Scandinavian TV Shows.

..and why not?
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The Great Defector
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Scandinavian TV Shows.

Postby The Great Defector » 26 Oct 2017, 13:16

Seem to be all the rage these days. Never actually watch any of the ones that reached Ireland and the UK. How/Why did they get so popular all of a sudden? and which is the best to start out with, I feel like I'm missing out.
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Re: Scandinavian TV Shows.

Postby Goat Boy » 26 Oct 2017, 13:25

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Re: Scandinavian TV Shows.

Postby The Modernist » 26 Oct 2017, 13:34

Well they've been popular for a number of years Markus, it's hardly a new thing!
Personally I don't think, in general, they're any better than crime drama from any other country. The first season of The Killing was tremendous though, a real game changer and certainly recommended. The second and third were average, very watchable, but nothing special.

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Re: Scandinavian TV Shows.

Postby The Great Defector » 26 Oct 2017, 13:35

Aye the killing was the first I heard of Scandinavian crime dramas landing over to Ireland and the UK. Probably a good a place as any to start.
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Re: Scandinavian TV Shows.

Postby Goat Boy » 26 Oct 2017, 13:48

I honestly think part of their appeal is down to the fact that people have a real hard on for Scandinavia because it's seen as this progressive part of the world so their culture is seen as being superior too.
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Re: Scandinavian TV Shows.

Postby The Modernist » 26 Oct 2017, 14:33

Goat Boy wrote:I honestly think part of their appeal is down to the fact that people have a real hard on for Scandinavia because it's seen as this progressive part of the world so their culture is seen as being superior too.


Probably, and the fact that we know less about those countries, comparatively speaking, than had they come from Germany say. They have a certain exotic quality in that regard.

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Re: Scandinavian TV Shows.

Postby ConnyOlivetti » 26 Oct 2017, 19:43

They are all crap!
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Re: Scandinavian TV Shows.

Postby Jeemo » 27 Oct 2017, 13:22

finger on pulse as usual.

in other news Coronation Street is very popular.
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Re: Scandinavian TV Shows.

Postby Geezee » 27 Oct 2017, 17:31

Are we in 2011?! Trump and Brexit are just a bad dream!!??

Beyond The Bridge, Millennium, Wallander and The Killing, and probably Borgen (and I've always recommended Beck, but it never seems to have made it abroad), there is very little there that is worth watching anymore. I've seen some that are just laughably bad pastiche - Modus, Black Lake, Midnight Sun, Jordskott. In series like Modus and Midnight Sun, the plot is so horribly contrived to try to bring in an international audience by (for example, in Midnight Sun) a French cop fly over to nothern sweden and have all sorts of meaningful cultural encounters along the way. And then Black Lake and Jordskott bring in supernatural elements in a really, really bad way. I'll watch it because it's still a curiosity for me to see Scandinavian shows on British TV, but I have no clue why the BBC as recently as this month bought in Black Lake.
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Re: Scandinavian TV Shows.

Postby Darryl Strawberry » 27 Oct 2017, 18:11

Jeemo wrote:finger on pulse as usual.

in other news Coronation Street is very popular.

:lol:

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Re: Scandinavian TV Shows.

Postby PENK » 27 Oct 2017, 19:25

Geezee wrote:Are we in 2011?! Trump and Brexit are just a bad dream!!??

Beyond The Bridge, Millennium, Wallander and The Killing, and probably Borgen (and I've always recommended Beck, but it never seems to have made it abroad), there is very little there that is worth watching anymore. I've seen some that are just laughably bad pastiche - Modus, Black Lake, Midnight Sun, Jordskott. In series like Modus and Midnight Sun, the plot is so horribly contrived to try to bring in an international audience by (for example, in Midnight Sun) a French cop fly over to nothern sweden and have all sorts of meaningful cultural encounters along the way. And then Black Lake and Jordskott bring in supernatural elements in a really, really bad way. I'll watch it because it's still a curiosity for me to see Scandinavian shows on British TV, but I have no clue why the BBC as recently as this month bought in Black Lake.


They are just trying to replicate the success of those first three or four that you mention. See also the wild interest in Scandinavian crime novels: OK, there is a lot of it about, because it's popular in Scandinavia, but only a handful of authors are actually worth making the trip abroad.

To be honest I rarely watch any Swedish TV. They should stop importing the crime drama things though and do an English version of På Spåret, which we love.

Has Skam made it outside the Nordics yet? That's the biggest thing here in the last two or three years: a Norwegian drama about school-age teenagers that has won a lot of acclaim for its honesty, insight, realism and heart. I've only watched a little but it does seem very well-made.
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Re: Scandinavian TV Shows.

Postby The Modernist » 27 Oct 2017, 19:39

Geezee wrote:Are we in 2011?! Trump and Brexit are just a bad dream!!??

