Pros: Post-irony; realistically depicted Generation Z; serious theme Cons: The first season is perceived as artificially cut short How to Sell Drugs Online (Fast) / “How to sell drugs online (fast)”
Genre comedy, drama
Creators: Philipp Kössbohrer, Matthias Moormann
Starring: Maximilian Mundt (Moritz Zimmermann), Danilo Kamber (Lenny Sander), Anna-Lena Klenke (Lisa Novak), Damian Hardung (Dan Riffert), Luna Baptiste Schaller (Gerda), Bjarne Medel (Buba), etc.
Year of release 2019
In terms of location and general mood, How to Sell Drugs Online (Fast) is reminiscent of another German series, the second season of which has just appeared on Netflix – Dark. The same small, run-of-the-mill and somewhat depressing German town. Schoolchildren who don’t know where to put themselves and what to do in the future. Their parents, who do not understand their children at all and, willingly or unwillingly, destroy the lives of teenagers. But How to Sell Drugs Online (Fast) has a universal solution to all problems – easily accessible drugs.
And it all starts with the fact that the girlfriend of the main character of the series, the geek and smart guy Moritz Zimmermann, returns from a long internship in the USA as a completely different person. Lisa doesn’t want to date Moritz anymore, but she is interested in another guy, Dan, from whom you can always get ecstasy. To regain the girl’s attention, Moritz decides to launch his own online drug store, supported by the most modern technologies and a customer-oriented model. Where such a decision will lead Moritz, Lisa and their friends, we must find out from the series.
Despite all the craziness of the script, Netflix claims that it is based on a true story that happened in Leipzig in 2015.
The first thing the authors of the series do is break the fourth wall. The main character addresses the audience directly, showing that the entire series is built on a series of interviews with participants in the events. Moritz Zimmermann often comments on what is happening on screen behind the scenes, explaining his actions and characterizing other characters. Not only that, but the series has plenty of reference inserts, for example, about the safe dosing of methylenedioxymethamphetamine (the basis of ecstasy), about how the Darkweb works – this segment with Jonathan Frakes (Commander Riker in Star Trek: The Next Generation) is simply wonderful, etc.
In general, I would like to acknowledge the merit of the authors of the series in correctly demonstrating the habits of Generation Z teenagers. Their communication smoothly flows from offline to online, they maintain several conversations at the same time and do several things. By the way, this is why How to Sell Drugs Online (Fast) is worth watching in the English dub, because when a phrase spoken out loud is continued by a message in a messenger in another language, it is much more difficult to switch. It’s nice that the series also shows modern gaming culture. Teenagers play No Man’s Sky, Battlefield, Dota 2, etc. They play without stopping communicating in other chats.
And although formally How to Sell Drugs Online (Fast) is a black sitcom in which young people inexperienced in the drug trade regularly find themselves in uncomfortable situations, it is also an attempt to talk about the difficult transition period for teenagers, when they begin to reject all authority and experiencing their first identity crisis. They themselves do not know what they want from life (as if adults know this…). What to do when they graduate from school in a few years? How to avoid becoming as boring as their parents? How not to get stuck in this godforsaken town forever? In fact, drugs often give them a way to temporarily get rid of uncomfortable questions.
In addition, the series also raises issues of teenage romantic relationships, communication with parents, many of whom are either already divorced or on the verge of divorce, the problem of availability of antidepressants and painkillers in modern society, the problem of online identity, etc.
How to Sell Drugs Online (Fast) is easy to watch and has short episodes of 25-30 minutes. One problem, the series ends literally mid-sentence, with the initial interviews of Lenny and Lisa, who dispute everything Moritz said in the previous six episodes. They have their own version of what happened, but it seems that we will not know it soon. It seems that instead of a full-fledged series, we were given an extended pilot for 6 episodes. It’s a little discouraging.
Otherwise, this is another very good Netflix series, and if you liked 13 Reasons Why and Sex Education, you’ll probably like How to Sell Drugs Online (Fast). Well, I’d like to end with the words of Billy Mack from Love Actually, whose role was played superbly by Bill Nighy: “Kids, don’t buy drugs!” You probably know the continuation.
An interesting look at Generation Z, their lives and problems. Well, for drugs, of course.