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Friday, 28 August 2015

Why You Should Watch The Bridge - Swedish/Danish TV Crime Drama.


My wife and I always get into crime dramas and we enjoy nothing more then a gripping plot with twists and turns. In Britain we have had a number of good ones like Morse, Frost, Cadfael, Endeavour etc. The list is as broad as it is long including the Victorian Ripper Street drama too. They are all wonderfully entertaining. 

We had heard a lot about Henning Mankell crime fiction but did not find the British version with Kenneth Branagh very attractive. If a story is set in Sweden I prefer to see Swedes speaking in their own native tongue. I want to feel as though I'm in that country and prefer to read sub titles. Therefore, we decided to watch the proper Swedish version. The whole lot was watched by us over a period of time and we thoroughly enjoyed this gripping Swedish crime drama.

On the strength of this fine Swedish TV production we decided upon the Bridge. 'We'll give it a go." we said to each other. This was a joint Swedish, Danish and, I think, German collaboration. It was remarkable. Within the first few minuets we were hooked. 

A body of a lady dumped midway upon the giant  ├śresund Bridge. Half of the lady is in Sweden and the other half is in Denmark. Both police forces must unite so solve this perplexing murder case. From Sweden we have the character called Saga Noren. A homicide detective in Malmo police and then from Denmark we have Martin Rohde of the Copenhagen police. 

The Swedish detective, Saga Noren, is right off of the radar - an almost dysfunctional person when it comes to social etiquette. In short, she completely lacks any form of polite make-up. She has an almost naive sense of irony and takes everything literally. She can't handle any type of small talk and finds any form of indulging someone, while waiting for the person to get something off their chest, very irritating and totally unecessary. 

The Danish detective, Martin Rohde, seems to pick up on this straight away. He is an easy going and more lay back character and finds Saga's strange ways amusing. He sees how very perceptive she is as a police officer and how lacking she is concerning some victims. In short Saga Noren is brilliant and very flawed too. It makes her this wonderful interesting character. Her head of department also recognises these short comings in his detective and, to a degree, seems protective of her short comings. Those who work around her are used to her being a bit odd. She gets results. Martin Rohde is able to get these short comings across to Saga on occasion. He becomes an officer that she confines in, even though she'll ask completely inappropriate questions of him at times.

Martin Rohde is also a very flawed person. Again, a good policeman, but a failed husband and father, though his intentions are decent and well meaning. He just has a knack for getting himself into domestic trouble where his family and failed marriages are concerned. The whole set up is great. The people are very real with gremlins and flaws like so many of us, and they have their areas of excellence that overshadow their short comings in life. MOST OF THE TIME.

You can't have a good story without bits outside MOST OF THE TIME. I think this is what makes our characters in the Bridge very compelling. Very compelling indeed with a rollor coaster of a ride storyline. Murder and intrigue its all here. 

Well worth a watch!


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