Reliving the Berlin Wall Days


Deutschland 83, a sly and creepy Cold War spy thriller/coming-of-age drama airing on SundanceTV, is the first German-language television show to run on a commercial American channel, and one of the first works of entertainment available here focusing on those grim years in Germany.

The show's protagonist is a young Stasi officer who, after being assured that his ill mother will receive expedited medical care, agrees to be sent across the border to pose as a West German general's aide-de-camp. There, he spies on negotiations with the U.S. military to station nuclear warheads on German soil.

Never lacking for cloak-and-dagger intrigue or a healthy amount of cynicism, some of the eight-part series' most enjoyable elements include its lovingly chosen electro-pop soundtrack, as well as the dry comedy of spies from the Communist East struggling to deal with the complexity of a personal computer and the enormity of choice at an ordinary Western supermarket.