What’s new in Scandinavian noir?

Dear ladies and gents,

it’s been a while since I last checked what is new in Scandi noir. So here is a list of new-ish noir series you might want to check out. By all means feel free to let us all know in the comments in case I have missed anything interesting.

Bedrag (Follow The Money)

bedrag

Bedrag (Follow The Money) is a Danish series that centers on 3 protagonists – a CFO of a renewable energy company who will stop at nothing to gain the monopoly on the market, a police officer that investigates the case and a car mechanic who gets involved in the conspiracy by accident. In the UK the series aired on BBC Four.

occupied

Okkupert (Occupied)

If you love Jo Nesbø, you will probably love this (as the series is based on his idea). The series is set in not-too-distant future and the Green Party is in power in Norway. The government decides to stop all oil and gas production in the North Sea. As a consequence Norway gets occupied by the EU with the help of Russia. In the UK the series aired on Sky Arts, while in the US the series is available on Netflix.

modus

Modus

Modus is a Swedish series based on the book Frukta inte written by Anne Holt. It follows the story of Inger Johanne Vik (played by Melinda Kinnaman), a criminal psychologist and a mother of two daughters. Inger returns to Sweden after a stint with the FBI in order to work in the academic community. But after her autistic daughter is the sole witness to a murder, she gets involved in the investigation. It soon turns out that a serial killer is on the loose.

jordskott

Jordskott

Jordskott is a Swedish crime series that follows the story of Detective Inspector Eva Thörnblad (played by Moa Gammel). She returns to her hometown seven years after her daughter has disappeared at the nearby lake. Her daughter’s body was never recovered. During her visit another boy goes missing and Eva starts to look for similarities between the two disappearances and soon finds out there is a pattern.

Eyewitness

Øyevitne (Eyewitness)

Written by Jarl Emsell Larsen Øyevitne is a Norwegian crime mini-series. It follows the story of two 15 year old boys who are attracted to each other and secretly meet in the forest. While there they witness a showdown between four men. The criminals see them, but they manage to escape. They live in fear that not only they will be discovered by the criminals, but also that their secret will be revealed.

the-legacy

Arvingerne (The Legacy)

Arvingerne (The Legacy) is a Danish family drama created by Maya Ilsøe. It follows the story of four siblings who come together after their mother Veronica dies in order to divide the estate. But matters become much more complicated when it turns out that their mother left the manor to her daughter Signe who she gave up for adoption. The series aired two season, while third (and final) season will air in 2017.

The Kindle Experiment

kindle

Dear ladies and gents,

I am about a year in with my Kindle experiment.

Definite advantages:

– I am still reading loads.
– It’s fantastic (FANTASTIC) when you travel.
– I have decided (finally I might add) that it’s ok to give up on a book and just stop reading if it doesn’t interest me.

Definite disadvantages:

– can’t keep track of the stuff I’ve read.
– I’m getting picky about books.
– one thing I’ve learned sucks a**? When the book is great and then the endings sucks.

What do you use to keep track of things you’ve read? I have a Goodreads account, but that is mostly so I can find stuff that might be interesting.

Stuff that peaked my interest of late (prepare for some blood and gore, no high brow stuff here):

Anything Mark Billingham – started with Die of Shame and liked it enough to seek out his other novels. Then I realized that some of his Tom Thorne novels were turned into TV series (I’m blond ok, I can be slow on the uptake).

Cosy mysteriesM. C. Beaton. OMG the lady is 80 and she writes 2 books a year (one Agatha Raisin and one Hamish Macbeth). You have to admire her output. And once you start, her books are addictive as hell. Agatha Raisin currently airs on Sky.

Megan Abbott “You Will Know Me” – this started off great and held my interest, but then the ending was just… meh.

Joe Hill “The Fireman” – gave up about half way through. Normally I really like Joe Hill’s novels. And I’ll probably finish this one. But for some reason I just couldn’t focus long enough to stay with it.

Justin Cronin “The City of Mirrors” – last in the Passage trilogy. And can I be frank with you?

are-you-serious

I got started and I just cannot. I’ve completely lost track and I don’t know what is happening but o!m!freaking!g! I would like to finish this sucker.

So if anyone has any recs that would be much obliged, please and thank you!

