EDITOR’S NOTE: We happily discovered Dr. Pearl Brandwein while reviewing MHz Choice subscriber feedback on our programs and, after reading a half dozen or so of Dr. Brandwein’s insightful reviews, all of us here at MHz Choice had the same thought: We need to get the good doctor to write for us! Enjoy! -MHz Choice

New episodes of Bukow & König premiere on September 13, 2022 in the U.S. and Canada on MHz Choice!

The highly-anticipated return of Germany’s police drama Bukow & König is a revelatory romp through a dysfunctional landscape beset by the complex forces of evil infecting their passionless, hapless victims who become the collateral damage of all forms of corruption and malfeasance.

These two new episodes continue the Season 3 story arc. “The Day Will Come”, the first of the new episodes, concerns the fallout of Katrin König’s (Anneke Kim Sarnau) decision to fabricate evidence to convict rapist/murderer Guido Wachs and his attempt to get even with her while revealing Alexander (Sascha) Bukow’s (Charly Hübner) overly protective side. Wachs knows she fabricated evidence and has been sending her monstrous letters. He lures her into visiting him in jail – a total creepfest.

The second episode “Sabine” portrays the descent into the most profound depths of despair of Sabine Brenner — a part-time employee receiving welfare because her salary is too low; she is inescapably hemmed in by a bureaucratic stranglehold of rules from which there is no escape or salvation. Nevertheless, our intrepid heroine, an equalizer of sorts, steps in to help. Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Germany’s post-World War II, pre-eminent, highly creative and visionary theatre/film/television director/screenwriter and producer/actor, would have considered her act an ‘economic miracle’ of the greatest forfeiture.

Meanwhile, Bukow’s near-death experience illustrates the frailty of life and its celebratory balm with a wake recalling fond memories and the constant need for a re-assessment of priorities in order to change and to move forward. Bukow & König shows how two extreme opposites can forge a strong, united bond and professional relationship, which eventually becomes personal.

Like its German cousin the “Tatort” franchise (with similarities to “Law and Order”), Bukow & König (3 seasons/24 episodes so far) is part of the “Polizeiruf 110” franchise – the seminal police drama which started in 1971 in East Germany (DDR). The show’s considerable popularity made it a fan favorite resulting in new episodes produced from 1990 to the present with various detective teams in multiple cities throughout a unified Germany. The original East German production focused on educating the public concerning juvenile delinquency, domestic abuse, prostitution and homicide. After Reunification, the focus shifted to a panoply of crimes including drug cartels/money laundering, corporate espionage/whistle blowing, human trafficking and different nationalities vying for ‘Mafia of the month.’

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L to R: Charly Hübner and Anneke Kim Sarnau

Notable stars of stage and screen Charly Hübner and Anneke Kim Sarnau lead a talented ensemble cast: Anton Pöschel as Andreas Guenther; Volker Thiesler as Josef Heynert and Henning Roder as Uwe Preuss whose bravura performances made an indelible mark on German television history.

The creative people behind the scenes deserve considerable credit for the show’s outstanding, ongoing popularity. From 2010 to 2021, Eoin Moore, the guiding light, created/shaped/directed many episodes with polished scripts of transformative writing whose vertiginous arcs became the template for the masterfully photographed/edited, directed (Stefan Schaller et alii.) and produced (Iris Kiefer, Nikola Bok) show along with the exceptional composer/orchestrator, scenic/costume designers and hairstylists/make-up artists. The significant contributions of backstage talents — too numerous to mention – along with the stunning visuals – make this police procedural a challenging and realistic portrayal of law enforcement and its spillover into the messy, emotionally-fraught, deeply-wounded psyches of Bukow’s and König’s private lives.

Episode 1 of Season 3 sets the tone with a forceful and gripping indictment of Germany’s past and its resurrection in a post-Stasi era. As Bukow says, “Der Dreck der Vergangenheit . . .‘wir sind bereut zu sterben fur ein neues Reich.’ “

[Translation: “The [political] shit of the past. . .’we are still prepared to die for a new Reich’”]


This prestige drama is my all-time favorite police procedural because all the elements fuse organically and aesthetically. I have watched Sascha Bukow — the cynical, embittered, cold-hearted detective – convey his pessimism to his partner, Katrin König, whose vision of the “human condition,” has led to her own emotional breakdown while doing a job whose demands have become too much to bear. Her psychological scars require much more effort and mental strength to keep in check.

Charly Hübner, whose much-lamented departure I mourn, portrays Bukow’s sarcastic, disillusioned disposition with occasional bursts of sunshine that drip through allowing his protective nature to rescue Katrin, whose sentimental, overwrought, romanticized and naïve empathy make her a vessel for pain and suffering. Anneke Kim Sarnau deftly captures her character’s emotional breakdown with an acutely-layered sensitivity and a newly-found balanced understanding of her job-inflicted and self-inflicted wounds.

The dynamic, counterbalanced interactions between these two wounded yet ever-evolving characters, who gain strength, maturity, clarity and hope from each other, is a testament to these brilliant and gifted, multi-dimensional actors who can dig deep into their guts and psyches to render honest portrayals of two raw and bleeding, deeply-flawed individuals.

About the author:
A lover of Romance languages and cultures, Dr. Pearl Brandwein has a Certificate in French Culture and Civilization from the Sorbonne. She then earned both her Masters’ degree in French Language/Literature and Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from New York University. Dr. Brandwein’s areas of academic expertise include the Renaissance and the Faust Figure in European Literature in addition to 19th and 20th Century Drama. Her other interests include writing about Holocaust Literature.

Dr. Brandwein began her teaching career at Princeton University followed by faculty positions at other academic institutions. In addition to French, she has also taught German, Latin, English Composition and ESL to corporate executives. After academia, she held numerous positions in the public and private sectors working as an Editor/Instructor/Administrator and as a PR professional and business communications executive directing editorial and marketing initiatives for EU clients.

She is a cineaste and a lover of Film Noir, Westerns and foreign films as well as a theatre and opera buff; she also attends concerts, lectures, ballet performances, museum and gallery exhibitions. In her rare spare time, she reads voraciously.


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