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Babylon Berlin

I can't remember the last time I was so totally engrossed in a TV show. This one ticks all the boxes for me: story line that has you wondering about what's going to happen next between episodes, excellent acting, artistic set and costume design, and based on historical events that I have always wanted to understand better.

I highly recommend it for anyone interested in the German post WW1 pre WW2 history, the roaring 20's/cabaret scene in Berlin and just a well told mystery.

It’s on Netflix and is in German with subtitles.

Can't wait for season 4!

Posted by
12357 posts

Thank you. Is it on Nexflix, Amazon, or ??? In German with subtitles?

Posted by
232 posts

Sorry, that would have been helpful! Yes, it’s on Netflix in German with subtitles. I will update my OP to reflect that.

Posted by
2099 posts

We saw the Trailer for it, will have to move it up the list.

Posted by
2267 posts

@BigMike - I certainly would not watch it with the family, in the USA if it were a film it would rated a hard R. There are some pretty gruesome depictions of violence, sex, drug use, pornography racket etc... edgy stuff

Posted by
2140 posts

We watched this about a year ago. Great series. Degenerate, but those were degenerate times. Like "Cabaret", but actual degeneracy, not just fake Hollywood nonsense.

Another show that is set more recently is "Dogs of Berlin", also on Netflix. This is about pretty close to contemporary Berlin, where the Turkish mafia contends with the Albanians and corrupt cops for control of Berlin. Season 2 is shooting.

Posted by
1190 posts

"The World on Fire" on Masterpiece Theatre on PBS is another World War II series worth watching. It follows the lives of ordinary people in England, Dunkirk, Poland, Berlin and Paris. Series One: the Nazis take over Western Europe. Suitable for sophisticated teens. It is a fictional treatment with the characters portraying the various segments of society at this time. Authentic treatment of the realities.
"Das Boat" was on Hulu. It shows the interactions of the French Civilians in Nazi Occupied France and the crew of the Submarines; and Counter-Intelligence and the French Resistance. Subtitles.

Posted by
1683 posts

I'll check it out. I'm not a prude but I wonder if the graphic sex and violence is truly necessary to the story or simply gratuitous. Is the over-the-top crudeness really necessary? We've all had sex but I really don't need to see it graphically. I get it. They're having sex.

I understand showing reality, but after a few seconds we get the point. How about moving on with the story.

Posted by
208 posts

The S.O. and I watched this series about a year and a half ago, or maybe longer. We were engrossed (a very good descriptor).

Really well done. I particularly remember the cabaret scene at the end of the second (?) episode.

It's not a show for kids, though.

Posted by
1013 posts

Babylon Berlin is excellent and the first two seasons are spell-binding, however Season 3 was a bit of a let down IMHO. As for sex and violence, it's on par with other European dramas. Lisa Liv Fries is the standout as Charlotte and I found myself wishing she had her own series.

Posted by
2140 posts

"World on fire" is a really strong war series. It highlights the heroism and struggle of the Polish people, who were subjected to the might of the Nazi war machine at it's most strong. It highlights the difficulty of convincing the world that the Nazis were an existential threat, so soon after WWI had occurred. And it brings out many other moral questions. It's a bit overly influenced by contemporary sensibilities, but overall I think that it is a fine drama.

Posted by
1026 posts

Babylon Berlin took a few episodes for me to get invested, and then I was off and binge-ing. Another great WWII series is A French Village. Only 3 seasons (1, 3 & 4) are available, the rest are available from MHz, which I got a "30 day free trial" of in order to watch them. Im in the final season now and wow, it's so emotionally powerful. The whole series is a study of how people make the moral choices they do in times of such conflicting interests. No one is wholly good or bad, and even the 'bad' people are sympathetic. Season 5 and 6 shows how the town and people re-build their lives in practical and moral ways, and how accountability for choices during the war emerges as much more complex than you would expect. Season 7 extends the time frame forward, and you see how things turned out for people many years later, and how the war reverberates.
Next up is Band of Brothers...

Posted by
1190 posts

Band of Brothers is most excellent. Another great movie is 1917. I noted similar cinegraphic techniques between these two. As for the portrayal of sex in Babylon Berlin it is more situational that pornographic. The violence is shown in "film noir" style.

Posted by
232 posts

Jessica, thanks for the recommendation of A French Village. Sounds totally up my alley. Was it Netflix or a Prime that you watched it on?

BOB was so well done. I think you’ll really like it.

I have just started watching “Charite” on Netflix (I seem to be on a German kick these days) & liking it a lot so far.

Posted by
908 posts

I haven't watched the show, but this event was listed in the Goethe Institut newsletter this week. Posting as an FYI for those who are fans.

An online discussion of Babylon Berlin: Season One, Episodes 5 and 6 – Led by Dr. Hester Baer, Associate Professor of Germanic Studies and Film Studies at University of Maryland, College Park (May 21, 6:30 pm Eastern)
https://www.goethe.de/ins/us/en/sta/wsh/ver.cfm?fuseaction=events.detail&event_id=21851266

Posted by
232 posts

Hi Rachel,

That looks really interesting! Thanks so much for sharing. I wonder why they chose episodes five and six in particular.

Now to figure out (again) the difference between pacific and eastern standard time ....

Posted by
1026 posts

A French Village:
Season 1, 3, and 4 are on Amazon Prime. Season 2, 5-7 are on MHz, for which you can get a "30 day free trial" through Amazon Prime (fwiw, I have done this with several streaming services in order to watch specific shows I wanted. Some I have later paid for a month of, like Acorn and HBO, and some not. In any case, you will be asked to fill out your info, and then they tell you what date you will be charged - in 30 days - and send you an email. I promptly click on the "Manage my account" link in the email, and cancel the membership. It is then canceled automatically in 30 days and I dont have to worry about being charged ... and then I watch the show Im in interested in. That is how I have watched season 2, and 5-7)

I started Band of Brothers because my daughter was asked to watch a WWII show for extra credit in History and I volunteered to keep her company ;) Ive only watched the first two episodes. Now we all want to finish it