Thursday, January 23, 2014

The Bridge

For my money this is easily the best thing on TV at the moment. We are just over half way through the ten episodes and it is gripping viewing.. It is intricately plotted and full of surprises. It never lets up. It's got everything: drama, suspense, humour, pathos. It's beautifully filmed, has a scintillating script, and great performances from Sofia Helin and Kim Bodnia. The characters are what make it. It was a brilliant idea, making the lead female character, Saga, suffer from Aspergers. It might not have come off, but it does, and the ramifications of that are cleverly woven into the plot. Saga is a good detective, rigorous to the point of obsession,and coolly rational, but she has no idea how to handle people, a serious failing which is leading a problem with one of her team that threatens the investigation. Teaming her with Martin, who is far more swayed by emotion and liable to go off the rails in a different way, works perfectly.
Also airing has been Hinterland, first seen on BBC Wales in Welsh, and currently partly in English and partly in Welsh with subtitles. The BBC have been inviting comparisons with Nordic Noir. I am not sure that it does it any favours to set the bar so high. I have only watched the first episode so far, but my initial impression was that it couldn't hold a candle to The Bridge or The Killing. The idea wasn't very original: abuse in a children's home leads to an act of revenge (this isn't really giving anything away) and nor were the characters. The lead detective is a maverick loner with a mystery in his past, but I couldn't summon up that much interest in what it was. And I was never agog to find out what would happen next as I am with The Bridge. Maybe I'll give it another go. But I'll definitely have a date with The Bridge this Saturday night: no doubt about that.

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