Everyone knows about the British mystery shows across streaming services. Even shows from Ireland, New Zealand, Wales, Scotland, and the Nordic countries are gaining traction. But what about the gritty hits coming out of Germany?
The country succeeds at more than beer and cars. Whether it's a noir historical crime drama or a mystery twisted up in science fiction, Germany knows how to deliver dark and heart-pounding thrills. Here are six German crime dramas you can binge tonight on HBO Max and Netflix.
Set in Neukölln, Berlin, Ali "Toni" Hamadi (Kida Khodr Ramadan) is the leader of an Arabic drug cartel. Toni has dreams of leaving this dangerous life behind for the sake of his family, but when a raid results in the arrest of his brother-in-law, he has to struggle to keep the criminal empire from collapsing. He brings in help from a boyhood friend, causing tension with his hotheaded brother who wants to rise as the leader. The series has three seasons which add up to 19 episodes.
While this series is also set in Berlin, it's a period crime drama which takes viewers back to the socially and politically shifting times near the tail end of the Golden Twenties. Commissioner Gereon Rath (Volker Bruch) is on assignment from Cologne to secretly dismantle an extortion ring. Meanwhile, police clerk and flapper Charlotte Ritter (Liv Lisa Fries) has dreams of becoming a police inspector. With 28 episodes over three seasons so far, the next season is expected to hit the streaming service later this year.
Melding crime drama with science fiction twists, Dark takes place in the fictional German town of Winden following the disappearance of two young children. In the aftermath, the connections between four estranged families come to light, exposing a generations-long time travel conspiracy. The series ran for three seasons and 26 episodes.
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This dark German crime series is inspired by the novel and 2006 film of the same name. The body of a singer is discovered, bizarrely disfigured—the victim's scent glands have been removed. As detectives launch an investigation, they look into five individuals that the victim knew from her time in boarding school. A quick watch, this series consists of only six episodes.
Dogs of Berlin
This series follows two very different police officers—Erol Birkan (Fahri Yardim) and Kurt Grimmer (Felix Kramer)—as they are forced together to investigate the murder of a football star. As Berlin devolves into chaos over the news, the list of suspects includes Neo Nazis, the Arab mafia, Turkish nationalists, the Berlin mafia, and crazed football fans. As the detectives dive into the Berlin underworld, they're about to confront which side of the law they're really on. So far, there is only one season containing 10 episodes.
Jinn (Edin Hasanovic) is a talented young hip-hop producer in Frankfurt, Germany. After signing on to Skyline Records, he finds himself tossed into the heart of danger when the label becomes entangled with a deadly drug business. Another quick watch, this one-season series consists of six episodes.