It has been called the German Twin Peaks" (considering the appeal it might have on its audience) by acclaimed journalists, "Hollywood made in Germany" declared others. Maybe those comments came out of a deep longing for good productions, that have sadly been missing from local TV screens for quite some time.
But maybe all that praise comes from the simple fact, that it is indeed brilliant: The breadth of narration, the sheer number of speaking parts and motifs and the overall worthwhileness make it essential viewing for anyone.
In its 450 minutes it comes as a study of underworld shenanigans in Germany's capital, not shying away from showing all that scum that Travis Bickle would want to have washed away by the rain. And then at once it is a buddy flick, dealing with two upcoming cop's ambition to make the big catch. Only that one of them (Marek) wants to find the murderer of his brother, who himself was once attached to organized crime, which gives "Im Angesicht des Verbrechens" its general setting.
And the creators do so while finding a good balance between the locations, the mood and the characters involved.
But maybe the biggest strength of this series lies in finding an emotional backing by the story of Marek and Jelana (a young Russian that has been lured to Berlin in the prospect of a good job and finding her big love, only to been sold a prostitute) that encompasses the series' and its protagonists' dilemma in carrying out one's duty whilst handling your personal incentives.
I do not even try to come near to listing all story arcs and themes. Just find out yourself.
Yes, German TV is alive!
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