TV review: Arne Dahl
- Brian Donaldson
- 6 June 2013
Too much Scandinavian TV drama kills Scandinavian TV drama?
It’s probably a sign that we’ve just been thoroughly spoilt by the raft of quality TV dramas from Scandinavia that Arne Dahl seems like a slight disappointment. It certainly had all the ingredients to be the next Killing or Bridge: a team of likeable investigators with all their flaws and frailties laid out for us; some initially baffling and unconnected crime scenes laced with gore; a lovely north European dialect (Swedish, this time) oozing a liquid class onto our subtitled screens.
But in comparison to those earlier shows, Arne Dahl’s first season of five murder investigations proves to be a slightly inferior vintage. There’s a fairly unsubtle soundtrack underpinning the action, one or two terrible performances undermine the better acting and some of the case-solving could have been done in less than half an episode. Often the crimes (featuring the nasty likes of paedophiles, serial killers, bent cops, old school Nazis, human traffickers) play second fiddle to the ruptured relationships of absolutely every member of the crack A Unit team, perhaps in realisation that there’s nothing especially original or captivating in the mysteries which unfold.