For those of you who have already binged on the complete episodes of Breaking Bad and are looking for something to fill the void, I can recommend Generation War - which is the English title of the German mini-series Unsere Mütter, unsere Väter ("Our Mothers, Our Fathers"). Generation War,comprised of three episodes of 90 minutes each, just became available on Netflix Instant Play. The series was a huge hit on German television, attracting more than 7 million viewers each night - phenomenal numbers for the German market.
Generation War is the saga of five friends in Berlin who meet for one last farewell celebration on the eve of the outbreak of war in 1941. We follow their respective journeys over the next five years, as their youthful idealism and optimism turns into despair and desolation. From the title, it is apparent that these five are meant to represent the fate of an entire generation. None of the characters is a member of the Nazi party, although they all naively believe (at first) in the propaganda put out by the party. One of the five is a Jew who narrowly escapes the Auschwitz death camp. There are some unbelievable and absurd plot twists as Generation War struggles to keep all five of the principal characters in view.
The series has been roundly criticized for being bad history, but I have to say that Generation War is never dull and for the most part is highly entertaining. The acting is superb, and we grow to care deeply about each of the five, even as they become morally compromised in their efforts to survive a terrible war. The production is also of very high quality.
American critics have sometimes called Generation War Germany's Band of Brothers, the 2001 HBO series that follow one American combat unit in World War II. But Band of Brothers often focused on combat heroics. There is nothing heroic in the war scenes in Generation War - all superbly done. They are visions of unmitigated- and, ultimately, meaningless - horror.