Blogginlägg | Blog Indlæg

Sofia Helin as ‘Saga Norén’ in “The Bridge” (aka "Bron / Broen")Last night saw the BBC4 premiere of The Bridge (aka “Bron/Broen”), a shiny new Nordic crime thriller, conceived and cast as a Swedish and Danish co-production. Without wishing to give away too many spoilers, the first episode opens with a dead woman’s body being carefully placed in the middle of Oresund Bridge, marking the exact border between Sweden and Denmark. Malmo CID detective ‘Saga Norén’ (Sofia Helin) immediately recognises the victim as a high-profile Swedish politician, and sends her Danish counterpart, ‘Martin Rohde’ (Kim Bodnia), home to bed… but when her team tries to move the body, they discover that “her” legs are detachable, and actually originate from a deep-frozen Danish prostitute, who went missing almost a year earlier. WTF!? Well, we have eight more episodes, broadcast in two-hour blocks over the next four weeks, to discover precisely WTF is going on. It’s too soon to say for sure whether it will be worth all the suspense and subtitle-reading, but for now it’s nice to have another show to fill the Killing-shaped hole in my Sunday afternoon viewing… even if this series does seem a little sillier by comparison.

Sofia Helin as ‘Saga Norén’ in “The Bridge” (aka "Bron / Broen")Speaking of which, before I even started watching the show, I was primed to dismiss Norén as a “poor man’s Sara Lund”, because of my deep and abiding loyalty/love for that iconic character… but I think there are enough differences between the two women for them both to peacefully co-exist on out TV screens. For one thing, Lund never seemed to take much joy in her work… she was simply compelled to grimly work through the clues once her brain had latched on to a knotty puzzle… whereas Norén actually seems to get a slightly morbid kick out of hanging around morgues, solving mysteries, and enforcing the rules. It’s more of a thrill for her… the perfect combination of work and pleasure, rather than a solemn, painful duty. And while Lund was clearly capable of having romantic relationships at some point, prior to marrying her job, it’s clear that Norén has always had trouble understanding basic social conventions. According to an article on The Arts Desk webpage, Helin did a lot of research into Asperger’s syndrome, before taking on the role, suggesting: “Saga does not really know she has Asperger’s, and she is very intelligent so she can cover it up.” But there’s often a tell-tale pause and blink before she responds to a colleague’s question or comment, while she processes what they’ve said, and searches for an appropriate response… as if her brain were connected to her mouth via a dial-up modem. As a nerdy introvert who also has trouble with these sorts of issues sometimes, I actually find that a very sympathetic and endearing character trait… although, in the second episode she came off more like a malfunctioning sex-bot than a smart, competent police officer! Of course, there’s no denying that Norén is very pretty… and I thought she looked particularly beautiful when she first appeared on-screen, her hair blowing wild in the wind, as she strode across the bridge towards the crime-scene. Her clothes and car are a lot cooler than Lund’s too… but at the end of the day, I know which side of the bridge my heart is on.

Note: The title of this blog post (which I hope translates as “blog post” in Swedish and Danish) is intended as a slightly snarky reference to the rather prosaic titles that these shows have. Sadly, the only alternative name I can come up with for this series is “Chop-Shop Cop Hop!”, which doesn’t really fit the mood of the piece…

About Dee CrowSeer

A comic book writer with an interest in feminism, philosophy, and affirmative action. He/him.
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