If you need some distraction…

Dear ladies and gents,

I have ODed on news of late. Stuff that has been happening in my own country, across the Europe and world in general makes me think the world is imploding.

So this would be me watching the news:

kingsspeech

Hey, I never said I was not vulgar. But yeah.

I’m not saying to stop watching the news (that’s just irresponsible, we need to be informed. It’s mandatory that we are informed. Look what happens when people take things at face value. Dimwits get away with shit, that’s what. UGH I’ll stop now or I’ll get a case of the stabbies again).

So we need a distraction. Good heavens do we need a distraction.

If you like noir…

hinterland

Hinterland – the original title of the series is Y Gwyll (it was produced by BBC Cymru Wales). It stars Richard Harrington as DCI Tom Mathias who moves to Aberystwyth (west coast of Wales) to take on a new job. He is dark and brooding and lives in a camper van and is great at his job. So you know, the regular noir kinda stuff. The good news is that I’m kinda late with this one (it premiered in 2013) so there are 9 episodes altogether to catch up on. Again great stuff if you like noir.

If you like crime…

new-blood

New Blood – I was surprised how much I liked New Blood. Written by Anthony Horowitz (the dude wrote a number of episodes of Midsomer Murders, Foyle’s War, Collision, Injustice) this is a crime drama about Arash Sayyad (played by Ben Tavassoli) and Stefan Kowolski (played by Mark Strepan). Arash works for the police force, while Stefan works for the Serious Fraud Office. Two get thrown together on a complicated case involving a pharma company. This is not high brow stuff, it’s a buddy crime drama, but I liked it all the same. Also? ALL the London porn.

If you like gentle comedies…

mum

Mum – written by Stefan Golaszewski Mum is about Cathy (played by Lesley Manville), a recently widowed woman who is coming to terms with her grief after the death of her husband. The series follows her and her family over the course of a year. And now you are like – why you peddling this sad sh*t, we had enough sad sh*t?! It’s not, I swear. It’s subtle and funny and warm. Just trust me – you’ll love it.

An oldie, but goodie…

yourangmlord

You Rang M’Lord – if you haven’t seen this comedy written by Jimmy Perry and David Croft – OMG do! Seriously. I watched it ages ago and then revisited over the last few weeks. It’s brilliant. Then again Jimmy Perry and David Croft gave us Dad’s Army and Hi-De-Hi. The comedy is set in 1920s London and it is about the servants working for Lord Meldrum and the contrast between their lives and the lives of the upper crust people they serve. It’s funny and observant and shows how it all started to unravel back in the 20s.

Vera

Dear ladies and gents,

this here is Vera.

vera

Image via ITV.com

DCI Vera Stanhope to be precise. She is a detective with the Northumberland & City Police. Vera is produced by ITV and premiered back in 2011. It based on the series of books written by Ann Cleeves (who also wrote Shetland).

Now I’ve been binge watching Vera for the past few weeks (I finished with Daredevil and needed to binge watch something, okay?) There are many reasons to like Vera.

It’s a solid crime drama, the series is shot beautifully, the characters are complex and interesting and then there is the fabulous Brenda Blethyn (if you haven’t seen Secrets and Lies or Little Voice go, do it immediately! I mean, come on!)

I know it is a series about crime and murder and whathaveyou, but it’s a total comfort watch for me.

But what I like the best (THE BEST!) about it?

Vera above is not between 25 and 35 (although if you know anything about anything a lot (A LOT) of actresses and actors regularly shave off a few years so even those that claim they are perpetually 25 are not really).

Vera doesn’t have TV hair.

Vera is great at her f**king job.

Vera can be a pain in the arse.

Vera doesn’t suffer fools gladly.

I tried to think when was the last time I saw ANYTHING on US TV that had an older main female character? Harry’s Law. With Kathy Bates. And that got cancelled because it “skewed older”. They cancelled a show with OSCAR WINNER Kathy Bates because it skewed older. Harry’s Law btw pulled between 7 and 11 million people per episode.

really

Because everyone over the age of 35 belongs to an old people’s home really. Women especially.

remick-head-explosion-o

So watch Vera. I promise you’ll like it. And God bless UK TV because Vera there? Has been renewed for another season.