TV Shows

Recensie HBO Max-series ‘Two sides of the abyss’

The German police should file an appeal against a series that portrays them so unprofessionally.

Director: Year Saul | Cast: Anne Ratte-Polle (Luise), Anton Dreger (Dennis), Lea van Acken (Josi), Ann-Kathrin Kramer (Dr. Aschhausen), Senita Huskic (Nadisa), ea | Episodes: 6 | Time to play: 43-50 minutes | Year: 2023

In the German Wuppertal there is something that cannot be found anywhere else in the world: the Schwebebahn, or a floating train. It is a means of public transport around the city, a kind of metro or tram that does not go on rails but hangs from them – since 1901! Not only is it unique and built to stand the test of time, but it is also very attractive to look at. It comes purely for the latter reason. two sides of the abyss always in the photo, because the series has “You know what would be cool?” as base

It’s been seven years since Dennis killed Officer Luise’s eldest daughter when he suddenly sees it in public. The killer went to prison a fat, long-haired jerk and apparently came out a confident, athletic guy. When another murder is committed soon after, Luise is convinced that Dennis is after her and that he is planning more evil. Her colleagues rather think that her suspicions are based on prejudice.

The Dennis of the past appears via flashbacks with a performance that is embarrassing: cheap makeup immediately reveals the actor is wearing a fat suit and the character is portrayed as someone with extreme mental retardation. It doesn’t rhyme with how Dennis is in the present, even if there’s an explanation for that later. This is all an excuse for the plot.

Luise’s youngest daughter must fall in love with him and therefore not recognize him as the murderer of her older sister. Luise recognizes Dennis immediately, her daughter Josi doesn’t recognize him at all. Luckily, he’s also her type! It also works well for the story of a police chief not taking Luise seriously, even when he comes up with hard evidence against Dennis in the new murder (which happened in Belgium, but Luise turns out to understand something). .

two sides of the abyss he uses two pieces of classical music several times, one more ridiculous than the other. Every time Dennis goes down the road of murder, Mozart’s Lacrimosa plays. It’s not very original and doesn’t provide a meter for the expected voltage. The use of Léo Delibes’ Lakmé flower duet is not only cliché, but also nonsense: it is the music that plays when we see Dennis’s landlady and former therapist training at her house on her dirt bike. .

That woman apparently exclusively amuses herself in this classic piece. And it sounds like she’s meant to be some sort of comic relief. She starts talking unsolicited about preparing sour meat. Also, as a psychologist she is so unprofessional that this also becomes unbelievable. She’s even willing to give Dennis an alibi.

So that’s one unreliable woman. Luise’s eldest daughter has told a big lie in the past. Josi chooses Dennis even when she has found out who he is (again: her older sister’s killer) and lies to her parents. Separate options for a series that seems to have the theme of women not taking themselves seriously enough.

Another point that this series tries to make is that every story always has two sides. It does that by portraying Dennis, a murderer, a psychopath, as the victim of multiple heinous acts. Abused as a child, used as a youth, mistreated in prison; actually he is the victim here. Serial killers are made, not born. The scriptwriters ignore the facts and present an example of how open they are.

The implausible little and big actions build up, until the ridiculously clichéd climax arrives. There was no greater expectation, since from the first episode the series does not promise anywhere. New lesson learned: Even outside of the Netherlands, if the writers use the English language lopsidedly in their dialogue, you know they aren’t particularly talented. The characters in this German series also spew a lot of American terms.

Yeah two sides of the abyss if it had at least been well filmed, it would have deserved an extra star. But even that is too much to ask. A boring scene between Dennis and Josi is filmed from the ground, simply so that the Schwebebahn above them can be properly captured. There are also revolving planes, “because it’s cool.” But not functional. Where the suspension train is solidly built, this series hangs loose through and through.


two sides of the abyss can be seen in hbo max.

Ritika Prasher

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