Facing complex crime: Investigating contemporary German crime fiction on television

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The article, after giving a short overview of the history and characteristics of German crime fiction on television, elaborates on recent tendencies in this area. Furthermore, a short reference concerning the resurrection of the gangster film genre in German cinema is made before focusing more specifically on the textual analysis of the TV crime serials KDD – Kriminaldauerdienst/KDD – Berlin Crime Squad and Im Angesicht des Verbrechens/In Face of the Crime. Through critically discussing the dimension of ‘Quality TV’ and proposing, instead, to use the concept of ‘narrative complexity’, the transformative potential of complex generic narrations is emphasized. Focusing on aspects of multiple interwoven and interacting story arcs, a high number of dominant and developing round characters, a clear visual style, a tendency towards world making, self-referentiality and (generic) intertextuality, differentiating normative messages, as well as innovation and emergence, a textual analysis of the two abovementioned TV crime serials follows in order to exemplify recent tendencies in German crime fiction.
Translated title of the contributionIm Angesicht des komplexen Verbrechens: Investigationen zu zeitgenössischen deutschen Fernsehkrimis
Original languageEnglish
JournalNorthern Lights: Film & Media Studies Yearbook
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)127-142
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 2011