I don’t understand a word and I love it

Photo: SVT

Last year, my new year’s resolution was to watch more TV. Yes, more. I know I am rather unique with this resolution but I have always felt that watching TV has an integrative effect. That year, I watched Trinny och Susannah stylar om Sverige and Downtown Abbey, but I did not get further than that. Already then, people recommended the series “Bron | Broen” (The Bridge) to me, but I said, “Ah, I am not into crime stories”, remembering German “Tatort”. “Bron” was first aired in 2010 and it took until 2014 for me to start watching it. Why did I change my mind? Well, first of all, Nicola was lyrical about it and I kind of trust her taste. Also, I have #mydanishintern so my interest in Denmark has increased. Joraine provided me with access to Netflix and I thought, “Ah, I’m not into crime stories, but I will give it a try”. Let me tell you: five minutes in I was hooked. I don’t know what I like most: the sociocritical story full of unexpected twists, the intriguing characters (“wonderfully creative” according to The Guardian), the difficult case (“expertly-told” according to critics), the cross-border cooperation – no, I actually think it is the Danish.

The first season started with a police investigation following the discovery of a dead body on the Øresund Bridge connecting Sweden and Denmark. Danish inspector Martin Rohde and Swedish Saga Norén have to share jurisdiction and work together to find the killer.

Martin speaks Danish, as well as everyone on the Danish side, and Saga speaks Swedish. The funny part is that throughout the entire series the script writers pretend that Saga and Martin understand each other. I may not be a native speaker but I know that Swedes do not automatically understand Danish. (And I think my Viking-born friends can confirm this.) Saga, suffering from Asperger’s syndrome, has no linguistic problems but other huge communicative issues with others that lead to refreshingly comic scenes without becoming condescending. Also, this gives me a chance to learn more Danish so that I can ask #mydanishintern “Skal vi spise?”

Mostly, I do not understand a word though and whenever Saga starts speaking again, it feels like I have come back into a cozy café from a rough storm outside. (No offense, Danes!)

I have been watching one episode every night now. While watching, I sometimes peek at how many minutes are left and then I get all happy when there is still a lot of time left to see. The dark evenings are approaching; I highly recommend you spend them with this Scandi-noir.

Photo: DR

Germans can watch season two on ZDF right now (the German channel has been co-financing the series). In Sweden, season one is on Netflix. Everyone else just buys the DVD.

As usual, the US has made their own version of a successful Swedish production. I think you should totally watch the original since we have already witnessed in “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” that the Nordic version was better.

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