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Fans of Killing Eve and The Americans will love this new Netflix spy show

Updated Sep 29th, 2022 4:48PM EDT
Kleo on Netflix
Image: Netflix

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Before opening on a shot of an alley not far from the Berlin Wall (circa East Berlin, 1987), a title card for the Netflix German-language spy series Kleo greets us with a bit of insouciance.

“This is a true story.”

“None of this ever happened.”

With that bit of introductory mischief out of the way, we’re quickly thrown right into what at least from the get-go looks like the classic sort of skullduggery associated with espionage. Kleo — an East German spy — grabs a wig, slides into a dress, and sneaks into West Berlin. Inside a club called Big Eden, she shares some deadly blow with a businessman. Perhaps distracted by the angel-faced young woman, he happily snorts it and soon enough dies right there on the bathroom floor, gasping for breath.

Kleo is now streaming on Netflix

Mission accomplished. Soon after, though, Kleo is rounded up, betrayed by her grandfather, convicted of espionage, and thrown into prison. All within the first few minutes of this show — which, by the way, wasted no time in filling the Killing Eve– and Americans-sized hole in my heart.

The streamer’s official summary for this series picks up the thread from there.

kleo netflix series
Jella Haase in the title role of the Netflix spy series “Kleo.” Image source: Julia Terjung/Netflix

“After two years in prison, the Berlin Wall suddenly falls and Kleo is released. But she soon realizes that the conspiracy against her is much more complicated than she thought, and that an ominous red suitcase is the key to it all. Kleo thus embarks on a revenge spree that leads her through the anarchic Berlin, improvised electro clubs and Mallorcan fincas all the way to Chile’s Atacama Desert.”

All the while, a West Berlin policeman named Sven is hot on Kleo’s trail. Convinced he’s closing in on the case of a lifetime.

READ MORE: The 10 biggest Netflix movies in the world this week

Honestly, the thing I think I appreciate more than anything about Kleo is that it doesn’t have any pretensions of being something other than an 8-episode romp of a spy drama. Kleo is so adept at killing people, and looking beatific while doing so, that you can see traces of Killing Eve’s Villanelle. There’s also a stylish, menacing The Americans vibe to the 80s-era narrative.

My verdict: This series is slick and addicting right from the start. It’s a must-watch if you’re a fan of the genre. This is the spy show, by the way, that Netflix’s In From the Cold wishes it could have been.

More Netflix coverage: For more Netflix news, check out the latest new Netflix movies and series to watch.

Andy Meek Trending News Editor

Andy Meek is a reporter based in Memphis who has covered media, entertainment, and culture for over 20 years. His work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, Forbes, and The Financial Times, and he’s written for BGR since 2015. Andy's coverage includes technology and entertainment, and he has a particular interest in all things streaming.

Over the years, he’s interviewed legendary figures in entertainment and tech that range from Stan Lee to John McAfee, Peter Thiel, and Reed Hastings.