Netflix’s attempt to diversify its palette has worked wonderfully for it. The streaming service has dipped its toes in the small screen of various countries, and this venture has resulted in some great gems being delivered to the audience.
Netflix broke into the German market with the release of the sci-fi drama, ‘Dark’. The mind-bending show received popularity not just in Germany but also succeeded in becoming a favourite with the international audience. From there, Netflix expanded its base, acquiring some great shows from other networks while also accelerating the production of its own originals. By now, its German-language collection has become a pool of great, binge-worthy stories. If you are looking forward to watching German content, here is the list of the some really good German shows streaming on Netflix right now.
11. Tempel (2016-)
Mark Tempel has left behind his boxing days and works as a nurse. He has a daughter to take care of, along with an ailing wife. He finds it difficult to keep up with the piling bills, but is doing his best. However, his landlord doesn’t care about these things. It becomes even more problematic when the mafia gets involved. This leaves Tempel with no other option but to revert to his old ways. He goes back to the cage fighting scenario and equips himself to get back in the game from which he had retreated a long time ago. The drama escalates as he finds himself falling deeper than he had before and wonders if this time, he’ll be able to climb back up. You can catch all episodes of ‘Tempel’ here.
10. Perfume (2018)
‘Perfume: The Story of a Murderer’ by Patrick Süskind served as the inspiration for a film starring Ben Whishaw. It follows the story of a man who has a heightened sense of smell and becomes a serial killer when he discovers the addictive smell of the human body. The German television series explores the same premise but brings it in the contemporary setting. Over the course of six episodes, it explores a series of murders, all of which have a brutally mutilated body.
The show begins with the discovery of a woman’s corpse. Detectives Nadja Simon and Matthias Kohler are tasked with the investigation. It leads them to the victim’s friends, where we discover that, in the past, they had been indulged in the study of human scents, very much inspired by Süskind’s novel. The problem becomes knottier when the detectives discover that this isn’t the first time someone has been killed with the same MO while having connections with the same group of people. If you love the 2006 film, then you will also love this show. You can watch the series here.
9. Altes Geld (2015)
For those addicted with soap operas, or any kind of family drama, ‘Altes Geld’ (known as ‘Old Money’ in English) presents an excellent option. The premise of the story is incredible and sets the stage for a struggle between the characters that often makes for hilarious situations. It begins with a sudden decline in the health of a billionaire.
Rolf Rauchensteiner has all the money in the world, but even that can’t make up for his damaged liver. He has been diagnosed with a terminal disease which will kill him within a year unless he gets a liver transplant. Now, for a billionaire, it shouldn’t be so difficult. But with all that money comes a lot of complications. To get himself bumped up on the transplant list, he is negotiated with, even blackmailed, sometimes. Due to the constant eye of the media on him, he can’t deal as successfully in the black market. It seems like despite having so many options, there are none that he can actually work with. So, he loads this responsibility on his children. The one who saves his life would be the sole heir of his riches! You can watch the series here.
8. The Same Sky (2017)
‘The Same Sky’ is the show for the ones who love spy dramas. Set in the treacherous times of the Cold War, it follows the story of a spy who is sent to West Germany with a mission that could change the course of history. The protagonist of the story is an East German agent called Romeo.
With the heated situation across the Berlin Wall and the tense atmosphere due to the problems between the USA and the Soviet Union, crossing over to the other side is one of the most difficult jobs for a spy. It is during this time that Romeo is sent over to target a family. His mission is to infiltrate the family by seducing a woman, hence the name Romeo. Even though he is an experienced spy, this mission becomes difficult for him when he becomes personally invested in it. You can catch all episodes of ‘The Same Sky’ here.
7. Charité (2017-)
This German drama follows the events taking place in a hospital that becomes the focal centre of medical innovations, in a particular era. The first season is set in and around the last decade of the 19th century. At that time, Charité is on the cusp of becoming one of the most famous hospitals in the world due to the work of several doctors (some of whom go on to win Nobel Prize) who change the course of medicine with their revolutionary practices.
The second season, better known as ‘Charité at War’ is set during the upheaval of the Second World War. This time, the hospital overflows with wounded soldiers and afflicted civilians. It also takes into account the Nazi regime of that time, and the plot heavily depends on the difference in the opinions of various doctors. The series works as an anthology, each season having a self-contained story, and the cast changing with every run. If you like historical dramas, then this is the one that you shouldn’t miss. You can watch the series here.
6. Babylon Berlin (2017)
Based on the series of novels by Volker Kutscher, this is another period drama that is more inclined to the interests of neo-noir crime lovers. Set in 1929, it follows the work of a police detective and a steno typist. The protagonist of the story is Inspector Gereon Rath, a World War I veteran who is suffering with PTSD. He is sent from Cologne to Berlin to get to the bottom of an extortion ring, expose the perpetrators and, if possible, completely bring down the entire operation.
