Dogs of Berlin is a dark, shadowy world, where the characters have to face their corruptions in a compelling German Netflix series.
Netflix’s second German-language series after Dark has arrived, introducing us to a cold, stubborn world of Berlin, where the characters are confined to their corruptions, their demons. Netflix original series Dogs of Berlin is noteworthy in regards to how it is shot and articulated. Showing cinema-style shorts, and minimised lighting to give you a glim look of the world of the story. Now and again, a Netflix series shows us that they do care about the direction and the visual perspective – you do not need to be sitting in a crowded cinema to enjoy the screen.
The story for Dogs of Berlin is complex, and its complicated style of writing requires an unusual amount of concentration, especially in the opening episodes. Once you get over the plot-hill, you are bound to be engaged by a shadowy world, where the same tragic event entwines many different characters.
That event is the murder of Turkish-German footballer Orkan Erdem who has chosen his allegiance with the Germany National Team, which has angered the Turkish people but also brought out some criminal sectors that vow to destroy his name. His death is an international disaster, not just for the police force but the characters involved. In the opening episode, officer Kurt Grimmer (Felix Kramer) is the first person to arrive on the crime scene and instantly sees the horrors of the situation.
Dogs of Berlin is strangely more about the character’s facing their corruptions more than the death of a footballer. As soon as Kurt realises who the victim is, he attempts to keep it as low-key as possible, turning the murder into an opportunity, with the impending International game arriving – Germany vs Turkey. The opening episodes confirm he leads a double life, dealing his hand with the wrong crowds with a certain amount of debt, which forces his decision to bet on the game.
As the series spurs on, you realise that the death of the footballer could have been by some different suspects; Neo-Nazis from the Marzahn borough of Berlin, the Turkish family clan related to the football superstar, the Berlin Mafia or even football fans. Dogs of Berlin also throws a bone at those higher up the food chain, giving you plenty of meat to gnaw on, as you try and piece the stern jigsaw puzzle together.
I do not think the Netflix series is a binge-worthy type series – it requires a more dedicated watch where you have time to witness this world unravel, but if you stick by it, then Dogs of Berlin is worth your time.