4 SEASONS IN HAVANA (2016- )

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Cast: Jorge Perugorría, Carlos Enrique Almirante, Luis Alberto GarcíaFour

We follows lieutenant Conde who solve crimes, sleep with beautiful women, drinks alcohol to forget his days, and the internal affair is breathing down his neck to top it all off his boss is watching him closely.

Seasons in Havana is a very stylish, well written crime series it has a fell Neo-noir to it. It is hot in Cuba you can sense the heat as you follow Conde where the landscape is dusty and the sun shine on th top of your head all the time. Conde the drinking smoking, having sex with beautiful women along the way is having a hell of the time to solve murder in Havana with the internal affair breathing down his neck along side his boss. It has 4 episodes of  one hour and a half. What I like about it is that Cuba is stuck in time so there is old cars from the 50’s 60’s and still a rotary phone. it is set in the 90’s so no computers yet nor cell phone. The drone shot here is fantastic and you will see the rich and the poor neighborhoods. The atmosphere is noir to the core, the bars, the night life, the crimes, the police corruption as well as the government. Is fun to see this series that is shot on location with the different decor and houses or apartments. The cast is perfect and stand out and so is this wonderful production. Do not miss this one. 

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DARK (2017 – )

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Creators: Baran bo Odar, Jantje Friese

Cast: Oliver Masucci, Karoline Eichhorn, Jördis Triebel

Netflix’s first original German series, Dark, will inevitably be compared to Stranger Things, but it is much different and well though out. Both series focus on children who have gone missing; both are set, in a dark setting , in the 1980s; both involve unexplained phenomena that cause lights to flicker, among other things; and both reveal a pathways somewhere in a cave that connect to a mysterious facility that’s key to the show’s central mysteries. Than in Dark is becoming totally different as the story goes along.

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The series tales place in Winden a little town in Germany. There are quiet characters to follows and you will be sucked in as well as addicted as I watched the series.The show opens with a voice-over explaining that “everything is connected,” which turns out to be true of the relationships between the parents and children in four families that are introduced. There are a lot of characters to keep track and you must pay attention because if you blink you will miss something. We meet Jonas (Louis Hofmann), a teenager who has spent time in a mental hospital following his father’s suicide that is the beginning  scene , Jonas and several friends go on a late-night expedition into the woods to see if they can recover some drugs that Erik stashed away in a hiding spot, Erick is the one who disappeared at he beginning of the story. They get spooked by going to a cave where you should not go in some kind of nuclear underground stuff, in the process, a friend’s younger brother, Mikkel (Daan Lennard Liebrenz) disappears. The town may not know where Erik is, but we do. Erik is sitting in a chair like an electric chair and you will see someone briefly in the room. You will not know what is going on too much. Town goes searching for Mikkel and now there are two kids missing. He gets weirder from here on out, you will not believe where Mikkel winds up at, and that is all I am going say.

Dark is concerned about atmosphere and suspense with a cliff ending at the end of the series. The series setting is autumn, darkness, rain, and the smell of death is everywhere. It is going to become a chilling classic creepy thriller. Dark is stubble and as the horror element in it even a little bit of neon-noir in there. And yes I think Netflix has a hit on their hand. I can’t wait until next season.

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CANNABIS (2016 – )

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Creator: Hamid Hlioua

Cast: Kate Moran, Christophe Paou, Yasin Houicha

Here is a cool series Franco German on the Arte channel. It is what you expect and more. It is shot in Spain, Morocco, and France. It is the drug trade of those 3 countries. The dealers are dealing and everything is fine when a drug boat does not come back for his delivery. The main drug dealer the boss is looking for their dude who possibly took the marijuana and left. did he really do that? If so where is he now?

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There are a few surprises in  this one by far. It is the cut throat business who gets killed in order to move up and never trust no one. One dealer wants to go straight and grow strawberries, the others are in the lure of easy money. One woman is trying to rise in power but wants to get out, but get drag back in. She quickly going to become in power we will see the second season. There is blackmail and stealing the drugs from the boss. It is a tight group that can’t be trusted and they have look behind them constantly in order to survive and not get shot. The first season it too cool and things are moving along just fine. There if you get the chance to see that one have fun with it.

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KU’DAMM 56

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Creator: Annette Hess

Cast: Sonja Gerhardt, Claudia Michelsen, Maria Ehrich

The story is set in Berlin in the year 1956 and tells us about a dance teacher and her 3 daughters. And yes there is a little bit of everything here in this dysfunctional family. Homosexuality, happy and unhappy relationship, motherhood, a father that disappear after the war, an underground dancing contest.

