“This is my generation: Generation Z. Every single one of us has the entire knowledge of humankind in their pocket. We can get famous with one click, or we can change the world from our bedrooms. Limitless technological possibilities. And what do we do with it? Face-Swap.”
– Moritz Zimmermann, How to Sell Drugs Online (Fast)
Everyone’s favorite ragtag team of misfits has returned for season 2 of the Netflix German hit series, How To Sell Drugs Online (Fast). You’ve likely seen the show pop up on your Netflix feed once or twice, and probably thought to yourself, “What the heck is this?” After all, how could you ignore a title that’s so irresistibly clickable?
The show centers around Mortiz (Maximilian Mundt), a 17-year-old nerdy teenager who (out of desperation) begins selling drugs online in a last-ditch effort to win back his ex-girlfriend, Lisa (Lena Klenke). And in case you’re curious, Googling “how to sell drugs online,” is NOT the way to do it.
The cleverly constructed, extremely witty series from creators Philipp Kässbohrer and Matthias Murmann is actually inspired by a true story. Yep, you read that right. The show is based on Germany’s most notorious dark web drug dealer, Maximilian S. living. In 2013, he built an eCommerce store to sell drugs, naming the shop Shiny Flakes. Conducting operations entirely from his bedroom, Max wound up making millions in Bitcoin. In 2015, the teenage dealer was apprehended by the police and sentenced to seven years in jail.
Sounds somewhat familiar – like the plotline of Breaking Bad or Weeds – except How To Sell Drugs Online (Fast) adds another layer with its coming-of-age story. Ludicrous premise aside, it’s really Moritz, his best friend Lenny (Danilo Kamperidis), and Dan (Damian Hardung), who steal the show with their banter, awkwardness, and companionship.
As with the first season, the second season is told through the eyes of Moritz and is structured similarly to a documentary. In the opening scene, viewers see a series of clips from magazines and news programs talking about the “MyDrugs” website and the mysterious M1000 (Moritz’s alias and admin name on the site). The entire world, not just law enforcement, is after the elusive M1000, with the media portraying him as an icon of his generation. This deserves a face-palm, but it’s hard to deny the genius behind the whole ordeal – the strategy…the coding ability…it puts my high school achievements to shame.
Being in the Business of Drugs…
…is damn successful. Moritz, Dan, and Lenny have successfully garnered millions of euros via their online drug haven. And while Lenny and Dan want out, Moritz has his mind set on expanding the business. Their distributors, a.k.a. “The Dutch,” certainly aren’t playing any games. The only way out is to forfeit the company or, as we discover later, to sign your own death wish.
The stakes are incredibly different here when compared to last season. I mean, risking your friendship for money? There’s gotta be some kind of bro code out there – Bros before money, Mortiz. But, Moritz’s proclivity for lying eventually causes him to unravel over the course of the second season. Trying to keep his lies straight makes him impulsive, fragile, and paranoid.
Overall Thoughts on Season Two
What this tongue-in-cheek series does extremely well is take generational stereotypes – obsession with social media, emojis, and memes – and inject that theme into how the story is told. The show is pieced together like an overly-energetic teenager with a short-attention-span. The storyline progresses through texts, emails, and even emojis.
The frenetic nature and narrative style of How To Sell Drugs Online (Fast) makes for an undeniably bingeable season. Also refreshing was the deeper dive into the character development of Moritz, Lenny (who gets a girlfriend. Applause.), and Dan, who winds up offering a lot more than meets the eye.
The ending delivered a huge cliff hanger – so much so that I thought it was a joke. The series tricked viewers into thinking the show had ended in the first episode. Too bad, it was the actual end. But, it definitely raised the stakes higher than ever, and I hope we get the green light on a season three.