What are the best TV detective series

The best TV series

Süddeutsche Zeitung | Discussion from 07/08/2015The bear that fell from the sky
Wonderfully complex: an illustrated book pays tribute to 25 years of television series
The intelligence that an average TV feature film or some criminological early evening broadcast in public television programs demands of viewers is sometimes only the same as that of the Musikantenstadlto be able to clap along to the beat. How under-challenging quite a few of the entertainment simulations are, you can tell from the fact that online philistines can even make fun of them synchronously in the social media.
But above all, you notice it when you oppose TV series from the last 25 years. A wonderful illustrated book from Taschen-Verlag is to be thanked for the fact that you can now get this overview. (Jürgen Müller: The best TV series, 744 pages, Berlin 2015, 49.99 euros.) Of the Simpsonsto True detective, of Twin peaksabout the Sopranosto Mad Men, Homeland, Lost, Breaking Bad, game of Thrones, House of Cardsand Orange is the new blackA total of 68 series are documented in it, but above all it is shown how popular culture in the last quarter of a century was overwhelmed by a tsunami of visually and materially powerful television productions ever more massively, ever faster and ever more style-forming.
It is mainly American series that Jürgen Müller, holder of the Chair for Medieval and Modern Art History at the TU Dresden, has brought together here. He has now not presented a family album in which one just wants to leaf around with a nostalgic sigh. No, Müller and his co-authors succeed in what is otherwise rare in illustrated books: here, a team of experts analyzes on a level of complexity that is absolutely appropriate to the level of their subjects.
In Breaking Bad For example, the allegory of the teddy bear that falls out of the blue into the pool of the protagonist Walter White in the second season is examined. Both Mad Men Among other things, the opening credits receive a critical appraisal. For the first season of True detective one enters the “matrix of illusions and signs”, “whose meaning can only be guessed at”. The moral indifference of the characters in game of Thrones deserves investigation. And of course the mother of all sofa shockers: Twin peaks by David Lynch. Here the postmodern genre mix and the quotes are sifted through.
This happens without intellectual gossip, which smugly overshoots its objects. Here you don't want to be smarter than the TV food that is served to you. Because the demands on the powers of interpretation come from the series themselves, which demand more from their viewers with each individual episode than some German evening series with an entire season. Above all, however, it becomes clear that storytelling in mere hints and character nuances has never been more powerful than in current television series.
BERND GRAFF
Series in series. From top left clockwise: Twin peaks, Sex and the City, The Sopranos,
True Detective, Veronica Mars, Bored to Death, The Simpsons.
Photos: Action Press (4); ddp images; intertopics (2)
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