What is happening: A dead sailor with a nose full of drugs – and of all things on a nuclear submarine of the British Navy. Because you can’t just take such a floating missile arsenal out of circulation, the flown-in police officer Amy Silva (Suranne Jones) has to investigate underwater while operations are ongoing. Meanwhile, on land, her colleague and affair Kirsten Longacre (Rose Leslie, known from Game of Thrones and Downton Abbey) to do with militant nuclear opponents.
Secret Star: The submarine, of course HMS Vigil.
Not suitable for: militarists. Drugs on board is just one of the many real-life Royal Navy scandals chronicled by the series. Nicola’s friend
Six episodes in the Arte media library
L’Ora – Words Against Guns
What is happening: Sicily in the 1950s. Antonio Nicastro is to become the new editor-in-chief of the left-wing daily Time out of trouble. The common goal soon becomes clear: the mafia.
Secret Star: the editors of Time. A bunch of weird birds, but full of idealism and courage.
Not suitable for: People who think the mafia doesn’t exist. And fans of happy endings. Carolin Gasteiger
Ten episodes on Sky.
Euphoria season 2
What is happening: The second season of HBO’s highest-grossing teen series, starring Zendaya. Lots of glitter, lots of sex, lots of violence, lots of drugs, lots of style and haunting character drawings. Crying teenagers, crying adults. you name it
Secret Star: Actually, Zendaya is both the unsung and the obvious star, but for now all sympathies are with a very affectionate drug dealer named Fez.
Not suitable for: teenagers. Really not. Juliana Liebert
Eight episodes on Sky.
As We See It – Ungewöhnlich normal
What is happening: Three young autistic people on the verge of adulthood are trying to cope with so-called normal life – just like all young people. The series confronts her with the challenges of everyday life without harping too much on her otherness.
Secret Star: A vacuum cleaner robot that the three of them like to watch. If only everything were as predictable as he is!
Not suitable for: Fans of the wisecracking autistic Sheldon Cooper from “The Big Bang Theory”. Autism is not glorified here as some kind of superpower of lovable nerds. Philipp Bovermann
Five episodes, on Amazon.
Succession Season 3
What is happening: The very rich, very powerful American media entrepreneur Logan Roy (Brian Cox) cannot cope with two innovations: digitization and age. He barely manages to make ends meet, but the enemies are getting cheekier and his misfires are increasing. His son Kendall (Jeremy Strong) takes heart and challenges the patriarch. This is an initial problem familiar since Thomas Mann’s “Buddenbrooks”. But everything is different here, because author Jesse Armstrong brings British sarcasm into the matter: This creates a mixture of Shakespeare and Monty Python’s Flying Circus, only with private helicopters. It’s not about good versus evil, honesty versus corruption, or truth versus lies, but simply a celebration of human narrowness, wickedness, and ridiculousness.
Secret Star: The eternally long Nicholas Braun gives the factotum to Greg, who goes without a last name throughout the series. In a planless world he certainly has no plan. Greg struggles to forget his rest of kindness, decency and values in order to arrive in the world of the Roys. He literally betrays his own grandfather – and reliably loses.
Not suitable for: People who like to see good win, or who have the illusion that those up there only half know what they are doing. Nils Minkmar
Nine episodes, on iTunes and Sky.
What is happening: Twin sisters separated after birth: The father from the West takes one of the two daughters with him from East Berlin shortly before the Wall was built, the other stays with the mother in the East and becomes a solo dancer in the surprisingly lavish revues of the Friedrichstadt-Palast. Marlene grows up to be a manager in a family of entrepreneurs. Then the two meet, and fortunately the game of swapping roles doesn’t turn into a slapstick for mistakes, but a drama about life lies and separate worlds that is as pointed as it is quietly staged, which has more overlaps than one would like to believe. There are also rousing dance scenes.
Secret Star: As a touching actress, Svenja Jung in the double role of Chris and Marlene is the undisputed star of the film. And because she acts out all the dance scenes at the same time, surrounded by the biggest girlline in the world, she’s also the secret star.
Not suitable for: Non-dancers and people who can’t do anything with multi-layered entertainment. Harald Hordych
Six episodes, ZDF media library.
The Passport Season 2
What is happening: Again Elli Stocker (Julia Jentsch) and Gedeon Winter (Nicholas Ofczarek) are on the trail of an eccentric serial killer in the German-Austrian border area; again the viewer knows more than the investigators and gnashes his teeth because he cannot intervene.
Secret Star: The mother of the suspected Gösser brothers (Sibylle Canonica), presumably somehow the starting point of all evil and perhaps simply addicted to plastic surgery out of self-loathing. Most of the time she’s just a head covered in gauze, then she shows her true colors.
Not suitable for: Good hunters. Claudia Tieschky
Eight episodes on Sky.
What is happening: A lone upstanding journalist struggles through the quagmire of corruption and cover-up surrounding a construction scandal involving the prime minister and his wife All the President’s Men or State of Play. In the miniseries The Journalist is the fight against abuse of power and corruption in another culture, moved to Japan, where the special mixture of submissive subservience and unconditional obedience makes the walls of silence and cover-up even more impenetrable.
Secret Star: The reporter Isoko Mochizuki, on whose novel published in 2017 not only the six-part mini-series but also a cinema adaptation from 2019, which was very successful in Japan, is based. She is seen as a combative anomaly in the country’s press, which is otherwise largely aligned.
Not suitable for: People who think the truth is an invention of the lying press. Anne Sternenburg
at Netflix, six episodes.