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German Series in the USA
Crime Pays!

Bjarne Maedel as the Crime Scene Cleaner on the set of the German NDR TV comedy series "Der Tatortreiniger"
On the set of German NDR TV comedy series Der Tatortreiniger Featuring Bjarne Maedel | @alamy.com

Every day on German television someone is murdered, maimed and buried. And without fail, clever, hard-boiled or extremely odd detectives will close the case in 90 minutes or less... Crime is one of the most popular and entertaining genres in this country – and rightfully so: it is extremely diverse, smart and entertaining. Here are a few of the genre highlights that you can stream in the US.

Bukow and König

2 Seasons / 10 Episodes

Bukow is a veteran cop who doesn’t mind working at the edge of the law to get results. König has a sterling reputation as an analyst and profiler and is esteemed by all who know her for her assessments and concentrated professionalism. Despite, or perhaps because of their differences, they make a successful crime-fighting team – when they’re not fighting each other.

Directed by Eoin Moore, Edward Berger; starring Charly Hübner, Anneke Kim Sarnau; in German with English subtitles


Bukow und König / Polizeiruf 110: Charly Hübner als Alexander Bukow und Anneke Kim Sarnau als Katrin König Polizeiruf 110: Bukow und König

Stream BUKOW UND KÖNIG (POLIZEIRUF 110)

In the USA:

Amazon Prime / Mhz Choice 
 

In Germany:

 ARD|Das Erste Mediathek 

Crime Scene Cleaner (Der Tatortreiniger)

4 Seasons / 31 Episodes

In this immensely popular German comedy, Bjarne Mädel stars as Schotty, a man whose “work begins where others pass in horror.” He’s a savant contract cleaner sent to sanitize crime scenes after the police have finished their investigations. Surreal, dark and laugh-out-loud funny, the German cult comedy about the misadventures of a Tatortreiniger, or crime scene cleaner, survives translation into English.

Unlike most German TV, the dialogue (and it’s mostly dialogue, every episode is like a 30-minute play) is rapid-fire and consistently brilliant as Everyman Heiko “Schotty” Schotte engages with a bizarre mix of Nazis, vegans, murderers and reality TV stars as he goes about his job.

The supremely entertaining series came to an end in 2019 with Episode 31.

Directed by Arne Feldhusen; starring Bjarne Mädel, Charly Hübner, Olli Schulz, Florian Lukas, Milan Peschel, Christine Schorn, Bernd Moss, Jule Böwe; in German with English subtitles.

Trailer Season 1
Trailer Season 2
 
Trailer Crime Scene Cleaner – courtesy of Mhz Choice

Crime Stories

6 Episodes

In the mini-series based on the popular book by Ferdinand von Schirach, veteran lawyer Friedrich Leonhardt takes on clients with single-minded intent: to defend them within the boundaries of the law. Taken from modern headlines, the cases provide a frightening window on humanity. In most cases, the crimes were committed by relatively normal people who snapped.

Directed by Hannu Salonen, Jobst Oetzmann; starring Josef Bierbichler, Edgar Selge, Denis Moschitto; in German with English subtitles
 

Stream Crime Stories (VERBRECHEN)

In the USA:

Amazon Prime /Mhz Choice  
Mhz Choice 

SHADES OF GUILT

2 Seasons / 10 Episodes

In the final analysis, it all comes down to guilt; different shades of guilt that one assumes in a single moment of thoughtlessness or in months of premeditated planning. Defense attorney Friedrich Kronberg knows he must tip the legal scales of justice in favor of his clients’ for crimes that are never black-and-white and never what they may seem.

Directed by Hannu Salonen and Maris Pfeiffer; starring Moritz Bleibtreu, Lars Eidinger, Tom Wlaschiha; in German with English subtitles
 
Walter Presents / Channel 4
    
 

STREAM SHADES OF GUILT (Schuld)

In the USA:
Amazon Prime / PBS Masterpiece
 

Flemming

2 Seasons / 14 Episodes

Police psychologist Vince Flemming understands the perps because he’s a whiz at reading their nonverbals, but his own psyche remains a mystery. He can’t get over his ex-wife Ann, which isn’t made easier by their daily collaboration on murder cases. Flemming is a slick, fast-paced, humorous crime drama with serious rom-com undertones, a cross between Castle and The Mentalist. So it’s lots o’ fun (aside from the fact that people are getting killed) and eminently watchable.

