What I thought about: How To Sell Drugs Online (Fast)

A hidden gem that you’ve probably skipped past after finding out it’s a German language show. Stick some subtitles on and consider it again, because the production values are great and it strikes a good balance between comedy and drama.

In all seriousness, this show gets a lot of technical stuff right

What’s it about?
Moritz, a guy who’s nerdy but not nerdy enough to be properly good at nerd stuff (think Steve Jobs), and Lenny, a proper nerd who is really good at coding (think Steve Wozniak) have been best friends for years. Together they plan to become rich by launching a website that allows noobs to buy high-level gear for online games.

Except, they end up selling a totally different type of gear. Why? Moritz’s out-of-his-league girlfriend returns from a year abroad in the US, decides to put their relationship on pause, and starts hanging out with the stereotypical rich kid drug dealer. Naturally, Moritz needs to show her he’s still cool. During a night of wallowing in self pity, red bull, and Pringles, he pivots the e-commerce platform MyTems into MyDrugs and launches it onto the dark net.

What do I like about it?
Look, it’s a comedy drama and as such it can get pretty far-fetched. But the producers put in a decent amount of effort to get the up-to-the-minute culture right in this show. Lenny communicates with his online gaming friends over Discord. Moritz references Pebble Time, arguably the world’s first smart watch, and even its recent acquisition by FitBit.

Also, the show has some random – but fun – cutaways, such as a school teacher cheerily describing the effects of MDMA, and a freeze-frame displaying legitimate information about how to avoid overdosing. Because why not?

What don’t I like about it?
Not a lot. I will happily admit I finished the whole thing in one sitting. I enjoyed a lot of the on-point cultural references and the subject matter (starting an e-commerce business, not the popping pills part) interests me personally.

It is a bit shallow in other places, though. The show’s social commentary (usually berating people’s use of social media and how out online profiles are mostly fake) is one of its weaker elements. And the angsty teenage love triangle is adequate at best.

Worth a watch?
For sure. Maybe don’t drag it to the top of your list, but this show is fun and the production values are great. It’s also a good way to brush up on your German, if you know a little already.

By the way…

  • It’s inspired by a true story of a guy who got busted selling $600k of drugs in Germany.
  • The show has been renewed for a second series, and the final episode definitely allows for a smooth transition.