About 5 years after my Dad recommended a tv show I’m getting round to watching it. Wallander, the BBC version, is as good as the Swedish version. The two beasts aren’t that similar but I feel they both have quite a bit of charm. I watched the original Wallander series in Swedish with subtitles an age ago, I liked it. Unlike the formulaic typical cop shows that I have talked about before, these tend to be a) more in-depth and self-contained and b) a lot better at using character to drive the narrative as opposed to ‘splosions. Not that I have anything against asplosions, but let’s put it this way, I don’t appreciate Michael Bay films.
The thing about the BBC Wallander is this: it is well written, interesting, dynamic, tragic, hopeful, but it has one fatal flaw.
KENNETH BRANAGH AIN’T GOT LIPS!!!!!
Great actor/ check- Good dialogue/check- Interesting perms on 80% of cast members: check and double check
Upper lip for Ken: ERROR 404 LIP NOT FOUND
I know it’s no big deal, at first. However after the 2 episode I started to get concerned, is his stubble eating his face? Was there a Royal Shakespeare Company accident in which his upper lip was lost in a fight to the death over the Bard? Good God man, what happened, has it always been so small? I’ve never noticed it before, well time to crack out the Shakespeare and pay attention to everyone’s lips!
I guess what I’m doing right now is promoting Wallander, and simultaneously insuring that the only thing you remember after watching this great show is that Ken Branagh is missing some face. OH WELL OOPSIE DAISY!
That aside it’s well worth watching, the characters are well fleshed out, even if given little to no screen time. The bleakness of the BBC version is contrasted with the poetic and mostly hope imbued majestic dialogue between Wallander and others.
The Swedish Wallander is a different animal, yes you could call it bleak, but it’ s not that simple, it’s more plain, less self aware. Being the original this makes a lot of sense. The acting is decent although once in a while is a little hammy, but they get away with it, possibly because I was concentrating on the subtitles, possibly because suspension of belief is part and parcel with tv.
Either way go watch one or both of these, and if you feel strong, watch the original series of The Killing (Forbrydelsen) an excellent Danish show, just remember that not everyone gets away with knitwear that cool- you’ll see what I mean.