Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Catch Up TV... Missed the TV Moment Everyone's Talking about? Alastair McKay Appreciates Sweden's Bleak Arctic Beauty in the Latest Nordic Noir Series, Midnight Sun

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Catch Up TV... Missed the TV Moment Everyone's Talking about? Alastair McKay Appreciates Sweden's Bleak Arctic Beauty in the Latest Nordic Noir Series, Midnight Sun

Article excerpt

Byline: Alastair McKay

NORDIC noir, Scandi crime, woolly jumpers and sexy detectives with emotional disorders remember them? At a distance, after a while, you start to wonder whether the brilliance of those shows The Killing, The Bridge, the other ones no one can remember was a matter of exoticism.

Was the poetry in the subtitles, perhaps? After all, the French were able to locate hidden depths in the sour ejaculations of Taggart, the Scottish detective who was so hard-boiled he was deep-fried; and the Scandi actors, if you asked them, would gush volcanically about Prime Suspect and Inspector Morse, who was like a classic-car version of the morose Wallander. And take the Wallanders. No, please, take them. The Scandi one had drab light and Bergman-esque longueurs. The British one had Kenneth Branagh looking like a man trying to forget a Shakespeare soliloquy.

Put another way, genre television is like genre fiction. It has its rules, and while the rules require quirks and weirdness (to an acceptable degree), there is a formula. And detecting the recipe is at least half of the fun, as important, almost, as decoding the crime. So it is with Midnight Sun (Sky On Demand), which has impeccable credentials, being the work of Bridge creator Mans Marlind and writer Bjorn Stein. The midnight sun, you may recall from Insomnia that fine Christopher Nolan film in which Al Pacino couldn't sleep, or its less glamorous Norwegian precursor is a metaphorical reference to the short season of bright nights that occurs within the Arctic Circle, and also serves as a handy metaphor for the contradictory impulses required in crime fiction. Such ugliness in such a beautiful landscape. So many sleepless nights that the days become a walking nightmare.

There are cops, of course, but sensitive viewers might not want to get terribly attached to all of them. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.