Thursday, September 17, 2009

NY Times Notices Tatort

A long time ago I contrasted US and German police shows; ironically, the US shows have now all become like the German ones of years ago. The grandaddy of them all, and a show I really miss (dammit, local cable, sell me German Kino Plus!) is "Tatort". The NY Times profiles it very nicely here.
An aspect of it I quite like is the local nature.

There are 15 versions of “Tatort” produced by the various regional divisions of ARD, the German public broadcasting system. So this means there’s a Leipzig “Tatort,” a Frankfurt “Tatort,” a Bremen “Tatort,” a Kiel “Tatort,” a Stuttgart “Tatort” and even a Vienna one, made by Austrian television, all of which take turns sharing the Sunday time slot with “Polizeiruf 110,” the former East German knockoff of the show, still producing new episodes occasionally.
The “Tatort” from Münster plays for laughs. In Konstanz, a green swath of the country, the “Tatort” detectives often crack environmental cases. Hamburg stars a hunky, James Bond-like Turkish detective who works alone; Hanover, a beautiful, clever female detective, also a loner.

The Tatort detectives all have private lives full of problems and that foreshadows recent developments in US crime shows.
Or as Ms. Wintgen put it: “Its detectives stand for the dreams of the people. The plain-looking guy or the middle-aged blonde who in the end solves all of life’s problems and finds the murderer.
“That’s our kind of hero.”

h/t Bill Dawson


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