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Topic: Nordic Noir (Read 348 times)

  • ersi
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Nordic Noir
This thread may serve as a collector of entertainment news and curiosities in yellow media. I guess this is how it was originally planned too.

This one is for those who are on board with the latest craze in TV series. (I'm not.) The Bridge, apparently started as a Swedish-Danish crime drama TV series, has successfully franchised its format to BBC and beyond, most lately to Russia, where the story is now placed at the border with Estonia.

The Bridge: new version to span Russia and Estonia
  • Last Edit: 2016-04-06, 13:48:37 by Frenzie

  • Frenzie
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Re: Danish Crime Series
Reply #1
Danish crime series are really popular internationally. I haven't seen this particular one, though.

  • jax
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Re: Danish Crime Series
Reply #2

This thread may serve as a collector of entertainment news and curiosities in yellow media. I guess this is how it was originally planned too.

This one is for those who are on board with the latest craze in TV series. (I'm not.) The Bridge, apparently started as a Swedish-Danish crime drama TV series, has successfully franchised its format to BBC and beyond, most lately to Russia, where the story is now placed at the border with Estonia.

The Bridge: new version to span Russia and Estonia

I think the thread was intended for news media, other forms of scripted entertainment have their own threads.

That said, The Bridge (Bro[e]n) is, much like Chinese restaurant food, particularly interesting for the remakes. There was an North American (The Bridge), an Anglo-French (The Tunnel), and now a Baltic version. Nothing wrong in a remake, the original is highly derivative as well (as are the other Scandinavian crime series). To recap, a body is found on the bridge/tunnel/border, one half on each side of the border. Hilarity ensues. So far Mexico, France, and Russia have become Denmark, the US, England, and Estonia have become Sweden.

If The Tunnel looks familiar, it's because it's a format that works
Quote from: The Guardian
It's a popular format: nothing, it seems, has more crossover appeal than the irritation that one's national neighbours are so easily able to cross over into your own country.

The Tunnel is an example of the sort of international co-operation that is increasingly commonplace in television, as formats migrate globally to and from surprisingly far-flung places. Broadcasters do so in the assumption that they already, as Alan Partridge put it, have a hit on their hands, with just the addition of some local spin required. The Tunnel was made for Sky Atlantic in conjunction with French television channel Canal Plus and seeks to take advantage of the familiarity of a format while also getting at something unique - namely, Britain's relationship with France; so close geographically, so distant culturally.



  • Frenzie
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Re: Danish Crime Series
Reply #3
I think the thread was intended for news media, other forms of scripted entertainment have their own threads.

We even have a specialized forum for it. I figured I'd split and move.

I enjoyed the American remake of The Killing. The leading IMDB review is not inaccurate, but unfortunately IMDB seems to have no permalinks to reviews, or even any kind of links at all:

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But it is the imperfect, wonderful world we all live in. Which brings me to AMC's fantastic 'The Killing'. A Danish import, 'Killing' follows the murder investigation of young woman in Seattle, Washington. The story is told in thirteen 1 hour episodes through the perspectives of the people whose lives are impacted by the murder and subsequent investigation, with special emphasis on lead investigator Sarah Linden (played picture-perfect by Mireille Enos). Amazingly, despite a fairly large cast, there is nary a flat character to be found. All the players are fleshed out, fully realized people with deep complexity and back-story. This allows the show to rise above a simple whodunit police procedural and really delve into just what a murder means to the people in the victim's life. It is alternately dark and gritty, inspirational, and heart breaking to watch these people cope with the loss and fear that surrounds this girls murder.


But my regular viewing is geared more toward regular procedurals, I suppose, like NCIS. And, incidentally, I really like Jon Cryer's new role.


  • jax
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Nordic Noir Re: Danish Crime Series
Reply #4

Danish crime series are really popular internationally. I haven't seen this particular one, though.


As a category "Nordic Noir" is way more popular with the guardianrati and British in general than "Danish Crime Series", for whom alliteration and French language is de rigueur. Wikipedia seems to have opted for Scandinavian Noir which loses the alliteration, as well as a few countries/series, including the Icelandic Trapped, which I haven't seen, but has gotten good reviews.

Anyway, "Danish Crime Series" would miss many of the usual suspects, including The Bridge, which is Swedish-Danish more than Danish-Swedish, and several others that either are not strictly Danish nor strictly crime.

