March 03, 2014

The Killing - Danish TV series

If you know me just a little, you'll know I'm a huge fan of Scandinavian stuff: music, clothes, design, architecture, the language, films and from the moment I've watched the first episode of "The Killing" also their TV series. Forbrydelsen tells the story of Sarah Lund, a Copenhagen based police detective investigating difficult cases with personal and political consequences. 

The Killing (Danish: Forbrydelsen "The crime") is created by Søren Sveistrup and produced by DR. It was first broadcast on the Danish national television channelDR1 on 7 January 2007, and has since been transmitted in a number of other countries worldwide.
The series is set in the Copenhagen main police department and revolves around Detective Inspector Sarah Lund (played by Sofie Gråbøl) and her team, with each season series following a different murder case day-by-day and a one-hour episode covering twenty-four hours of the investigation. The series is noted for its plot twists, season-long storylines, dark tone and for giving equal emphasis to the story of the murdered victim's family alongside the police investigation. It has also been singled out for the photography of its Danish setting, and for the acting ability of its cast.

5 Facts:
  1. Although subtitled, it attracted more viewers than Mad Men, scored audience appreciation figures of 94%, and has been described as "the best series currently on TV".
  2. The success has created an interest in all things Danish, and the female detective's Faroese jumper has been the subject of newspaper articles as well as becoming a sought after online item.  
  3. The Killing has proved a hit in both Denmark and across the globe, garnering significant critical acclaim in a number of different countries (particularly in the United Kingdom, Germany and The Netherlands) and becoming something of a cult television show. 
  4. In 2011 a US remake was produced by the American cable network AMC.
  5. During filming of the first series, Sveistrup (creator) also refused to reveal the identity of the murderer or even specific plot points to members of the cast, including Sofie Gråbøl (who played the role of Sarah Lund). The actors would only receive the scripts on an episode-by-episode basis, just moments before shooting was scheduled to begin. Gråbøl was told only that she was not the killer.

Producer Piv Bernth described the broad appeal of the show as "groundbreaking", and explained what she believed to be the root of its popularity:
"It's the first time you have a detective drama over 20 episodes – other series had one killing per episode. And we also have this three-plot structure – what does it [a murder] mean for a police investigator, what does it mean for the parents, what does it mean for the politicians. It's not just about finding the murderer. That's important, but it's not all."
Thanks for reading!
Feel free to post your comments if you know this series or watched it. I'm curious to hear what you guys think of it!


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