After only 13 shows since Rejseholdet I am back in the world of Nordic Noir with The Bridge. Since this a co-production between Sweden and Denmark I will use the English name as I don’t really want to show favour to one name over the other.
Whilst the idea of an international TV co-production is nothing new, this is the first time I have come across one where international co-operation is a central part of the show. The setting of this show is the neighbouring cities of Copenhagen and Malmö, the titular bridge being the Øresund Bridge that connects these cities together.
It is on this bridge that we start on the first case of series – that of a woman who has been bisected and laid directly on the Swedish-Danish border. So begins the partnership of Saga Norén and Martin Rohde as they try to piece together the case as the two countries’ police forces have to work together.
Whilst I am sure that there are digs at each others countries that are lost to outsiders (although Danish cop Martin bringing Danish pastries to the Swedish team always makes me smile) this show is incredibly universal. One thing that continued to amaze me is how these characters are able to speak their own languages and yet still understand each other. Seriously, the mind boggles.
A downside of talking about a show like The Bridge is that pretty much everything is a spoiler. Within a single hour the cases develop so quickly that it can be easy to fall behind if you aren’t concentrating. The second series was especially like this because it starts out with so many parallel side-plots that only start to knit together in episode 7. Still, it’s a show worth the concentration because the emotional payoffs are never a disappointment.
Speaking of emotional payoff – I just have to say a quick word about Saga Noren. Don’t get me wrong, Kim Bodnia is excellent in his role as the likeable Danish policeman (and I would talk more if it wasn’t for spoilers)… but the show belongs to Sofia Helin. Her performance as the possibly-Aspergic Swedish detective is so magnetic that her sheer presence dominates any scene she is in. Saga is both the beating heart and the comic relief.
Now, I am writing this in August which means that the fourth and final season of The Bridge is yet to air. I have also only seen the first two seasons, which means I am unable to pass comment on the addition of Thure Lindhardt to the cast. By the time this post goes up I’m sure I’ll be completely up to date as The Bridge really is a truly exceptional series. I just hope the final series does just to wind together all the threads. I’m sure it will be.