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Dear Child

Dear Child

TV-MA

netflix

A gripping thriller about trauma, grief, and moving on

The Very Best

8.0

TV Show

German
Crime, Drama, Mystery
2023
Hans Löw, Justus von Dohnányi, Kim Riedle

TLDR

Consider this filed under "shows that reinforce my deathly fear of walking home alone at night" (it's a growing collection).

What it's about

Based on the bestselling novel by Romy Hausmann, Dear Child is a German limited series that follows the case of Lena Beck, a young woman who mysteriously disappeared thirteen years ago.

The take

Dear Child may be tackling difficult themes, including sexual violence and domestic abuse, but it’s not hard to watch at all. As a mystery, it’s well-told and gripping, with clues and cliffhangers appearing at just the right moment, and as a drama it’s expertly paced and brilliantly acted, with child actress Naila Schuberth, who plays Hannah, and Kim Riedle, who plays Jasmin, easily owning their scenes. Unlike other stories that decide to take on these delicate themes, it’s not gratuitous or exploitative either. Instead, it knows when to hold back and when to unleash the horrific details of its crimes. The sympathy it shows the victims is present but restrained, at least until the last few moments of the series. By then, the series, with full force, takes the victim narrative and excellently turns it against its head. 

What stands out

The moody atmosphere the series maintains throughout its run is impressive. It may seem trivial, but the color scheme, the blocking, and even the minimal dialogue all add to that chilling and grim feel the story already establishes. Slow-paced thrillers sound like an oxymoron, but Dear Child is one of the best examples you could show to a skeptic.

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