Kleo: Kleo
September 2, 2022 3:17 PM - Season 1 (Full Season) - Subscribe

Kleo is a young, idealistic East German assassin who is burned and sent to prison by her own people. After the Berlin Wall falls she is released from prison along with all political prisoners. She sets out to get revenge (and maybe some answers) from the people who burned her.

Most of the reviews I found liken it to Killing Eve, although I think that's merely the first stop you get to when trying to describe this to people.

The best way I can describe it is as a German magical realism spy dramedy with amazing casting and performances, outstanding production design (so much great wallpaper in this show!) and a season-long plot that doesn't overstay its welcome in its 8 episode season. It isn't trying to be anything other than what it is.

If you really want to avoid spoilers, don't read the episode descriptions on Netflix. One of them spoils the surprise reveal of the identity of a character in a later episode (not a huge deal, but come on, Netflix!).

In case it wasn't clear, this is streaming on Netflix in the US.
posted by under_petticoat_rule (16 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
It's been a while since I've enjoyed watching a show this much. The lead, Jella Haase, does amazing work. She leverages her childlike looks alternating with a world-weariness beyond her years.

There's an episode that fills in a lot of Kleo's backstory through flashbacks. The way they are staged was very clever.

I want to see all the cast in more things! Standouts for me were:
  • Dimitrij Schaad as Sven Petzold, a would-be detective. His performance hits a perfect balance between competence, compassion and self-delusion.
  • Julius Feldmeier as Thilo. He brings a lot of depth to what could have been a disposable character.
  • Vincent Redetzki as Uwe Mittig. His energy manages to be both precise and chaotic, increasing the sense of threat. He looks like Michael Shannon playing Quentin Tarantino.
  • Yun Huang as Min Sun. If they get a second season I hope she gets more screen time. She was compelling to watch.
It was really gratifying to see something so entertaining, a lot of shows these days feel like a chore, but this one didn't.
posted by under_petticoat_rule at 3:32 PM on September 2, 2022 [1 favorite]

Am halfway through and have enjoyed this much better than most similar style shows. The acting is too-notch, the sets and style are excellent.

My only complaint is a completely personal one that happens because I watch everything with subtitles - the English dub soundtrack does not always match the written subtitles, but this happens even with “all English” shows - so my recommendation is just to choose the original language and read it all via subtitles.
posted by rozcakj at 3:53 PM on September 2, 2022 [1 favorite]

Shows like Kleo keep me subscribed to Netflix.
posted by kingless at 5:37 PM on September 3, 2022 [3 favorites]

I just started this, and I am enjoying the acting, pacing, and general look and design of the show. The actors/characters are appealing, even when they are terrible people. I'll be back with more comments, but I wanted to note that, in the last 10 minutes of episode 1, there is a scene in a club with strobing lights. It made me a little queasy, and my seizure disorder isn't normally triggered by short strobe-heavy scenes, but, if yours is, be careful (it's at 48:20-48:55).
posted by GenjiandProust at 4:54 AM on September 4, 2022

Finished-it! Excellent, as well - one of the twists/clichés I was expecting, did not occur - and that was clever in itself, because it was 'telegraphed', but ultimately was a miss-direct. Top-notch writing/story, and worldbuilding - kudos to Kleo!
posted by rozcakj at 8:52 AM on September 5, 2022 [1 favorite]

What twist was it that they subverted for you?
posted by under_petticoat_rule at 10:14 AM on September 5, 2022

It seemed to me that they were heading down a path where the lead CIA lady (Anne?) was going to be Kleo's mother who "defected", but was a secret double-agent.
posted by rozcakj at 5:07 AM on September 6, 2022

Oh, yeah. That would have been a reasonable-to-expect development.
posted by under_petticoat_rule at 5:54 AM on September 6, 2022

I've just watched the first two episodes and I'm really enjoying it -- these random recommendations are why I love FanFare.
posted by confluency at 3:48 PM on September 6, 2022

I'm half way thru the series, really enjoying it. It's like Fargo and Kill Bill got mixed up with Inspector Clouseau and got translated to German.

