Saturday, February 06, 2021

Lockdown telly and why we're really missing Saga Noren


We tend to fall head over heels for some series. The Bridge (BBC4) was definitely one of them. Having arrived at it 9 years late, and seen the conclusion just three years after everyone else, I do feel slightly foolish for not having responded to a strong recommendation from my friend Martin Carr throughout that time. I know that an obvious question will be about my own take on the depiction of Saga Noren as a rare principal character with Asperger's (though it's never described as such). My own personal response is the same as it often is about anything related to the condition, and that Sofie Helin does an incredible job as the actor playing the very well written part of Saga. She's not a type, she's unique, she's both brittle and hard as nails; impenetrable and yet lovable; vulnerable yet impervious to others. There's still much to forgive with the series, unlikely plot twists and dramatic reveals, and often ludicrously complex themed killing sprees, but though it's gruesome at times it never feels exploitative or cruel. I've only been to Copenhagen once, and don't remember it being this gloomy either, or having so many disused industrial sites where ritual murders can take place, but it is portraying a grim world, and usually in winter. It has all been quite a ride with Saga, Martin, Henrik, Hans and Lillian, and all of the complicated, messy, normal, odd and quirky characters that have formed the 38 episodes. I feel I want more and I have genuinely felt loss over the last 24 hours that I will never again see that Porsche 911 ("ahem, 911S, actually," Saga Noren would say), or hear the words: "Saga Noren Lanskrim Malmo".
For the time being I'm immersed in The Bridge fandom, here, and here. A warning though, there are spoilers.

Modern Love (Prime) - slightly quirky, but brilliantly well acted crop of New York-based single act stories. The one with Anne Hathaway utterly broke me. But mostly they were beautifully packaged, wonderful immersions.

The Serpent (BBC) - there was something creepy and unsettling about the BBC’s drama based on the true story of Charles Sobhraj; and at times it was unbearably tense just waiting for him to kill another hapless victim lured into his lair of evil. But the BBC adaptation of the true story hangs together really well and manages to pull it off with enough panache without you still feeling anything but revulsion for him and his pathetic sidekicks. Going down the rabbit hole of research on Sobhraj was quite an eye opener, the consistently excellent Andrew Anthony, who has met him twice, is particularly good in GQ here. Good use of music in the series too. 

Lupin (Netflix) - really enjoyed this stylish and slick French thriller with a deeply moral core. 

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