Beyond The Bridge, Millennium, Wallander and The Killing, and probably Borgen (and I've always recommended Beck, but it never seems to have made it abroad), there is very little there that is worth watching anymore. I've seen some that are just laughably bad pastiche - Modus, Black Lake, Midnight Sun, Jordskott. In series like Modus and Midnight Sun, the plot is so horribly contrived to try to bring in an international audience by (for example, in Midnight Sun) a French cop fly over to nothern sweden and have all sorts of meaningful cultural encounters along the way. And then Black Lake and Jordskott bring in supernatural elements in a really, really bad way. I'll watch it because it's still a curiosity for me to see Scandinavian shows on British TV, but I have no clue why the BBC as recently as this month bought in Black Lake.


Yeah I started with Black Lake but could tell after the first episode that it would be a cliched dud. I've been disappointed in most of the foreign drama (not just the Scandi stuff) that the BBC have acquired. Occasionally you do get a really good one - I loved Trapped and Spiral, but the ratio seems to be one really good one to three or four duds.

I don't know how much of the Walter Presents, which is Channel Four's foreign drama strand, you've checked out, but there I'd say the ratio is even worse. The only ones I've seen on there that I've really enjoyed are Deutschland 83 and a Swedish one about a warring family who inherit their mother's hotel (I forget the title). The guy who selects the dramas, a rather smug type, makes great play of him trawling the world's drama and with great discernment picking the world's best. However some of the ones I've seen have been so bad that I can't believe anyone would have gone out of their way to pick them and can only believe their main attraction was they were very cheap to acquire.

Mind you I'm not attacking just foreign crime drama here. You could say the same about British crime drama, for every In the Line of Duty or Happy Valley, there's three or four average to poor ones. I just wish they'd be more discerning. If you can't find a really good one, put on a film instead!

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Re: Scandinavian TV Shows.

Postby Samoan » 27 Oct 2017, 20:46

You didn't rate the recent Top of the Lake: China Girl, G ?
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Re: Scandinavian TV Shows.

Postby The Modernist » 27 Oct 2017, 22:57

I didn't rate the first series at all so didn't bother with the second.
The first one was beautifully directed and had a strong central performance from Elisabeth Moss, but the plot was plodding and implausible.

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Re: Scandinavian TV Shows.

Postby Darryl Strawberry » 27 Oct 2017, 23:38

The Modernist wrote:I didn't rate the first series at all so didn't bother with the second.
The first one was beautifully directed and had a strong central performance from Elisabeth Moss, but the plot was plodding and implausible.

It was worse than that. It was terrible. It actually annoyed me, it was so poor.
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Re: Scandinavian TV Shows.

Postby Belle Lettre » 28 Oct 2017, 10:16

There's a double bill of Beck on tonight, actually. I quite like it. And I'm looking forward to the final season of The Bridge.
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Re: Scandinavian (and Antipodean-staged) TV Shows.

Postby Samoan » 28 Oct 2017, 11:02

Darryl Strawberry wrote:
The Modernist wrote:I didn't rate the first series at all so didn't bother with the second.
The first one was beautifully directed and had a strong central performance from Elisabeth Moss, but the plot was plodding and implausible.

It was worse than that. It was terrible. It actually annoyed me, it was so poor.

That really bewilders me. I found both series to be some of the best and most startling television drama for years. The primary topics (and frame it with the sexist, misogynistic, harassment shit) both dealt with were extremely disconcerting and distressing but similar is occurring out there right now. Campion never shys away from dark, deep matter and similarly in her films.

On a side note, I was quite bewitched by the beauty of New Zealand's South Island and I've a yen to travel there.

https://www.theguardian.com/film/2017/jul/22/jane-campion-clever-people-film-tv-top-of-the-lake
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Re: Scandinavian TV Shows.

Postby The Modernist » 28 Oct 2017, 14:49

It felt to me like the sexual politics were being imposed on a humdrum plot. I'm not for a minute suggesting that the issues it was attempting to explore weren't very important, it just wasn't done in a way that was dramatically interesting or convincing..for me.

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Re: Scandinavian TV Shows.

Postby Darryl Strawberry » 28 Oct 2017, 14:55

I just didn't care about any of the characters. Before we even consider the themes comes script (poor), characters (thin), plot (jumbled).
And the final "twist" was rubbish.
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Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
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Re: Scandinavian TV Shows.

Postby Geezee » 30 Oct 2017, 09:15

Belle Lettre wrote:There's a double bill of Beck on tonight, actually. I quite like it. And I'm looking forward to the final season of The Bridge.


Yes I couldn't quite believe that - having just complained that Beck never makes it out of Sweden, there was a double bill!
Still, it really needs to go back to the beginning (1990s) to build up all the characters (the neighbour in a neck brace, Gunvald etc). It's hard to emphasise now I guess how much it tapped into this dark fear that surrounded Stockholm in the aftermath of the murder of Olof Palme (even though the original books are from the 60s, the characters and series took on a new life form long after one of the authors passed away and it became very much a thing of the 1990s, including through the characterisation by the recently deceased, much-beloved Gosta Ekman).
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