Scandinavian TV

Review: The Bridge (Bron/Broen) 1×1-1×2

The Bridge

In the UK: Saturdays, 9pm, BBC4. Available on the iPlayer
In Sweden and Denmark: Aired last September on SVT1 and DR1. Second series commissioned for broadcast in 2013

It can’t have escaped your notice that the world is falling in love with Scandinavian darkness. As I’ve previously remarked, British TV certainly has, with BBC1 and BBC4 taking the lead with shows like Denmark’s The Killing, The Killing 2 and Borgen and Sweden’s Wallander (as well as the home-grown Kenneth Branagh version), and ITV3 making a stab at it with Denmark’s Den Som Dræber (Those Who Kill). But even the US has spotted the trend and as well as remaking Sweden’s Girl With The Dragon Tattoo movies, it’s adapted Denmark’s The Killing, now in its second season.

Do you know who else has noticed this trend? Scandinavians, that’s who. Spotting a golden opportunity to finally export a few shows rather than having to buy in 24 and Friends to fill the airwaves, Scandinavia is seizing it with both hands. Now Danish and Swedish TV have got together to create something that while entirely Scandinavian in character still has an eye on the worldwide market: The Bridge (aka Bron/Broen depending on whether you’re Swedish or Danish).

The story is seemingly simple: on the Øresun bridge between Copenhagen in Denmark (ooh, where The Killing is set!) and Malmö in Sweden (ooh, where Wallander is set!), someone leaves a body precisely halfway of the border between the two countries. This means that both Swedish and Danish police have to investigate, forcing an uneasy alliance between two apparent stereotypes who quickly reveal themselves to be a lot more than merely the Swedes and the Danes’ mutual national images: an icy female Swedish detective with Asperger’s (ooh, Dragon Tattoo!) and a salt-of-the-earth male Danish detective. But before investigations have gotten very far, it soon becomes obvious that this is just the tip of a very elaborate plan, one designed to change both countries and their ideas of justice.

And despite the fact it doesn’t have the emotional depth of The Killing, that it’s a little bit unrealistic and there is that slight hint to everything of a global market being eyed, this is actually really good television. So good, in fact, that despite it airing two episodes a week on BBC4 and my PVR actually recording Girls of the 90s on Viva the first time it aired, I actually found time to buck my normal trend and watch it before the next two episodes air tonight. Isn’t that amazing?

Here’s a trailer in Danish, because the BBC, in their infinite wisdom, haven’t put anything up on YouTube in English – although it’s worth remembering that when the show aired in both Sweden and Denmark it had to be subtitled whenever the other country’s characters spoke, so we’re all in it together, here. There’s also a little snippet from the beginning of the first episode as well, because it has a lovely opening sequence that I thought I’d share with you.

Continue reading “Review: The Bridge (Bron/Broen) 1×1-1×2”

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Sitting Tennant

Friday’s Sitting Tennant (week 17, 2012) and the winners of April’s competition

Hebbie's Sitting Tennant

shilohforever's Sitting Tennant

Sister Chastity's Sitting Tennant

Toby's Sitting Tennant

It’s the end of April, at least as far as Sitting Tennant is concerned and so it’s a big congratulations to both Sister Chastity and Shilohforever, who are this month’s winners. Well done and thank you to everyone who sent in photos this month and best of luck for next month – the competition will begin again on Tuesday. Until then, have a nice weekend and try not to drown in the rain.

  1. Sister Chastity, Shilohforever: 35
  2. Hebbie: 25
  3. Toby: 10

Sitting Board of Winners 2012
January
Hebbie, Sister Chastity

February
Sister Chastity

March
Sister Chastity

April
Sister Chastity, Shillohforever

Got a picture of David Tennant sitting, lying down or in some indeterminate state in between? Then leave a link to it below or email me and if it’s judged suitable and doesn’t obviously infringe copyright, it will appear in the “Sitting Tennant” gallery. Don’t forget to include your name in the filename so I don’t get mixed up about who sent it to me.

The best pic in the stash each week will appear on Tuesday and get ten points; the runners up will appear on Friday (one per person who sends one in) and get five points.

Each month, I’ll name the best picture provider and then at the end of the year, the overall champion will be announced for 2012!

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The CarusometerA Carusometer rating of 3

Third-episode verdict: Don’t Trust The B—- In Apt 23 (ABC)

In the US: Wednesdays, 9.30c/8.30c, ABC

There’s surprising variability to Don’t Trust The B—- In Apt 23, an intriguing little show about a wide-eyes, mid-westerner who moves to the big city and ends up flat-sharing with a New York sociopath who’s best friends with James Van Der Beek from Dawson’s Creek. On the one hand, there’s a really rather lovely dark streak to the whole show, Krysten Ritter (the B—- in question) is deliciously evil while also endearing and James Van Der Beek has a great time sending himself up.

But stuck in the middle of this is the big glaring problem of Dreama Walker, the wide-eyes mid-westerner, whose character sucks almost all humour from every scene she’s in. When the show focuses on Ritter and Van Der Beek – or even guest stars, like Michael Landes – as it did in episode two and to a lesser extent episode one, it works well and is funny; when it devotes itself to Watson, as in episode three, it’s a big mass of mid-western tumbleweeds rolling across the screen.

Which is a shame, because there are some really funny moments in the show. Episode three had Van Der Beek doing a body-swap comedy movie with Don Draper’s daughter from Mad Men, which had the memorable line "I had to make out with mummy!", and pretty much everything Ritter had to say worked nicely.

If somehow, they could just get rid of Walker or sideline her, this would be a really good show. Unfortunately, at the moment, it’s just okay. If you watch it, you’ll have to sit through some cruft to get to the good stuff, but that good stuff is worth it. One for the ‘maybe’ pile.

Carusometer rating: 3
Rob’s prediction: Will last for a season then get cancelled

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