Die Musterknaben (lit. The Prigs) is the inaugural episode of three made for TV police flicks, and earned a VFF TV-Movie Award.
Surprisingly, the mini-series is quite unknown even in Germany - and undeservedly at that.
The main characters, which are superbly played by Juergen Tarrach and Oliver Korittke, are archetypal urban anti-heroes, be it professionally, or in their private lives. They are chronically unmotivated and usually only excel to impress women. When doing the latter, they try to outdo each other, but ultimately always fail to land with the target of their affection. However, it leads to the case they are working on being solved, more or less as a by-product.
The outward appearance of the slightly chubby Tarrach, and the skinny Korittke, is not coincidentally calling on images of the legendary Hardy/Laurel duo. The two are constantly slagging each other in funny, yet intelligent and witty dialogues.
The plot isn't anything to write home about, but is set dead centre lower middle class in one of Germany's biggest cities, oozing local colour. It not only picks heavily on stereotypes associated with this milieu, it brilliantly persiflages it with loving attention to detail.
Add to this the hierarchy within the German state police, with which the two main protagonists often clash, and some corrupt undercover DEA officers, which have long switched sides, and you have a nicely satirical and entertaining take on 'serious' German police series.
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