Five Crime Dramas to Watch On Netflix
What is it about Northern Europeans and their ability to create dark, gripping "Nordic Noir" crime dramas? Here are five of my latest favourites (and some are just new to me) in alphabetical order.
Definitely not as dark as the other four on this list, Dicte the name of a female crime reporter living outside of Copenhagen, one who always seems to find herself in the middle of the drama. And in true Nancy Drew tradition, she often ends up solving the crimes herself.
It’s the characters and their relationships that make this series shine. Dicte’s family life, friends and her tussles with the local cops are a big part of the narrative. Secondary characters include two best friends, an 18-year-old daughter, a lingering ex-husband and a sexy work colleague. I won’t say more.
A friend of mine told me about Dicte (thanks Michelle!) and I immediately told a number of my friends. Everyone was binge watching it at once. I think we all either want to be Dicte or to hang out with her.
Have you ever been wronged in a relationship? Then WATCH THIS. This six part drama* could have been entitled, “Hell hath no fury!” Dr. Foster is a 30-something doctor living in England who finds out (very early on, so I’m not giving anything away) that her husband is having an affair. As the good doctor begins to unravel, negatively affecting both her practice, her patients and her relationship with her son, we wonder if she’s really losing it or just coming to her senses.
I loved lead actor Suranne Jones from her other BBC crime series Scott and Bailey. (I recommend that one as well.) She’s definitely given some meaty material here and she sinks her teeth right into it.
*Doctor Foster isn’t technically a crime drama, but it’s definitely gripping so I’m including it here. Britain also isn’t technically considered a Nordic country but hey… both regions produce great shows with similar feels.
(The) LAVA FIELD
This is a four part mini-series where a wealthy man is found dead in a rural area of Iceland. Suicide or murder? It stars Björn Hlynur Haraldsson as your (standard) brooding detective with a dark and painful past. He’s been called in from Reykjavik to handle the case. While Haraldsson and the rest the cast are all easy on the eyes, the real reason to watch this show is the spectacular Icelandic scenery. Definite bucket list material.
Add in that “nordic noir” (I borrow the phrase) pacing and story-telling style and it’s definitely worth a viewing.
Another woman scorned, Marcella Backland is devasted when her husband leaves her and the kids. An old unsolved case brings her back to the murder squad and investigating a number of crimes that seem to be leading to one killer. As she tries to regain her footing within the police force, she’s also trying to save her marriage.
It’s much more complicated than that but to say more would give too much away. Let’s just say Marcella (starring Anna Friel) is as damaged as any self-respecting gumshoe.
Marcella is written and director by the creator of The Bridge, Hans Rosenfeldt, who clearly has quite a dark and disturbing imagination.
The Bridge begins with a body found exactly in the middle of the bridge between Sweden to Denmark. Because of the body’s placement, a Danish inspector and a Swedish detective must work together to solve the crime. The one body turns into an escalating number of interconnected crimes, each more grisly than the last.
As with any good crime series, it’s all about the relationship between the detectives. And this one has an added twist: Swedish detective Saga Norgen (played by the excellent Sofia Helen) is on the autism spectrum. This may be a blessing when it comes to solving crimes, but far less so when it comes to dealing with her colleagues.
There is also an American version of this series, though I haven’t watched it. (If you have, let me know. Any good?) I just finished season one last night. Two more to go!