Scandalized viewers criticized Dillermand as inappropriate, tone-deaf, and a jarring alternative on the heels of the nation’s rising #MeToo motion. However the collection’s creators, and plenty of bemused followers, defended it as a subversive comedy that has served up alternatives for folks to have frank and unsqueamish conversations about anatomy with their children.
“The collection is about being true to at least one’s self,” Morten Skov Hansen, the pinnacle of DR Ramasjang, the corporate’s children’ channel, informed me in an e-mail. “It’s as desexualized as it may possibly probably get.”
Whereas I don’t communicate Danish, the tone of John Dillermand will not be simply misplaced in translation: The present isn’t about intercourse. It’s about taking duty to your actions, and the awkward realities of inhabiting a human physique. However in each minute of the Dillermand jaunt, there’s additionally a reminder that male our bodies are nonetheless allowed freedoms that feminine ones are usually not.
John Dillermand is, in some methods, a throwback to the man-children who’ve dominated children’ TV throughout continents and a long time. Dillermand, who’s middle-aged, lives along with his remarkably spry great-grandmother (oldemor, in Danish), and retains the worldview of a younger boy. He’s clad inexplicably in a red-and-white striped swimsuit (which graciously accommodates his elongating appendage, as a result of a nude penis would have been a bridge too far), and infrequently a pom-pommed beanie. A personality paying homage to Mr. Bean or Inspector Gadget, he lacks road smarts and maturity, and innocently sees the world as his playground.
Have been Dillermand usually endowed, he is perhaps merely bumbling or pitiable. However his big penis—billed within the present’s theme tune as the most important on the planet—received’t enable him to languish in anonymity. A manifestation of his id, his pecker acts of its personal accord. It’s sassy. It’s hedonistic. It’s acquired an urge for food (for meals, largely), and isn’t afraid to buck social norms to sate it.
This pressure between man and member drives the present’s zany plot. After Dillermand’s penis plucks an ice-cream cone from a toddler’s hand and flings it onto a stoplight, Dillermand should redirect site visitors and set the state of affairs proper. When the diller almost drowns a number of children, John wrangles it right into a makeshift propeller to airlift the youngsters to security. Dillermand’s penis wields weapons with abandon—a dagger, a series noticed, a rifle. It provokes animals and bullies youngsters. It steals. It commits acts of violence. It even terrifies Santa Claus (who errors the penis for a snake) so badly that he tumbles down a chimney and injures himself.
Dillermand has sufficient self-awareness to sometimes bemoan the shenanigans of his wayward penis, pulling his hat over his face and groaning, “Ugh, that dumb diller.” It’s usually Oldemor who should remind her man-child great-grandson to pak den væk—put it away!—when Dillermand’s diller runs amok. “What’s going to the neighbors assume?” she screeches. However Dillermand all the time comes by ultimately, selecting up a lesson or two about conscientiousness alongside the way in which.
Within the months since its premiere, John Dillermand has amassed a veritable cavalry of tiny followers. Anne Sofie Pleidrup, who lives together with her husband, her son, 6, and her daughter, 7, in Denmark, informed me that her total household has been having fun with the present. Each her youngsters are creeping as much as the age when anatomical variations are beginning to fascinate them, and she or he was delighted that “they discovered the identical punch traces humorous.”