Denmark is a country I can’t continue to ignore (or mix up with its neighbors) any longer. Why?
Well, back in college I got into the band Carpark North and for the longest time I kept thinking they were from Germany. I would repeatedly refresh my memory with Denmark but it just wouldn’t stick. Denmark just didn’t mean anything to me besides there being something rotten in it. Thus I would be all, “Oh, and they’re from Germany.” “No. They’re from Denmark,” says Sister. “Whatever!” *handwaves* I seemed incapable of adding anymore information into my brain at that point in my life unless it was Latin or had to do with Flannery O’Connor. Sorry, Denmark. Your day would come later.
A few years passed and I ran across Nikolaj Coster-Waldau in the show New Amsterdam. Naturally I thought he was Dutch and didn’t think any further about it. Mostly because I went to a predominately Dutch college for a year and didn’t care for it at all. I don’t hate the Dutch. I love the Dutch. That’s why I hold them to a higher standard. So I was willing to look past where I thought he was from, enjoy his meandering accent, watch him on a number of quickly canceled tv shows, and leave it at that. He faded out of view until being cast as Jaime on Game of Thrones where suddenly everyone else is noticing how awesome he is. ’bout time.
Skip ahead many years and I was watching a late night talk show and during the music portion Oh Land was playing and they were magnetic and I instantly knew they can’t possibly be American. Swedish maybe? Lykke Li and The Sounds are both Swedish bands I like. Could there be a Swedish Band Trifecta? I looked them up and saw they were from Denmark. That place that I seemed to go all Memento about (or Doctor Who about for that matter. Welcome to France? Err…Utah?). It had been filed under Misc Countries for a very long time. I’d tell you what else was in there if I could only remember…
A month or two ago someone pointed out a new show to me and I saw that Michelle Forbes was going to be on it. The Killing would be airing on AMC and after AMC’s triumph with The Waking Dead and already good reputation with Mad Men I thought that this might be Michelle Forbes’ hit. I loved her since Star Trek but her projects have been of a various quality and I think the only crime I had in my mind was her not having the critical success I think she warrants. /side rant. Needless to say I loved the pilot and noticed immediately that it didn’t feel American (aka, it was subtle and good). Sure enough, someone mentioned it was based on something that was popular in England recently. I did some digging and found that while the original did play on BBC4 recently it had been subtitled and was from somewhere else. A subtitled show had done well in a predominately English speaking country? Another Girl with a Dragon Tattoo scenario? My interest was peaked. I guessed it would be from Sweden. Nope. Denmark. That place again! Don’t you mean The Netherlands? *starts having her Memento moment again* What were we talking about?
I’ve been watching a lot of Korean drama and Japanese anime lately and was at the top of my game in the subtitle reading department. With TV on a short hiatus for most shows I had some extra time. Wouldn’t it be great to watch and episode of the original The Killing (originally titled Forbrydelsen which better translates into The Crime) and see what might have changed when it was brought to America? On the surface it they seemed to have made a good show out of it, but if the AMC version was good how much better could the original be? I would watch one episode a week, maybe two since the original was a little longer, and compare the two as long as my interest held.
Well, 20 episodes and little sleep later and I was in love. Sofie Gråbøl is one of the most compelling actresses I’ve come across in a long time and Sarah Lund has brought back the crime drama IMO. I am more than over the quirky crime/medical dramas we’ve seen too many of lately where characters are the sum of their “thing” rather than actual characters. Some shows do it better than others, but the shear number of them has muddied the genre so to speak. Sarah Lund and Forbrydelsen is something different. Cousin to The Wire perhaps. Whatever it was I loved it.
Wanting more Sarah Lund adventures I looked her up on IMDB and found there was a series 2 out and a series 3 in the works. So of course I immediately watched series 2. I had grown fond of that odd sounding language which was like an invisible character in the show. It is a relentless sounding language, but it grew on me and I love it. I also found she was in a movie from way back in the 1990s…that starred Nikolaj Coster-Waldau. Not only that, Nightwatch had been a critical hit but American audiences had to settle on an American remake…starring Ewan McGregor. I watched that remake back when it came out! My geographically competent sister worked at a video store back then and brought home all kinds of things to my young eyes. The movie always felt…odd. Like it once again wasn’t located in the right place and had too many echoes of somewhere else in it. Mystery solved!
Denmark, you say? I need to remember that.