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Deutschland 86

Sundance’s nail-biting German spy drama returns for more.

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Deutschland 86 SundanceTV
Emily St. James was a senior correspondent for Vox, covering American identities. Before she joined Vox in 2014, she was the first TV editor of the A.V. Club.

FX’s The Americans might be the best spy drama of the decade, but it ended for good back in May. Fans of that series — and anyone else looking to add more TV espionage to their lives — ought to try 2015’s Deutschland 83 and its brand-new follow-up, Deutschland 86. SundanceTV’s pair of German miniseries imports follow a young East German man who is asked to infiltrate West Germany and steal state secrets in the 1980s; his story begins in Germany in 1983, then slowly expands to encompass much of the globe.

Deutschland is suspenseful, as you’d expect of a spy drama, and it has a great soundtrack, as you’d expect from a show set in the ’80s. But it’s also blissfully funny, as our hero realizes just how little he knows about being a spy — while he’s on the job.

“The series’ narrative and sociological ambition is admirable, even if its ultimate goal is to be a fun and fast-paced yarn.” Alan Sepinwall, Rolling Stone

Metacritic score: 82 out of 100

Where to watch: Deutschland 86 aired its final four episodes on Thursday, November 15; Friday, November 16; and Saturday, November 17. Watch previous episodes from this season on SundanceTV’s website. Deutschland 83 is streaming on Hulu.

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