Only a few years ago, German television was a strictly regional affair. The native dramas were mostly conventional procedurals made up of standalone episodes – the TV equivalent of comfort food. Certainly nothing that would inspire binge-watching in the manner of "Breaking Bad". Few German-language series traveled beyond the borders of Germany, Austria and Switzerland – with that market of 100 million people, why would TV networks or producers have needed to think internationally, or change anything at all?
Fast-forward to today, and it’s a very different story, getting livelier by the minute. The competition for audiences and prestige from international series combined with the arrival of streaming services hungry for original content has transformed the German television industry. With a mandate to innovate, writers and showrunners are discarding the old formulas and discovering a new creative reach. Just like in Canada or the US, the new opportunities are luring big-name acting and directing talent to the TV medium like never before. Audiences are the clear winner with the debut of ambitious and sophisticated serials like Dark, Babylon Berlin and Unorthodox to name just a few of the shows that are both critics’ darlings and a hit with viewers.
In this dossier, we highlight German serials that you can stream in Canada and clue you in on where to watch them. Caution: these series are addictive! If you’re not careful, you’ll catch some serious binge fever!