West Germany after the war, reconstruction, the emergence of the young - we recently cleverly staged this on television as a historical panorama with the series “Kudamm '56”, the ZDF success by Annette Hess, which is now making its way into a musical. Now RTL comes with its version of the story, and this series also has the format and pace. Little, it seems, is further from “Disko 76” than imitating public service style. The rousing groove of “Disko 76” is closer to the RTL dance show “Let's Dance” (soon to be in twenty seasons), and “Dirty Dancing” (1987) and “Saturday Night Fever” (1977) also send greetings. “Disko 76” is infectious, funny, creates enthusiasm for dancing, and a Discofox renaissance could be the result.

The musical focus with an exuberant 1970s playlist is already convincing. The disco spectrum ranges from soulful and funky black music, from Gloria Gaynor and Barry White, to disco as mainstream (“Kung Fu Fighting” by Carl Douglas, 1974), to Euro Disco, Boney M. and Abba. A decade is depicted musically, not just with disco. The soundtrack ranges from Fleetwood Mac to David Bowie. You can hear songs that define the seventies and are effectively used here as a means of movement for social and individual changes.

Most people only come as far as Düsseldorf

“Disko 76” could also be imagined as a musical, but the series is not a number revue; its plot is too weighty for that: the main character, Doro (Luise Aschenbrenner), is in her early twenties, married, and a passionate kindergarten teacher in the Ruhr area. At home, while she's ironing, she's bored watching television commercials in which the housewife is at her husband's service in the evenings and fills the domestic sphere with charm, good humor (and the haze of “Klosterfrau Melissengeist”).

This looks a bit like Regina Schilling's post-war entertainment documentary "Kulenkampff's Shoes", but gets its own twist when Doro starts dancing and breaks through the walls of the Malocher apartment. “Disko 76” takes place in Bochum. The chimneys are still smoking in the Ruhr area, most people are still Catholic, but the economic miracle is over. Before the economic structural change beckons, Berlin (no conscription, which is important here) and Frankfurt (the battle center of the student movement) are sending signs of change. Most young people only come as far as Düsseldorf, where the half-silly Eva Kallwich (Natalia Wörner) runs a glittering disco temple.

Doro has a lot of fighting spirit, and above all she doesn't just want to be the “plumber's wife” Matthias (Moritz Jahn). When Matthias quits her job so that she has more time to do the dishes and have children, she has had enough. Johanna (Vanessa Loibl) takes her to the US airbase, where Jack ( Farba Diens ) and other GIs are putting on a spectacular disco in a hangar. When Doro watches the dancing couple Robert (Jannik Schümann) and Elli (Emma Nova), and later the army closes the temple of exuberance, she comes up with a brilliant idea. The deceased uncle left behind the “Die Ecke” pub. Where the workers used to drink beer at lunchtime and schnapps from glasses at the bottom of which pin-ups undressed while pouring it, where the uncle grabbed the waitress's bottom and the gentlemen's joke lowered the humor level, the “Disco Bochum” is to be created. The father (Aljoscha Stadelmann) is not very enthusiastic, the mother (Jule Böwe) appeases, brother Frank (Merlin Sandmeyer) schemes - only the deserting other brother, Georg (Jonas Holdenrieder), gets the disco spark.

The affair is a complete success, annoys the competition and even ensures that the family retail business is saved for the time being. “Feinkost Krämer” does not have to give way to the new “Allkauf”. The future turns out to be tough for Sister Johanna; instead of the pilot training she had dreamed of, the airline offers her a stewardess job. Georg now lives alongside his heavily pregnant girlfriend Alex (Julia Jendrossek) in Bochum's first commune. The child's father (Jacob Matschenz) is too busy saving the world with his Frankfurt comrades to take responsibility.

All sorts of obstacles, a dance competition and a major fire later, the cards are reshuffled. Doro is a discotheque entrepreneur and she experienced sexual fulfillment with Robert; For most people, the future is up in the air. Even Michael Jackson was at the “Disko Bochum” and copied the moonwalk from the former “Ecke” chef and current DJ. The full moon over Bochum glitters like a disco ball (camera Felix Poplawsky).

“Disko 76” is not only a hit in the dance scenes, but also a rousing combination of fun and contemporary history (book: Linda Brieda as main author, Dorothee Fesel, Judy Horney, Antonia Rothe-Liermann and Janosch Kosack based on an idea by Benjamin Benedict; direction Florian Knittel and Lars Montag). The connection between film and songs (music Christopher Bremus) is remarkable. Last but not least, “Disko 76” looks like a showcase product of the Bertelsmann one-stop entertainment strategy. BMG Rights Management, the music publisher, is named in the credits (for “Music Supervision”). The next RTL “Let's Dance” show on disco shouldn't be long in coming. “Disko 76” still looks more like groovy joie de vivre than calculation. Bochum instead of Berlin, disco inferno instead of doom waltz, dancing instead of standstill. This is what top entertainment looks like.

Disko 76

is available from today on RTL+.