Starring Samuel Finzi, Claudia Michelsen, Oliver Bröcker, Anna Thalbach; in German with English subtitles
 

Stream FLEMMING

In the USA:

Amazon Prime / Mhz Choice 
Mhz Choice 

Marie’s Mind for Murder

1 Season / 10 Episodes

After the death of her policeman father, Inspector Marie Brand (Mariele Millowitsch) said goodbye to homicide – or so she thought. But after being called in to consult on a difficult case, she finds herself back on the job, working with the very handsome Inspector Jürgen Simmel, a ladies’ man with a soft spot for Marie. With her brilliant, analytical mind for murder and Simmel’s more hands-on approach, these two form a perfect team!

Starring Mariele Millowitsch, Hinnerk Schoenemann, Thomas Heinze
 
MHz Choice
  

Stream MARIE’S MIND FOR MURDER (MARIE BRAND)

In the USA:

Amazon Prime  / Mhz Choice  
Mhz Choice 

Donna Leon’s Brunetti Mysteries

1 Season / 20 Episodes

Murder, Venice, relationships... It’s a delicious concoction in the hands of crime novelist Donna Leon. Venice provides the backdrop for the lush film versions of the bestselling novels, which features the indelible Commissario Guido Brunetti, canal boat rides instead of car chases, fine cuisine and crime investigations in one of Europe’s most beautiful locations.

Starring Joachim Krol, Uwe Kockisch, Barbara Auer; in German with English subtitles
 

Stream DONNA LEON’S BRUNETTI MYSTERIES (DONNA LEON)

In the USA:

Amazon Prime / Mhz Choice 
Mhz Choice 
 

In Germany:

ARD | Das Erste Mediathek

Point Blank

2 Episodes

The Berlin-based undercover agent Klaus Roth finds himself dangerously conflicted when he must befriend Luka, a small-time crook to infiltrate a Serbian crime organization involved with sports betting.

Directed by Philipp Kadelbach; starring Tom Schilling, Edin Hasanovic, Jens Albinus and Britta Hammelstein; in German with English subtitles
 

Stream Point Blank (AUF KURZE DISTANZ)

In the USA: 
PBS Masterpiece on Amazon Prime 

In Germany:
Amazon Prime Video  
 

Homicide Unit Instanbul

3 Seasons  / 20 Episodes

Inspector Mehmet Özakin is a by-the-book cop in Istanbul fighting a battle on two fronts: against the criminals in the city and against the bureaucratic laziness of his fellow countrymen. He always manages to solve his cases with Mediterranean charm and his trusty oddball sidekick Mustafa. Together, the unlikely duo chases down killers and crooks amid the stunning scenery.

Directed by Michael Kreindl and others; starring: Erol Sander, Branko Tomovic, Oscar Ortega Sánchez, Idil Üner; in German with English subtitles
   
MHz Choice

Stream Homicide Unit Istanbul (MORDKOMMISSION ISTANBUL)

In the USA:

Amazon MHz
MHz Choice 
 

In Germany: 

ARD | Das Erste Mediathek  

Anatomy of Evil  (Spuren des Bösen)

1 Season / 5 Episodes

Heino Ferch (Downfall) stars police psychologist Richard Brock in this dark mystery series set in Vienna. Brock is a loner, still blaming himself for the suicide of his wife and trying to reconnect with his daughter, recently graduated from the police academy. The only constants in his life are his faithful housekeeper Mrs. Anni and his friend Klaus Tauber, the owner of the coffee house where he inevitably eats all his meals.

Produced by ORF;  directed by Andreas Prochaska; starring Heino Ferch, Sabrina Reiter, Gerda Drabek; in German with English subtitles
 

Stream Anatomy of Evil (SPUREN DES BÖSEN)

In the USA:

MHz Choice on Amazon Prime
MHz Choice
  

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