I was struck in the Club Eden scene in episode one - the song playing in the disco was Black on Black by Dalbello, who's a Canadian singer with a very distinctive voice. I wasn't aware she was big in Germany but the time frame works since the album it was on came out in 1987. I never thought I'd hear a Dabello song in a Netflix show, but props to the production team getting that detail right
posted by jazon at 9:33 AM on September 7, 2022 [1 favorite]

That was a delightful little series (notwithstanding the trauma in episode 1). The one thing that annoyed me was Kleo always blinks when firing a gun. Contrast this with Emily Blunt's performance in Edge of Tomorrow, or Robert Patrick in Terminator 2.

The flashback episode was just impeccable with amazing set design.

In general, the colour choices remind me of The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou.

Thanks for the recommendation, Fanfare.
posted by techSupp0rt at 4:44 PM on September 10, 2022 [2 favorites]

I thoroughly enjoyed this. We watched it over four days and it was the perfect length.

I agree with under_petticoat_rule: there is so much GREAT wallpaper in this show! In fact, I spent a bit of time being jealous of the really cool mid century modern furnishings and design.

The first episode made me think the show was going to be darker than it ended up being. (CW: episode 1 features a lot of gory violence against several characters and a traumatic pregnancy loss. There is some of that gory violence in other episodes but the first one had more than the others, I thought.) There were lots of amusing moments and some magic realism, but I never thought it was truly silly. That’s a difficult tone to maintain but I thought they did it well.

The actors were super appealing. In particular, I liked Kleo and Sven. Jella Haase is great because she goes from being an efficient killing machine to a deeply vulnerable, wounded person, back to efficient killing machine. But Kleo has a moral code. There were several times where I thought she was going to do something but she didn’t. For example, her statement of fact to Sven that they were going to have to deliver Ramona’s baby was just…a fact. Like of course they were going to, because the baby didn’t do anything to anyone and delivering her was the right thing to do. It was also a poignant bookend, as Kleo helps Ramona give birth to the baby she lost in the first episode (and as far as she knows, she won’t ever be able to have a baby, though the unprotected sex she and Sven have in the final episode made me think she’d be pregnant in the second season).

I enjoyed Sven’s metamorphosis from bumbling detective in over his head to somewhat competent undercover agent. I found him quite endearing.

I also liked Thilo—what a great character. He was so committed! I was very entertained at how he just kind of went along with the bananas things Kleo did/told him to do. He was pretty loyal except for the money stealing thing, but can you really blame him fort that? He needed to get back to Sirius B!

Great show and I hope there is another season.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 12:37 AM on September 12, 2022 [1 favorite]

Enjoyed this show very much. Best I've seen in a long time.
posted by SoberHighland at 1:59 PM on September 14, 2022 [1 favorite]

First off, per Netflix: It's official, another season is coming!

I absolutely adored this and I'm so glad under_petticoat_rule kept after me to watch it. There is something very light about it, even with all the shooting. I loved the layers that Kleo had as a person. Sven gives the best "oh my god, is this really happening?!?" face. And apparently it's going to be the Kleo fandom on Tumblr that gets my German up to B2 fluency, because 90% of the fandom is German.

Thilo was so excellent, and I kind of hope that S2 has Sven, Min and Kleo teaming up to deal with something involving aliens.
posted by rednikki at 6:45 PM on November 3, 2022

way better than Killing Eve IMO
posted by hwestiii at 11:03 AM on April 12

Watched this over a few days. There’s a lot to love here. I especially the colors - it seemed like almost every scene had a fun palette. Margot’s blue hair was a delight. And then her fuchsia-olive ensemble.

The art in Anne’s home and office got my attention. There were murals and wallpaper and color juxtapositions … that whole scene with the creepy haberdasher with all the deep rich yellows and brilliant blues.

Loved Min. Loved how Kleo’s search for truth and revenge shifted. Loved Ramona. And the music! It’s just a great show.

P.S. I just looked up Margot bc I wanted to make sure I remembered the name right and holy shit there was a real Margot H known as the Purple Witch.

She was alleged to have been responsible for the regime's forced adoption of children of jailed dissidents or people who attempted to desert from the GDR.

And she is buried in Chile.
posted by bunderful at 5:50 AM on August 11

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