Giacomin Posted October 9, 2018 Share Posted October 9, 2018 If you were wondering if there is another series to watch that is on the elite level of the Sopranos, Deadwood, Breaking Bad, The Wire, Madmen, True Detective or the Leftovers... you are in luck. Babylon Berlin is a brilliant German made dark pseudo-detective noir period piece that takes place during the Weimar years in Berlin. If you appreciated the amazing attention to detail of Deadwood or Madmen this will titillate you. If the rich serious character acting and the mood of the Sopranos or True Detective grabbed you, prepare to get absorbed. This is a well-paced captivating production that mixes fact and fiction, mystery and suspense, complex character study and relationship voyeurism, all in a richly detailed cultural and historical backdrop. The best I can comparatively describe it? Imagine the movie Cabaret mixed with True Detective and The Singing Detective (if anyone ever saw that awesome ~10 hour BBC show). The mood, authentic feel, acting, subtle details, storyline, sets and even soundtrack done by Bryan Ferry (Roxy Music, etc), range from noteworthy to epic. Like all the great shows mentioned almost every detail has purpose in understanding something about the place, story, the person, history, relationships, or something. Overall, there is a lot going on. A bulk of it takes place in liberal leaning Berlin, which happens to be at the center of a wide-ranging and quite nuanced cultural and political era in Germany and all of Europe. The Post WW1 realities have not faded the way they did here, yet the roaring 20's and America's cultural influence is at play. We get glimpses of the people of Berlin becoming more progressive, culturally avant-garde, often sexy, sometimes decadent, and generally all jazzed-up. Amidst it all are numerous complex factions at work politically, for power and money. The various right wing groups clashing with each other, the moderates and the far left, particularly the worker party communists adds to the ominous confusion. The first episode taking place in the beginning of 1929, right smack in the middle of the Weimar period (1919 to 1933). There are 16 parts and by the last episode we still have not hit the Oct stock market crash, yet so much is happening. And so much is about to occur, for there is always a foreboding aura knowing the chaos to come. Thankfully, plans to take this show past 1929 have been finalized, given the viewer demand both inside and outside of Germany. Not wanting to spoiling anything, I won't describe it further. Lastly, I wrote this post this morning, in part because it was captivating and I just finished watching it. However, a big part of it is the growing nationalistic and fascistic tones of this administration in describing its political enemies, including the grotesquely awkward utterances just before, during and now after Kavanaugh's swearing in. These days enemies of the state are anybody who isn't an ardent supporter of Trump. This includes not just most minorities, the poor, environmentalists, many with health conditions, democrats and other likely targets. Today even independents, conservatives, free-traders, some republicans, those who dedicate their life to the FBI or Justice Dept, people who live in the Northeast or west coast, among others are suspect Americans. Not to mention our foreign neighbors and allies. Babylon Berlin primarily is entertainment and does not set out to be important. However, there are so many accurate, similar or metaphorical historic references that it is very important. Truly a much watch. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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