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10 perfect series for the time between the years

In the summer, a great love for basketball flared up.

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10 perfect series for the time between the years

In the summer, a great love for basketball flared up. There was the great World Cup in Cologne and Berlin. And while we were there, we also watched The Last Dance, the Netflix series about Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls. Quite interesting, but to really appreciate the 2020 ten-part, you would have had to have been there at the time. But we weren't. Not even with the rise of the L.A. Lakers with their superstar Magic Johnson. But what "Winning Time" on Wow offered is much more than a sports history report. Adam McKay, the showrunner, delivers one of the most entertaining and wistful series of the year.

wistful? Yes. Because everything was actually better in the past – a true story is being told here. Steam hammer investor Jerry Buss is investing his fortune (and more) in the Lakers, a rather mediocre basketball club. What does he make of it? One of the largest sports franchises in history. So politically incorrect, bursting with cheerleaders, throwing out jokes, which is unfortunately only possible in very courageous TV series these days. A lot of fun compared to woken teaching series like "Bridgerton". And that's also down to John C. Reilly, the constantly cast-off acting creature, who shows what he can do here in a large but unfortunately somewhat overlooked series. And what basketball is in the US. Peter Huth

At Christmas, the Germans return to their tribes – to the Rhine or the Weser, to Swabia or Saxony. There is no better opportunity to watch the Netflix series "Barbarians" with a local craft beer, which is now in its second season telling about our Germanic ancestors, about Suebi and Cherusci, Chatten and Chauken, but above all about Arminius the Etruscan , who defeated the Romans in the Battle of Varus and had not yet won. The men wear buns, furs and tattoos and look like dwarfs from "Lord of the Rings" crossed with gangsters from "4Blocks". The women wear felt and leather couture and sip the mead from the Rinderhorn in the afternoon.

And the Romans? They present their well-defined breastplates and speak – unless a barbarian breaking out of the undergrowth is cutting their throats – a wonderfully melodic Latin that sounds Italian. Sentences like “Oddmund is still with Reik Thorleif” or “Form up as a turtle!” It feels like everything is set in Ostwestfalen-Lippe, but the villages look like alternative communities in Brandenburg – and no Latin teacher in the hobby cellar could have reconstructed the Roman camps more faithfully . An inner Thing gathering, excellently cast and better than any historical documentary. Andrew Rosenfelder

power corrupts. Superpower corrupts super. Lord Acton's simple principle has long been ignored in the comic book world. The idea that people with superpowers only want to do good is absurd and naive. Garth Ennis comic The Boys and the Amazon series of the same name take children's beliefs from the Marvel and DC universes and flip the premise - far more radically than in Alan Moore's epoch-making Watchmen. A superhero troupe called "The Seven" around the Homelander, based on Superman, protects America, but prefers to act out of arbitrariness, greed, hubris and not infrequently when intoxicated with drugs.

Appearance of the boys. A cool underground gang wants to fight and destroy the seven - and lets themselves be corrupted by their own lust for power. The series is suitably anarchic while being uncompromising, amazingly funny, full of sexual disrespect and hearty splatter scenes, and resolutely anti-capitalist. Nowhere is America's politics and society dealt with more cleverly and wittily between Christian zealots and populist careerists. And yet there is still room for an enchantingly romantic love story. A must for all boys in front of the screen. Holger Kreitling

Life can get out of hand so quickly. Everything changes for Judge Michael Jacobi, an upstanding and exemplary man, when his son hit-and-run. There are seconds in which Jacobi realizes: if he doesn't protect his son, he will be killed in prison. And so the respected judge gets entangled in a thicket of lies and violence from which there is no turning back. A grandiose cast (Sebastian Koch as the fallen hero Jacobi, Paula Beer as clan heiress Arija Sailovic and Tobias Moretti as meat manufacturer Uli Lindner) meets Alpen-Noir aesthetics that catch you cold.

The character study developed in six ARD episodes by director David Nawrath based on the American model ("Your Honor", with Bryan Cranston in the title role) captivates with a hardness and stringency that is often missing in other German crime novels. Nothing we will need more urgently in 2023 than a sequel to this suspense masterpiece. A series for anyone who has children or wants to know what people with children are capable of. Marie Luise Goldman

Jackson Lamb is the anti-Bond. The agent of the British MI-5, played by Gary Oldman, negates any glamor and even some basic elements of hygiene and social coexistence. It takes a little while for the viewer to understand that behind this facade is a master spy who was still shaped during the Cold War and who only understood that asocial behavior is sometimes the best camouflage. Lamb has gone into internal exile within the Secret Service - taskmaster of a troupe of agents who have failed in various ways and who have now been pushed onto the dead end as "slow horses".

