Since I’m fascinated by crime series, especially those from a Scandinavian country it was only logic that I started watching the Danish / Swedish series Bron / Broen. I heard a lot of positive things about the series so I gave it a shot!
The English title of the series is The Bridge, but you should not mistake this series for the American version. I haven’t seen that one or heard anything about it, but I like to stay with the original – mostly. Bron / Broen is about the Danish inspector Martin Röhde and Swedish Saga Norén, who team up after a body is found on the bridge between Denmark and Sweden, right on the border. During the ten episodes, the murderer deplores five grievances of society. Each problem is combined with carefully planned crimes and it’s up to Martin and Saga to stop this mysterious person before it gets personal. The first season came out in 2011, but only after I discovered the series on my On-Demand service, I started watching it. Bron / Broen is not a typical crime series, where each episode is a new case to solve.All the cases are connected to each other and are the work of one person or group. The ones to solve the crimes are Martin and Saga, and therefore they are the main characters of the show. Sofia Helen plays Saga, who is a great and intelligent inspector but lacks proper social skills and has no real social life. Saga is completely honest and forthright and therefore she seems quite cold. In the beginning this costs friction between her and Martin, but later it’s what makes them interesting and fun to watch. With Marin’s help Saga tries to learn from her mistakes as well. Martin is played by Kim Bodnia, who lives with his wife Mette, played by Puk Schatbau, and children in Denmark. His personal life is explored during the entire show and gets really fascinating towards the end. There’s a lot going on in Martin’s life.
Another very interesting character is journalist Daniel (Christian Hillborg), who is the lucky one to publish the killer’s plans. At the beginning Daniel is a self-righteous fool who gets what’s coming, or not. Anyway, he thinks he’s the man after the killer choses him to be the person who stands between him and the rest of the country. At some point it looks like Daniel is changed, but everything comes at a price.. Of course Saga and Martin have a team, but besides chief officer Hans (Dag Malmberg) they don’t add much to the story. Besides helping with the investigation, the others of the team serve more as ‘filling’. Someone who is interesting for the story is Martin’s son August (Emil Birk Hartmann) with whom he has a fragile bond. It’s nice to see him change from an uninterested and annoying teenager to someone who is willing to repair the bond with his father, and find a job.
What is quite interesting, is that all the crimes have to do with the five grievances of society the murderer explores. It’s quite political and very topical: The integration problem, poor versus rich, homelessness, child labor and healthcare of mental patients. The cases come very close, because these problems are still there and getting even bigger and more serious. It might makes you think about it and grabs you. The murder’s plans are well thought through, but it’s only towards the end we learn how well. And this is what makes Bron / Broen different from many other crime series. In Bron / Broen the ongoing storyline has everything to do with finding one murderer, who makes victims almost every episode, in stead of focussing on the personal lives of the lead characters. Until everything becomes clear for the inspectors.
The Swedish and Danish series Bron / Broen is a crime series that makes you think about what’s happening in the world. It’s up to the inspectors Martin and Saga and their team to catch the one who is behind it all. The crimes are very well thought through, not only by the murderer, but by the writers of the show. Without their good work it wouldn’t be that interesting. When the penny has dropped, with the viewers and the inspectors as well, the series becomes more thrilling and intriguing. The relation between the main characters Saga and Martin has a difficult start, but when they get used to each other they are quite amusing. The first season has a real ending without any cliffhangers. However, there is a second season and I will definitely watch it!