Michi to choose — he either sticks to his career or saves the family farm.

There’s something compelling about Netflix’s New Heights, provided mainly by wonderful performances (which is probably why the series contains Best Leading Actor and Best Support actor from the Swiss Television Awards). The entire concept that family is the endgame provokes a thought process in the modern way of living. Our blood ties are a social contract; if all else falls apart, there’s an expectation of stepping in.

The premise of New Heights adds layers above family expectations; Michi is successful outside his family. In the city, no one knows his personal origin as the farmer’s son, but in the village where the farm resides, no one knows he is gay. The narrative themes are woven and complex, bringing social conundrums worth observing. Despite living in the 21st century, there’s this idea that traditional prisms still imprison us.

But if the whole scenario of New Heights does not take your fancy, perhaps the rich drama will. The creator, Marianne Wendt (also known for writing Der Irland-Krimi, Letzte Spur Berlin, Eden), opted for a rawness in the character portrayal. There’s not one character that loses their grip on who they are meant to represent.

The Swiss series adds to a growing list of impressive international series on Netflix in 2022. New Heights is recommended.

What did you think of the Swiss Netflix series New Heights season 1? Comment below.

You can watch this series with a subscription to Netflix. 

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2 thoughts on “New Heights season 1 review – the Swiss series articulates the pitfalls of blood ties beautifully

  • May 19, 2022 at 9:33 pm
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    I am only four or five episodes in, so there’s that. I have learned to appreciate that all the characters/actors are not “Hollywood airbrushed”. There are some “major noses”, especially for two key female characters, and the lead is, for lack of a better descriptor, short. Sort of refreshing.

    As the story progressed, at least so far, it presents more and more as a Swedish soap opera, but remains worth a look.

  • May 20, 2022 at 1:33 am
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    Great!! Really hope we get to find out what happens to Granny!

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