Beat

TV review by
Mark Dolan, Common Sense Media
Beat TV Poster Image
Drugs and violence dominate Germany-set crime show

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

The nightclub scene is filled with crime and trouble.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Characters are self-involved or duplicitous, criminal or just downright evil.

 

Violence

Mutilated corpses are shown, a innocent bystander is shot and killed, human trafficking factors into the story.

 

Sex

A couple is shown having sex. Two women and a man have sex together, woman's breasts and man's buttocks clearly visible; a topless woman is shown dancing at the club.

Language

"S--t," "f--k," "d--k."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Club patrons drink alcohol at the bar, Beat and other clubgoers snort cocaine, take ecstasy frequently.

 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Beat is a German crime show that uses the Berlin techno music club scene as its backdrop. As a result of this setting, the show features quite a bit of on-screen drug use, casual nudity, and a fluid attitude toward sexuality, in addition to some brutal violence. Older teens with an interest in DJ culture may find the show intriguing, but the somewhat outlandish crime story feels disconnected from the more grounded and gritty world of club promotion.

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What's the story?

The German-made crime show BEAT tells the story of 28-year-old Robert Schlag, a hard-partying club promoter that everyone just calls Beat. His life consists of late nights and early mornings of dancing, doing drugs, and hooking up with both men and women, never caring about anything but the music, the scene, and booking the best DJs for the club owned by his best friend, Paul. One night when two dead bodies are discovered elaborately strung from the rafters of the club, the police look at Beat, who has a small-time criminal record, as a suspect. But before the cops get very far in their interrogation, Beat is mysteriously released -- his benefactors are two agents from the official-sounding but mysterious European Security Intelligence agency. They have other plans for Beat, like getting him to become an informant and gather intelligence on a ruthless crime figure who recently bought a stake in Paul's club. Will Beat compromise his beliefs and turn snitch? Who put those bodies in the club? And what's the E.S.I. really up to? 

Is it any good?

Strong production values and unique German locations give this series a cinematic quality, but the experience's potential is marred by bad dubbing. Amazon is only airing a dubbed version of Beat, and unfortunately the voice acting is terrible: Dialogue is delivered flatly, with barely any recognizable emotion. It's an odd decision to present a show that uses such a specific culture as its background, and then strip it of its native language. While the plot, which could be summarized essentially as "club rat cop drama," would be preposterous in any language, the performances might ring truer and give the story more credence if we were allowed to hear the actors speaking their native German with the audience given English subtitles. As it is, what could have been an exciting, if slightly silly, thriller now consists of a well-shot but clunky-sounding oddity.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about international shows and dubbing. Does Beat feel like it comes from another country? Why? Would you prefer to read subtitles or watch a show that's been dubbed into your language? 

  • Why do you think people go to nightclubs? The music? The social scene? 

TV details

For kids who love international TV

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