Critical Condition: Babylon Berlin

Babylon Berlin | Netflix, from Tuesday

➢ “The most expensive drama Germany has ever put on, except for . . . no, actually, let’s not make that joke; it is a detective series set in the interwar Weimar Republic. Darkness beckons, poverty is rife, politics are violent and insane, and a city copes by being decadent, imaginative and outright bloody fun-loving in that special way that only, um, Germans know … I sort of love it, but I have no idea where it is all going.” — The Times.

“Sex, murder, and the rise of the Nazis … Babylon Berlin is historical drama as you’ve never seen it before.” — The Telegraph.

➢ “Is the world ready for Babylon Berlin? The German TV series, a crime drama set in pre-World War II Berlin, is crazily ambitious. With a reported budget of $45 million, the period epic, co-written and co-directed by Tom Tykwer, Achim von Borries and Henk Handloegten, can lay claim to being the most expensive non-English language series ever made. If it works, it could change how Europe makes TV.” — The Hollywood Reporter.

➢ “Chucking money at something to create a time and a place (however fascinating – and however much it chimes with what’s going on now), plus fabulous club/dance sequences, don’t make great drama alone – just look at the preposterous Vinyl and The Get Down. This is much better than either of those – because it’s based on crime fiction, there’s the momentum of intriguing plot and character development.” — The Guardian.

➢ “The plot is highly dynamic and combines sex, crime and history in a pleasantly unobtrusive way.” — Zeit.

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