Friday, November 24, 2017

Germany Finally Invades the U.S.

It sounds as if the American streaming-TV service Netflix is betting big on German programming. From The New York Times:
At first glance, “Dark,” Netflix’s first original German-language series, might seem familiar to fans of the streaming service’s other recent hits. The show, which will debut internationally on Dec. 1, centers on a small town plagued by strange goings-on at a nearby power facility. It also features an expansive cast of largely young actors, a time-warped structure and cryptic scenes of a teenager imprisoned in a brightly lit room.

But its creators, the director Baran bo Odar and the writer Jantje Friese, are quick to point out that “Dark” isn’t a blend of Netflix’s “Stranger Things” and “The OA.” For one, the show’s episodes were written before those programs were released and lean more toward science fiction than horror. They also point out that its understated sensibility makes it a uniquely German contribution to the rapidly expanding world of premium television. “I don’t know if it’s German angst, but there is something uniquely creepy about Germans, at least from the outside perspective,” Ms. Friese said recently in an interview here. “We are definitely delivering on that.”

Denmark, France and Norway have drawn acclaim for their contributions to the new golden age of television, but few ambitious fictional series have come out of Germany. That began to change in 2015, when “Deutschland 83,” a spy drama, became the first German-language show to be broadcast on an American network. Now, with “Dark” and the recent premiere of “Babylon Berlin,” an expensive historical series that has been sold to 60 international markets and will stream on Netflix in the United States starting in January, German television appears to be entering a new era.
So, precisely when will Babylon Berlin, the 16-part, double-season historical crime series based on German author Volker Kutscher’s two (soon to be three) popular novels, premiere on Netflix? It’s been surprisingly difficult to pin down a specific date. However, this article, also from the Times, says it “will begin streaming on Netflix in the United States on Jan. 30.” I look forward to watching.

(Hat tip to Frederick Zackel.)

READ MORE:Titan to Publish Babylon Berlin—The Inspiration Behind the Netflix Smash Hit TV Series!” (Graphic Policy); “Netflix Commissions Second German Production, Dogs of Berlin,” by Diane Lodderhose (Deadline).

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