NordicNoiromance: 10 reasons to love The Bridge

BronBroen ( the past week I have binge-watched the original Scandinavian TV series The Bridge, series 1 (2011) and series 2 (2013). It was created and  written by Hans Rosenfeldt and starred Sofia Helin and Kim Bodnia as (respectively) Swedish and Danish investigating cops based on either side of the Oresund Bridge which links the two countries. I think it’s probably the best thing I’ve ever watched on TV, and here are 10 reasons why:-

  1. The Photography is stunning. Set in the cities of Copenhagen and Malmo, there is a wealth of high impact scenery here. Virtually every link between scenes shows a breathtaking shot of one of these cities; the bad bits as well as the good. There are also a lot of water shots, the bridge being a central character in the show.
  2. Saga Noren is the investigating detective from Malmo. A woman in her early thirties, Saga knows how to kick arse (that’s the Brit spelling) and looks as though she eats three times a day, which is a refreshing change. Although it’s not spelt out, Saga is on the autism spectrum and does not always respond predictably in social situations. Also in her favour ….she wears leather jeans and drives a Porsche 911.
  3. Women are fully represented in this series. As well as Saga, at least half the Swedish team are women, the Danish chief of police is a woman, a newspaper editor is a woman…..women are everywhere taking part in society and being treated as intelligent human beings with ideas and opinions which are listened to.
  4. The language is a joy to listen to. The show is subtitled in English, the dialogue being a mixture of both Danish and Swedish. I loved how some phrases could easily have been uttered by someone in the North East of England or Scotland.
  5. The Scandinavians know how to keep warm. Everyone seems to have a proper woollen coat down to their knees, and plenty of layers of warm knits, quilted bodywarmers and thermal underwear. How very sensible.
  6. Turningtorso2011The architecture is really cool. One building that caught my eye is, upon further research, The Turning Torso in Malmo; Scandinavia’s tallest building, designed by the architect Santiago Calatrava. It looks as though it shouldn’t really be possible. The Bridge itself is also rather beautiful, and there are many, many shots of it throughout the two series, taken from every imaginable angle.
  7. The Theme Tune, played with the opening and closing credits, is a haunting song called Hollow Talk by Copenhagen band Choir of Young Believers. I thought it was rather dreary at first, but by the end of series 2 I was hooked. It just fits so well.
  8. Martin Rohde, the detective on the Danish team, is a tortured soul, emotionally fragile, but can be a roaring tiger when needs must. A huge bear of a man, with the most expressive face, he looks like the ideal cuddle dispenser. Unfortunately for Martin, the misfortune keeps on escalating, and I fear we have seen the last of him.
  9. The storylines are pretty far out and crazy, but somehow the brilliance of the writing, the performance and all my previous points make it immaterial. Nothing can belittle the impact of all-round fabulousness.
  10. Series 3 is in production and will be on our screens at the end of this year or in early 2016 (earlier if you live in Scandinavia of course). I can hardly wait.Bridge (

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