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Scandinavian crime series

Absolute Facts Why Nordic Noir is Thrilling Audiences

Absolute Facts Why Nordic Noir is Thrilling Audiences

I wanted to explore the Nordic noir, also known as Scandinavian noir or Scandinavian crime series in this episode. Nordic Noir is a genre of crime fiction often written from a police point of view and set in one of the Nordic Countries (Def. Wikipedia).

In these crime series the language is plain and direct and the settings often have a bleak landscape, and the atmosphere is dark and the story is morally complex. Sounds like something you would like?

The Nordic Noir genre depicts a tension between the still and bland society in the Nordic Countries and the murder, misogyny, rape, and racism it illustrates as lying underneath.  The set up is really dark but Nordic noir remains a foreign term, as it is not used in the Nordic countries.

How Did The Scandinavian Crime Series Start?

In the 1990s Henning Mankell’s books on Kurt Wallander, the detective made the genre a mass phenomenon and was adapted in film and television. The hero of many mystery novels is set in and around the town of Ystad, near Malmo, Sweden. This series made Henning the father of the Nordic Crime by many opinion.

Nordic noir trend

How would you describe Nordic Noir?

Nordic Noir is more critical of the society where the series are based on.

They are looking bleak, realistic and the main story is morally complex. Click To Tweet

The directing is plain and the writing style without metaphor and most importantly the main characters are not flawless but have their own issues and demons that they are battling. This makes them more relatable for the viewer hence the reason why they perhaps are much loved by the public.

How Does Nordic Noir Differ from Other Crime Series?

Nordic crime sceneCritics have said that Scandinavian crime series are more “realistic, simple and precise… and stripped of unnecessary words”. Their antihero is usually a police detective worn down by cares and far from simple hero that all can love and celebrate.

The main character’s life cast a light on the flaws of society, which are usually the reason of the crime itself. This is associated with how the antihero often tackles a murder mystery that is linked with several storylines and themes such as the investigation of the dark underbelly of modern society. The hero of the story at times uses questionable methods to resolve the crime.

How Does Nordic Crime Look Visually?

A description of Nordic Noir is typically a dimly lit aesthetic.  This includes a slow and melancholic pace and multi-layered storylines. Nordic Noir often features a mix of bleak naturalism and desolate locations, with a focus on the sense of place where bad things can happen. When in reality they are beautiful locations, just saying.

These were the distinguishing emotions of the series Bordertown, which were further combined with an atmosphere arising from the fear of Russia the border town was shown on this bleak atmosphere.

Stieg  Larsson’s Millennium trilogy, for example, deals with misogyny and rape, while Henning Mankell’s faceless killers focus on Sweden’s failure to integrate its immigrant population. Both adaptations to the big screen and televions were hugely popular not just in Scandinavia but abroad as well.

These series also borrow something from Scandinavia’s political system where the apparent equality, social justice, and liberalism of the Nordic Model is seen to cover up dark secrets and hidden hatreds. The nordic life is seen as imperfect and more rational and relatable.

 Why Nordic Noir is Loved by the Audience?

The realism is compelling and it is more based on the generation of antiheroes, social critique and Scandinavian woodsrealism. If you look at Wallander from the 1990 that describes a social democratic class society and the antihero fighting against it. Also Lisbeth Sallander is a feminist hero fighting class-based chauvinist misogyny. This strong female character is compelling to audiences as is her fight for justice.

Scandinavian TV crime dramas are so different from action crime dramas that are characterized by car chases and fistfights. You know what you can expect in a crime drama. Dramas like the Wallander are often slow-paced with not much happening. But these dramas are usually so well written, acted and have a brooding and atmospheric quality, along with superb cinematography.

 Examples of the Scandinavian Crime Series

The Killing (Danish), The Bridge (Sweden), Stieg Larsson’s Millennium series , (The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo), If you want to read the books here is link for themAcquitted (Norway), Department Q  (Denmark) , Case (Iceland), Bordertown (Finland), Trapped (Iceland).

Examples of Scandinavian Real Crime Podcasts

True Crime Sweden
Evidence Locker True Crime
True Crime Finland
Nordic True Crime

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