There is hardly a German series that is being talked about more. We are talking about asbestos since January 20th is available free of charge in the ARD media library. There, the series has already broken the record as the best start of a media library series with 3 million views in the first few days, as Das Erste announced in a press release. But why does this series of all things attract so many people to the screen – and is it worth it?
What is the series about and what does the title Asbestos mean?
For Momo (Koder “Xidir” Alian), the dream of a football career was within reach. But then his family blames him for a crime. So the 19-year-old ends up in jail, although he protests his innocence. Momo has to assert himself in everyday prison life. His mother Amila (Jasmin Tabatabai) and his girlfriend Daniela (Lulu Hacke) visit him regularly and he finds support in the prison’s football team. But his prison life takes a dramatic turn.
The title asbestos already contains that deeper meaning of the series. The natural fiber was used for thermal insulation for years before it was phased out due to health risks. The series, in turn, tells how a shy young man is poisoned by the hierarchies and violence in prison.
Series Facts: Template, Cast and Kida Khodr Ramadan’s Involvement
The idea for asbestos goes back to author and producer Katja Eichinger, who became aware of the book “Fairplay mit Mördern” by Gerhard Mewes (at Amazon *). In it, Mewes recounts his experience coaching a prison football team.
All five episodes are directed by actor Kida Khodr Ramadan (4 Blocks). the occupation of asbestos consists of acting newcomers and some big names:
Jasmin Tabatabai (The Baader Meinhof Complex) gives Momo’s mother Amila
Stipe Erceg (The Fat Years Are Gone) plays Momo’s uncle and clan chief Amar
The cast also includes stars such as Claudia Michelsen (Ku’damm 56), Wotan Wilke Möhring (Antikörper), David Kross (Der Vorleser), Detlev Buck (Sonnenallee) and Frederick Lau (4 Blocks).
Why is the series so popular (and worth it)?
The cast is likely one of the reasons for that popularity of asbestos being. Directed by Kida Khodr Ramadan, the series has a well-known and well-loved face behind the scenes, while a who’s who of German acting romp about. The fact that stars like Frederick Lau and Ludwig Trepte stop by certainly doesn’t hurt either, if you consider the parallels in content to their successful 4 Blocks series. With the casting of rappers like Xidir, who rose to Instagram fame, and TikTok great Veysel, social media conversation is all but guaranteed.
Besides that but asbestos draws attention to itself because of its quality. The exciting and well-acted drama series convinces with an authentic feeling for the milieu both inside and outside of prison and a tightly staged story. If you liked 4 blocks, you’ll probably like asbestos too. The new series is even more convincing as a character drama than as a crime thriller.
Podcast: The 20 Best Series Launches of January on Netflix, Disney+ and More
Need more fresh streaming tips? The most exciting series that you can stream in January on Netflix, Amazon, Disney+ and more can be found here in the monthly preview:
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