13-year-old Sinikka vanishes on a hot summer night. Her bicycle is found in the exact place where a girl was killed 23 years ago. The dramatic present forces those involved in the original case to face their past.
but altogether I was greatly disappointed by 'KDD Kriminaldauerdienst'. Yes, it is better than 99% of the usual dreck that is on German TV, but that doesn't really mean much. Yes, it's a decent show with some ambition and good actors. But can it compete with the great international TV shows? Unfortunately there's no way it can.
While hailed as the German "The Wire" it falls spectacularly short of that admittedly very high standard. One of my main criticisms would be the lack of realism. While Berlin is one of the rougher German cities, the amount of major crime that happens in this series is nothing short of ridiculous. Also, the minor crimes that get interspersed between the main story lines are, while often based on good ideas, completely cliché- ridden. It's a bad sign when you know who did it long before the cops do or criminals mess up in the most ridiculous ways. Apparently, it's also incredibly easy to get criminals to confess their crime simply by simply insulting them in a way vaguely connected to the crime.
Like so many other shows, it's mainly the writing that lets down 'KDD'. While not necessarily bad, it's just filled with way too many flaws. Occasionally bad dialogue, the afore-mentioned story cop-outs and dei- ex-machina, and general over-dramatisation drag the show down and sometimes even give it a soap-opera feeling, when characters continually get involved in outrageous story lines and half of the police department have affairs with one another.
'KDD' is far from bad, though. It shows ambition with presenting multiple story lines and arcs at the same time, portraying almost nothing as black and white, and not neatly wrapping up everything within the 45 minutes episodes. It's also decently shot, features good actors most of the time, and has a lot of good ideas. If you are able to suspend your disbelief a lot, it is (alongside 'Im Angesicht des Verbrechens') probably the most entertaining, ambitious, and simply best show that German TV has created within the last 20 years or so.
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