Saturday, July 23, 2016

Danish/Swedish Version 'The Bridge' S1 DVD Awesome Nordic Noir Follow-up to 'The Killing'



These initial musings regarding the Madman Entertainment DVD release of all three seasons of the joint Danish/Swedish production of the original "The Bridge" series aptly spans the recent Unreal TV review of S1 of the original Danish version of "The Killing" and an upcoming review of S1 of fellow Nordic noir series "The Protectors" from the Madman catalog.

Like "The Killing," the 2011 S1 of "Bridge" focuses on a a single case and builds to an exciting showdown-driven climax as the numerous red herrings give way to the actual perpetrator. In the case of the former, this is especially unexpected and terrifically dark. The series additionally have U.S. remakes in common.

"Bridge" opens with a grisly body dump right on the Danish/Swedish border on the Oresund Bridge. This choice of location leads to forming a joint task force consisting of detectives and officers from Malmo, Sweden and Copenhagen.

The case very quickly blossoms into a complete psychotic circus in which the killer is identified as the "Truth Terrorist" and goes online and communicates with a journalist.This crusade is designed to draw attention to five societal problems that the killer illustrates with perverse crimes throughout S1.

Said commentary include that not everyone is equal under the law, that governments do not provide proper mental health services, and that immigrants are treated as second-class citizens within every sense of that word. Said offenses include slowly bleeding out a mentally ill man and targeting homeless people. Our villain additionally engages in copious other mayhem.

Swedish detective Saga Noren is a wonderful variation of Dane Sarah Lund from "The Killing." Where Lund has a family and knows how to play nice but chooses to not do so when she feels it is necessary, loner Saga (who well may have a dragon tattoo) clearly lacks any sense of how to play nicely with others and does not care to learn. This includes beginning her relationship with partner-in-crime solving Martin Rohde by filing an administrative complaint against him and not grasping the human element of interacting with anyone else. This awesome bluntness really comes through in a scene in which the response of Saga to learning that someone considers her a MILF is to calmly reply that she does not have children.

Similarly Martin Rohde is a slightly darker version of fellow Dane Jan Meyer in "The Killing." Although lacking the same type of hostility with Saga that exists between Sarah and Jan, Martin has a troubled family life that his 18 year-old son from his first of two marriages exacerbates. This detective also has a pattern of marital misconduct that proves to be integral to the case.

"Bridge" particularly shines in narrowing its focus and increasing its already apt pace in the final three of ten S1 episodes. The killer reacts in proportionate to the police closing in on him, and the stakes become personal.

Although not final, "Bridge" and the other two noir series provide a solution to the problem of summertime viewing options being particularly dismal. These series are perfect appointment and binge programs.

Anyone with questions or comments regarding "Bridge" or the other series is strongly encouraged to email me; you can also connect on Twitter via @tvdvdguy,