Anyway, as a genre it is very derivative, inspired by British and American books, movies and series in particular. Thus "noir" is fitting, in the middle stage a typical protagonist would be a social democratic Philip Marlowe in a landscape as Scandinavian as Chandler's was Southern Californian.  Which puts them, and the current crop, on the canny hilltop, exotic yet familiar.

It's an advantage that people don't usually speak the language. There are nice parts as well as awkward passages in most of these, and the Non-Nordics seem to put the latter down to a different locale rather than bad writing/directing or poor acting.

There is even British Nordic Noir, Fortitude is very clearly British, but the town "Fortitude" is modelled upon Longyearbyen, Svalbard, and the series uses Scandinavian mannerisms (and many Scandinavian actors), rather than British.

  • Frenzie
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Re: Nordic Noir
Reply #5
That reminds me, I should get around to reading Pietr-le-Letton. Or, how the title that is synonymous with the French detective novel includes a Baltic element. I read the first chapter when I decided to rekindle my interest in French because these books aren't too complicated, but the overload of Dickensian (or detectivian?) character descriptions in the beginning didn't do quite enough to overcome the basic communicative difficulties in the way a good Spirou or Asterix does. Instead I read some Pynchon, and thought V kept on going for a bit too long. I also reread Dune, and it was still as good as I remember it from half a lifetime ago.

  • jax
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Re: Nordic Noir
Reply #6
Inspector Maigret was quite in fashion in Norway around the eighties, I read one myself, forgot which, and had no desire to read any more, but yes, by description this should be a Belgian Nordic Noir, or maybe rather Baltic Black.

  • Frenzie
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Re: Nordic Noir
Reply #7
In French, they're somewhat mysteriously called polar. According to my Petit Robert it's a shortening portmanteau of the terms roman policier, the "official" term for detective novel, and argotique, the adjective form of argot, meaning slang. Or, as the Petit Robert puts it, langage cryptique des malfaiteurs, cryptic language of wrongdoers (and by extension any kind of jargon).

  • ersi
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Re: Nordic Noir
Reply #8
I had forgotten about this subforum. It says a lot about the futility of subforums* and how I really don't watch TV. I really don't. Last time I followed a Nordic series on TV was last century. That's so long ago I forgot what it was. Probably there's been nothing after Kummeli sketches.

*They are hard to navigate even when we have as few of them as we do. Still, we have just the right number of them and the right kind. Other forums tend to oversubdivide.

  • jax
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Re: Nordic Noir
Reply #9
Saw a trailer for Midnight Sun, a French-Swedish series set in Northern Sweden and France. Definitely within the genre, though the French-Swedish-English (for French and Swedish to communicate)-Sami (for tribal frisson) language mix is not usual. 

The French interest will be involved as the British were in Fortitude, to investigate a murder of a citizen in Northern latitudes. The usual and unusual will then ensue in 8 episodes.




  • Belfrager
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Re: Nordic Noir
Reply #10
Philip Marlowe in a landscape as Scandinavian
A Scandinavian Marlowe is an abortion.
A matter of attitude.

  • jax
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Re: Nordic Noir
Reply #11
Not noir, but it seems that the Norwegian series Skam (Shame) is very rapidly becoming a thing. The genre, teenage drama, didn't interest me even when I was a teenager. Self-obsessed enough to attract teenagers in the first season, middle-aged/parent generation curious about what the teens are on about in the second, and Non-Norwegians (other Scandinavians and more remote aliens) by the third. 

the real and risqué norwegian tv show causing teen hysteria

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Karagülle told me it centred on high school students and their struggles, dreams, and rakish hookups in Oslo. Each season is told from the POV of one main character. It's unique in that clips of the show are posted in real time online, as if its characters are real people. So, for example, if a party on the show is happening Saturday at 2am, that's when the party clip is posted. On Fridays, all the clips published that week are assembled into one episode. When the show isn't on air, fans can interact with the characters via fake profiles on Instagram and Facebook. Text messages between characters are also posted online, prompting speculation throughout the week. It's like you're living with them, says 20-year-old Grazia Ames, a fan of the show. "I like some photos on Instagram because I like the fact that they make them seem just like another friend or real person out there."
Surreality TV it ain't, and I consider it pretty awful (significantly more awful than pretty), but a thing is a thing, and thus likely to be copied.

  • PassionRopsy
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Nordic Noir
Reply #12
I agree that the Nordic Noir series has been really haphazard technically.  That said, take a look at how many BD-only exclusives they actually have in UK territories, so its not all bad.  Also, FYI, the Nordic Bridge Series 1 used to have English subs, but a subsequent printing has removed it presumably contractually obligated.