“How to Sell Drugs Online (Fast)” is a German coming of age mockumentary teen drama about a high school student and his friends who become internationally wanted online drug lords.
It’s as exciting and ridiculous as it sounds. Narrated entirely by our charismatic villain as protagonist: Moritz Zimmerman. The show is fast-paced and has an excellent soundtrack. Listen to a playlist of the songs for an hour or so and tell me you don’t feel like both a god and a monster. “It’s hard to be me” by Konstantin Gropper is a stone-cold banger, and his reworking of Prodigy’s “Firestarter” for the season three finale is inspired.
Moritz is creepy, questionably amoral, greedy, and egocentric, but he’s also a wild ride so you can see how he carries the story, and his friends go along with it, on again and off again like teenagers in a bathroom.
His best friend Lenny is a good-natured sweetheart, who also happens to be a gifted coder, and dying of bone cancer. He supports Moritz while also judging him and calling him out on his rash decisions and poor judgements. Their friendship is one of the keys to the addictive nature of the show.
Dan joins the gang midway through series one and starts off as a pretty unlikeable character, but as the series progress he becomes kind, hard working, diligent and fair. He and Lenny are a joy to watch as their friendship blossoms. He’s also the show’s predominant eye candy, and lots of jokes are made about this.
The premise is as follows: Lenny codes a site called Mytems for an entrepreneurship competition he enters with Moritz. When the idea is passed on, Moritz, pining over his ex-girlfriend Lisa, steals Lenny’s code and uses it to set up an online drug store MyDrugs on the dark web.
The store is very successful and Moritz finds various ways to source the drugs. Although he is an unpleasant character, he is admirable in that he does choose to do his own dirty work, only involving his friends accidentally or when the situation forces his hand.
The third season is the most enjoyable series I have watched this year. You see nothing coming, but everything makes sense. The resolution is so satisfying, and it’s a pleasure to watch Moritz really revel in both possible sides of himself. Moritz’s father rings in a wonderful performance in the action-packed finale, you can really feel his heart break three times in this episode.
“How to Sell Drugs Online (Fast)” follows a format which feels like a recent phenomenon of unreliable villain as narrator and protagonist, which allows for some comedic asides, strange insights, and nods to its platform Netflix. Despite having so much going on, the show rarely feels boring or difficult to watch, except maybe during some exposition about the dark web, drug use, or generation Z.
You may find yourself wondering how the writers can have made their main character this much of an unpleasant person and still managed to make him entirely watchable. I think a lot of this is down to the acting choices of Maximilian Mundt (who originally auditioned for Lenny) who said he didn’t feel Moritz was like Maximilian S (who the story is based on). He thought Moritz should be likeable, and so there are goofy moments, snarky asides, and entire scenes acted with just his eyes.
This kid is a great actor – you really believe everything he says as Moritz, even when it contradicts what he just said. He’s also effortlessly cool and slightly sexy which doesn’t hurt the show’s watchability at all.
You do wonder what Moritz’s motives are for many of his choices as the show progresses because some of them are not logical and have devastating consequences for him and his friends, but as he proclaims in the season three finale: “I’m the psycho with the gun”, so I guess that checks out.
This show is so much fun and I would watch it again in a heartbeat even though I know ending.
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