I completely missed the Scandinavian hype train which made it’s way through Britain a couple of years ago. Although a lot of the headlines were taken up by The Killing , I think season one of The Bridge is the real gem from Northern Europe.
Being the chauvinistic that I am, I think that Kim Bodnia is the reason why this show is as good as it is – not Sofia Helin (who is also pretty damn dope). I think Bodnia’s character at his core tells you the true nature of the male gender. Martin Rohde is very good at his job, he is very charming, probably a good father and husband but he’s also utterly selfish and ruled by his penis.
I’m not saying that all men are ruled by their dicks – all I am saying is that I haven’t met one who wasn’t. And I struggle to think of a television show that has been so brutally honest at depicting its key male characters. And it is this flaw that is key to everything in this show – Martin’s inability to not keep it in his pants is why things go belly up in The Bridge.
But here is the thing, Martin is also a very sympathetic character – I don’t know if I am saying that because I have a penis. But I didn’t watch the show hating him for what he was doing or for what he did – I simply thought that he was weak in that one aspect. I would be really interested to see how women saw his character.
The fact that Martin was willing to wreck his idyllic family life because he was curious to see whether he could still have sex with other women seemed so ridiculous but it rang so true to me. This is exactly how we men think – we are exactly that dumb.
To be fair, Martin wouldn’t be as interesting if we couldn’t compare him to Saga Noren. Let me be clear, Noren is smarter than anyone on the show but what makes her special is how she differs from Martin. She obviously has some form of Asperger’s so she doesn’t conform to social excepted norms when it comes to courtship or sex – or who you innocently sleep in bed with… naked.
It’s Saga and not Sarah Lund from The Killing that is the real breakthrough of how women are depicted on television because I simply haven’t seen a character like Noren – male or female. Actually that might be a lie, Sheldon Cooper is very similar. The way the show reveals how Saga priortises her work life over her private life isn’t something you see every day on television – especially the way she deals with sex. This is a woman that is every bit as career focused as a man and she should be celebrated for that.
But here is the thing, I found myself judging Noren’s personal life far more than I judged Martin’s – and that says that there is something horrifyingly wrong with me.
Everyone should watch this show. I loved it and I don’t want to watch any of the re-makes from the English speaking world.
Sex isn’t the only thing it has to offer, there is a lot of things here for people to grab on to – you can re-watch the hell out of this show.