The other hero of this story is a woman named Charlotte Ritter. A clerk, and occasionally working at a cabaret, she dreams of becoming the first female homicide detective in the police force. Rath’s investigation leads him to a deep political conspiracy that goes way beyond the superficial purpose of the prostitution and pornography rings. ‘Babylon Berlin’ has received high praise over the course of its two seasons, and its upcoming third season is highly anticipated amongst the fans. You can watch the series here.
5. Criminal: Germany (2019)
With the success of its bolder ventures, Netflix’s tendency to experiment has grown stronger. In 2019, it came up with the format for a show that branched out in four different series. ‘Criminal’ is available to watch in four different sections: UK, Spain, Germany and France. Each part is a self-contained story. There is no relation between them, except the fact that all of them follow the same format.
Each of them has three episodes which, again, have a standalone story for every one of them. The basic premise has a team of detectives giving their best in the interrogation room. They need to get something from the person sitting across from them. The tussle of words takes place with the cops trying to get a confession out of the suspect, or getting some important piece of information, or persuading them to give up on someone. The drama gets intense, even when there are no action scenes. It is a nail-biting thriller and you can watch the series here.
4. Skylines (2019-)
Music and crime are one of the most favourable premises for a great story. Merge them, and you get something even better. In ‘Skylines’, Netflix gets a killer combination. Set in Frankfurt, it begins with a struggling music producer who finally gets his big break. Jinn catches the eye of a talent scout while performing with a friend, and secures a deal with Skylines Records, the biggest record label in the country. A whole new world opens up for him and he readies himself to embrace it. Meanwhile, the owner of the company, who has also enjoyed a career as a successful rap artist, welcomes back his brother who has been long associated with drugs and crime. His return catches the attention of a cop who has been looking to settle some past disputes. It doesn’t take much time for Jinn to get caught up in it, while his family also faces the ramifications. It is a taut thriller that you shouldn’t miss. Watch ‘Skylines’ here.
3. How to Sell Drugs Online (Fast) (2019-)
Teenage is a tricky time. We find ourselves overly indulged in trying to impress people, especially the ones that we have a crush on. And more often than not, it makes us do silly things. ‘How to Sell Drugs Online (Fast)’ is based on one such true story.
Set in the fictional town of Rinseln, the show follows the story of Moritz Zimmermann. He is not a popular kid and generally keeps to himself. His friend, Lenny Sander, is his trusted confidant and soon becomes a partner in crime, literally. In an attempt to impress Moritz’s ex-girlfriend, the duo comes up with the idea of selling ecstasy online. At first, it is just for fun and they make decent money. The problem arises when they find a boom in their sales and suddenly become the perpetrators of a large-scale drug trafficking ring. The teen drama has garnered a lot of popularity and is set to continue the story with the second season in 2020. You can watch the series here.
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2. Dogs of Berlin (2018)
The second original series produced by Netflix, ‘Dogs of Berlin’ is a perfect mix of crime and sports, and all things in between. Set in Berlin, it picks up the events after the murder of a famous German-Turkish footballer, Orkan Erdem. Detectives Erol Birkan and Kurt Grimmer are tasked with the investigation. As time passes, the pressure mounts on them because the whole country is watching their every step. Every delay and every miscalculation can cost them heavily, for the case as well as for their own careers. Meanwhile, as they delve into the life of the victim, they discover that the list of suspects grows endlessly. He had enemies everywhere and to pin down the killer becomes the needle in the haystack task. The suspects are divided into various groups, which involve neo-Nazis and angry fans, from the Berlin mafia to the victim’s Lebanese neighbourhood. The detectives have to get to the heart of the Berlin underworld to crack this mystery. You can watch the series here.
1. Dark (2017-)
One of the best series on Netflix right now, ‘Dark’ spins a twisted tale of family connections and time travel. Unless you have an appetite for indulging in the stories that exhaust your brain, do not watch this series.
Set in the fictional town of Winden, the show begins with the suicide of a man named Michael Kahnwald. With no apparent reason for his death, his son, Jonas, struggles to come to terms with the loss. Months later, he tries to pick up his life, but then his best friend’s younger brother, Mikkel, disappears. A mysterious cave in the town, which also connects to the nuclear power plant in the outskirts, becomes the focal point of suspicious activities, and it is later revealed that this isn’t the first time that a child has disappeared in Winden. As Jonas gets to the depth of it, he discovers his connection with the disappearance and makes some startling discoveries about his family history. If you love sci-fi dramas, then you can’t miss ‘Dark’. Watch the series here.
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