From the beginning it never lets up. This series is flying with a strict cold-hearted mother that wants here daughters married to wealthy men. She will stop at nothing plus she has a dancing studio where she is stuck in old fashion mode and does not want to teach Rock-N-Roll dancing. Here is a lesson in modernisation if I ever saw one. The wall is not up yet but you begin to see that Germany is separated in two east and west. It is the whole question of the modernity with the rapid transformations of a society that are imposed on to Caterina Schöllack, a  mother with authority , who alone raises her three daughters to be ready for marriage. And yes there will be one who will rebel against her mother the youngest one Monika. It is the time of Elvis Presley and of James Dean here plus a lot of Rock-n-Roll came out and a lot of modern invention as well. Thing are moving fast in Berlin where the war is forgotten. The series explore the modern world that is going to emerge, with a family who has their own problems in the middle of it of which the mother is going to have trouble adjusting to it. A terrific series here from Germany that is worth looking at.

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THE TEAM (2015 – )

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Cast: Lars Mikkelsen, Jasmin Gerat, Veerle Baetens

Three women, three countries, but a common sequence of events – all the victims was shot through the left eye and a finger away. But why? Who had it in for the prostitutes? An international team of investigators consisting of the Dane Bjørn Harald (Lars Mikkelsen), Deutsche Jackie Müller (Jasmin Great) and the Belgian Alicia Verbeeck (Veerle Baetens) to jointly bring light into the darkness and catch the murderer. A first track leads you to the Belgian journalist Jean-Louis Poquelin (Nicholas Ofczarek), who was six years earlier accused for a very similar crime. But the Lithuanian billionaire Marius Loukauskis (Nicholas Ofczarek) seems somehow plunge in the matter. 

Here is a nice crime drama series that has been copy from the on in France called crossing lines.The series follows a number of national police agencies, working through the framework of EUROPOL, to attempt to solve a series of cross-border murders. Like I said they copy on each other but the crime is different here. It takes us in 3 different countries so far. Only 2 episodes as been shown here so I decided to review this one now It still looks good plus I love the fact it is in Sweden, and Germany  I get to see other countries. It is a bizarre crime that they stubble one and they tried to make do with what they have plus they use the high-tech gear that they have to catch the criminal. Another Crime drama of 8 episodes yes there will be season 2 and they’re will be a third season in the works. I will put more as soon as I see more episodes.

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GENERATION X (2013)

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Directed by Philipp Kadelbach

Stars: Volker Bruch, Tom Schilling, Katharina Schüttler 

They are 5 friends from childhood in 1941 Berlin. They are in this bar where Greta works they are saying goodbye it is July. Greta, Charlotte, Vikor, and Friedhelm , Wilhem follow a different path Greta was to be a star a singer, Vikor is a jew taylor who is going to take over his father’s business. Charlotte is a nurse and is going to the front to take care of the soldier who are Hurt. as for Friedhelm and wilhem who are soldier and brothers are going to fight the Russian. They wow to come back 6 month later when the war is over at Christmas. Oh! boy where they wrong.

This is based on a true story of five German friends. This is also the first time that the German Cinema has told the story during World War II, although one movie comes in mind Das boot.No one not even the war veteran even talk about the war ever. For the first time a director from Germany has had this bold idea to do a mini series about it. People has talked about the series still six month after it came out. The young one started to ask question to they elders about the war and they answered. You see the German has swept the war under the rug, and like one superior said to Friedhelm it is a different kind of war. They had no idea what was going on. When they find out some of them didn’t think it was right to kill the jews. Like Friedhelm and wilhem said this war does not make sense. To make matter worst Hitler promised a victory soon. Yeah! right. The story does not excuse what the German did during the war. It is compared with band of brothers of course it does not surprise me. Charlotte who was in love with Wilhem (he does not see it at first ) is eager to serve her country as the series moves along you see her in discuss and scared to see all those soldier dying in front of her. Reality checks in. Friedhelm became a murderer under his brother regime later on he become human again and seek redemption toward the very end. His brother on the other end trained rookies in becoming soldier killing machine later on he decided that he has enough, the war does not makes any sense any more he brushes death and lives in a house where he fishes to survive only for a little while. Greta who’s boyfriend is the jew Vikor want to become a stars has an affair with a German SS Officer and tried to get papers for her boyfriend Vikor. Vikor gets caught by the German and he is sent on the train to the camp only to escape and join the polish resistance. Great acting jobs by all the actors. I have been told that the polish media gave a negative review. A must see.

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