Lamb despises his own people and doesn't really want anything anymore. But when a student of Pakistani origin is kidnapped by right-wing terrorists, he has no choice but to fight a titanic battle against the steel-hard, scheming vice-boss of MI5, who plays an obscure role in this affair. His opponent is played by Kristin Scott-Thomas, making the duels an electrifying acting duel. The Apple series is perfect right down to the Mick Jagger theme song. And it's even better than the underlying book by Mick Herron. Matthew Heine

Angela would like to become a mother, at 44 she doesn't have much time left. But she has no idea what that's like or if she'd be any good at it. No problem, Nathan Fielder can help her. Nathan Fielder is a Canadian comedian who goes to great lengths to demonstrate how absurd and tragic life is once you decide to act. In his Sky Reality TV series The Rehearsal, he helps people make decisions by acting out the consequences for them and with them. For Angela, he hires child actors who rotate every few hours and get older, so she can get an idea of ​​what it would be like for her to have to get up five times a night or to throw a nine-year-old's birthday party.

The longer you watch, the more confused you become. What is real, what is fake, how well can you fake the real thing, what happens when the game gets serious? But it could also be that "The Rehearsal" isn't a reality TV series at all, but only pretends to be, you don't know it exactly and you don't know any better after you've read the countless forums on the Internet empty, in which enthusiastically disturbed viewers speculate on the degrees of authenticity of Fielder's field studies. But one thing is certain: he makes great television. Really now. Peter Praschl

Etna stoically breathes fire. And already in the opening credits, the apparently baroque ceiling frescoes are transformed into a bestiary of murderous human abysses. In general, the images and sounds: the more toxic the relationships, the more beautiful they are presented as postcards and the more seductively happy the carefully curated hits and opera melodies sound, which whirl gently into the abyss. Someone will fall by the wayside, that's already clear in the first shots of the beautiful and black humorous wow mini-series "The White Lotus". Employees and luxury vacationers are getting ready to experience a special time in the high-end resort - even if one serves, the other commands.

This was first the case in the "White Lotus" resort in Hawaii, where the evil guests left only broken relationships and one dead after a week's vacation - so successful that the anthology story is now increasing it in the second season in Sicily. F. Murray Abraham and Michael Imperioli are already great as a sex-addicted father-son duo. But Jennifer Coolidge, who has already been balancing on high heels through the first season between tragedy and comedy, as the annoying, neurotic heiress Tanya McQouid, effortlessly sticks her in the décolleté. And only the sun of Taormina was witness. Manuel Brug

It doesn't always need dragons, serial killers or parallel worlds to captivate viewers. Apple TV's "Ted Lasso" doesn't even need the football pitch in this series about the ups and downs of AFC Richmond football club in the British Premier League. The turbo-capitalist world of professional football is just the background for the story about a football coach from the USA who is hired by the club's new owner to ruin the club with his incompetence - the lady wants to take revenge on her ex-husband , who owned the club before their divorce. But then Ted, unaware of these intentions, turns the game in his favor. Not through profound strategy, but through character.

Some would call it naïve American optimism, in fact, Ted is just a good person. Who manages to make a team out of narcissistic loudmouths and bitter egomaniacs. Yes, that's right: being nice is considered boring. The greatest achievement of Ted Lasso actor and creator Jason Sudeikis is that this wonderful homage to the value of kindness is not only not boring, but matured into a great story - because it thrives on our negative expectations and moves us when we realize that with cynicism, we may not be so disappointed in life, but we don't appreciate life as much as we used to. Christian Meier

Everything at the end of the first season of Love and Anarchy is beautiful. So good that there shouldn't have been a second season. Actually. The Swedish Netflix series takes place in a publishing house in Stockholm: the future consultant Sophie, a fashionable career mother, and the young IT employee Max start a relationship. They challenge themselves; Sophie has to run backwards a day, Max has to act like he's the manager of a publishing house. These pinpricks of the unconventional pierce the otherwise bourgeois everyday life of the two and liberate just by watching. The beauty of the ending makes the sequel menacing.

But the second season is even wilder and almost even better. Director Lisa Langseth manages to take combat issues such as climate change, sexism, generational conflicts and capitalism with humor. The "Woken" and the "Sensitivity Coach" hired by the publisher for image reasons are smiled at just as intelligently as Sophie's neoliberal business strategy. Hardly anyone here is consistently sympathetic, not a single twist is to be expected. In the end it is the most conservative of all who recognized the great art from the start. In addition, the series makes you want to misbehave. And that's fun. Lena Karger

We would like to take this opportunity to say a heartfelt thank you to the Zeitlaufer. As a German who was there when the Wall fell. And actually wasn't there because he was in Bonn and not in Berlin. And when Wessi from far away didn't notice much of the crimes that were happening there. Because there was so much happening. And you can shoot so many series about it. So many series that one calls out “Heaven help” when another one is announced that is supposed to tell about trust and rope teams. And then sits in front of it again. And thinks it's fabulous. "Kleo", the Stasi revenge trip series from Netflix, is almost certainly the craziest of all examples.

"ZERV" can certainly keep up with that. The ZERV really did exist, the "Central Investigation Office for Government and Association Crime". However, it is dangerous to tell the story in the ARD six-part series with Nadja Uhl (cool East Commissioner) and Fabian Hinrichs (cold better-Wessi criminal) in brief. As soon as you start, you're already caught in the cliché trap that "ZERV" escapes almost every minute by hitting hooks and kobolts. So let's leave it and look between the years how the years before were like that. Elmar Krekeler

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