Outside the norm: These series projects are extraordinary

Updated on 03/27/2022 at 10:40 p.m

  • Due to the flood of new series, productions are being forgotten more and more quickly.
  • To counteract this, streaming services resort to creative and sometimes quite unusual means.
  • We present the most unusual series projects – including “Pachinko”, “24” and “WandaVision”.

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Whether told in real time, implemented in a visually striking way or filmed as a wacky mix of genres: In recent years, streaming services such as Apple TV+, Disney+ and Netflix have repeatedly come up with unusual series projects that go beyond the norm. We take a look at productions that don’t care about conventions and go their own creative way.

“Pachinko” (Apple TV+)

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“Pachinko” tells a story across generations.


Attention language geniuses! The new Apple series “Pachinko” (from March 25, Apple TV+) was shot in three different languages: Korean, Japanese and English. A certain inner conflict is also reflected in the content of the epic story, which stretches over four generations.

Solomon’s (Jin Ha) family has always felt alien in one way or another. Series creator Soo Hugh (“The Terror”, “The Killing”) has dedicated eight episodes to the history of the Korean immigrant family from the early 20th century to the late 1980s. “Pachinko” is based on the novel “A Simple Life” by author Min Jin Lee and tells of a forbidden love in the tension between war and peace, victory and loss, hope and redemption.

“Love, Death & Robots” (Netflix)

David Fincher (“Seven”) and Tim Miller (“Deadpool”) send a real cabinet of curiosities to the start in their animation anthology “Love, Death & Robots”: These include werewolf soldiers and cyborg bounty hunters as well as alien spiders and hell demons. Sensitive dairy products are also at the start. sounds crazy? For sure!

Even if the individual episodes of the Netflix production sometimes only last a few minutes – the absolutely adult genre mix of fantasy, horror, sci-fi and comedy definitely sticks in the minds of its viewers. Critics also see it that way: “Love, Death & Robots” was awarded several Emmys.

Short stories that will be remembered for a long time: “Love, Death + Robots” is an animated cabinet of curiosities on Netflix – each film has its own story, its own style. What they all have in common is that they are extraordinary, not always suitable for minors and, on top of that, end with a huge surprise. Now follows “Issue 2”. © ProSiebenSat.1

“Calls” (Apple TV+)

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The Apple production “Calls” is more of a radio play than a series.

© AppleTV+

Anyone who thinks that a series can only develop excitement through images will find the Apple series “Calls” to be the opposite. The innovative serial experiment captivates the audience by means of auditory storytelling, rousing graphics and an extraordinary sound concept. In nine episodes, a captivating plot gradually unfolds, which streaming fans are only introduced to via telephone calls.

In the English-language original of the Apple series with an apocalyptic ending, prominent names such as Pedro Pascal (“The Mandalorian”), Rosario Dawson (“Jane the Virgin”), Aubrey Plaza (“Parks and Recreation”), Aaron Taylor-Johnson (“Tenet “), Lily Collins (“Emily in Paris”) and Nick Jonas (“Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle”) on board.

“Criminal” (Netflix)

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Sylvester Groth stars in the German offshoot of “Criminal”.

© Netflix / Jose Haro

This series only needs one location to make a big impression. In the Netflix series “Criminal” the entire action takes place in an interrogation room. The extraordinary project, a collaboration between four countries, is nevertheless grippingly staged. Sylvester Groth and Florence Kasumba, among others, are part of the German Kammerspiele.

The British offshoot of the anthology series is much more prominent, for example with “Broadchurch” star David Tennant, Kunal Nayyar (“The Big Bang Theory”) and “Game of Thrones” star Kit Harington.

“The After Party” (Apple TV+)

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Who Killed Xavier (Dave Franco)?


When Xavier (Dave Franco) makes his way to a high school reunion, the prominent singer and actor has no idea that the evening will have a fatal ending for him. However, after falling to his death off a cliff, detectives Danner (Tiffany Haddish) and Culp (John Early) come to the unequivocal conclusion: The pop star was murdered. But which of those present is behind the horrible crime?

In the comedy series The Afterparty, everyone is a suspect. In a total of eight episodes, director Chris Miller (“21 Jump Street”) recounts the murderous party evening from different perspectives and constantly changes perspectives. In addition, each episode of the black humorous whodunit crime thriller is based on a specific genre, such as an animated film, musical, action orgy à la “Fast & Furious” or thriller.

“WandaVision” (Disney+)

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The black and white idyll gets colored cracks in “WandaVision”.

© Disney+ / Marvel

Last but not least, “Deadpool” and the “Guardians of the Galaxy” proved that Marvel doesn’t take itself and its superheroes too seriously. But the film studio has never been as wacky and high-spirited as in the “WandaVision” series. Even the production of the nine-part series was unconventional, to say the least: the studio audience was present when the opening episode was filmed. At the center of the crazy audience hit are Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen) and Vision (Paul Bettany), who make themselves comfortable in the suburban idyll of the white middle class in the 1950s.

But soon the cheerful suburban life is over. Not only do old acquaintances and new enemies bring chaos into the couple’s life, the black-and-white homage to the sitcoms of the 1950s is also visually experiencing increasingly colored cracks. The crazy and visually unique nostalgia trip “WandaVision” is available on Disney +.

“KBV – No special incidents” (RTL +)

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Police officers Gilles (Jürgen Vogel, left) and Samuel (Serkan Kaya) are bored.

© TVNOW / Frank Dicks

The title says it all for this RTL series: the Cologne broadcaster aggressively advertised “KBV – Kein Special Vorhämnisse” as the “most boring series”. The cop comedy with prominent faces like Jürgen Vogel, Annette Frier and Serkan Kaya takes doing nothing to the extreme. For the most part, the protagonists of the six-part series are wasting their time waiting and talking. This sometimes results in quite absurd mind games, often garnished with crude humor.

While the two plainclothes police officers Gilles (Vogel) and Samuel (Kaya) are killing time observing a building, the crooks Bernhard (Rocko Schamoni) and Maurizio (Denis Moschitto) are waiting inside for an order. And in the operations center of the police control center, Carola (Frier) and Danni (Maike Jüttendonk) are bored.

“24” (Disney+)

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Hunt down criminals in real time: Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland).


The series classic “24” looks like the blatant opposite to the RTL series just described. Told in real time, the audience is immediately drawn into the nerve-wracking everyday life of cop Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland). When the production debuted on US television in 2002, it not only established new technical standards, but also made serial entertainment socially acceptable.

In terms of content, too, “24” aptly reflected the then prevailing zeitgeist with aspects such as fighting terrorism. In a total of eight seasons, terror investigator Jack Bauer endured physical and psychological pain without complaint. The top agent of the fictional anti-terrorist unit CTU (Counter Terrorist Unit) knew only one mission: the merciless hunt for criminals.

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teaser image: © Apple