Skip to main content

The Daily Beast: "Denmark's Leading Export: Sofie Gråbøl, Star of Forbrydelsen"

Sofie Gråbøl may not be a household name in the U.S., but around the globe she’s now legendary for her performance as Sarah Lund in the Danish television drama Forbrydelsen. At The Daily Beast, I explore Lund’s appeal and the sensational third season of the original The Killing, which premieres on BBC Four in the U.K. on Saturday.

Over at The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, "Denmark's Leading Export: Sofie Gråbøl, Star of Forbrydelsen," in which I explore both Sofie Gråbøl and Sarah Lund’s appeal and the gripping tension of Forbrydelsen III.

It is tragic that American viewers have been denied the chance to become obsessed with Forbrydelsen and with the show’s magnetic star, Sofie Gråbøl. The Danish detective drama exemplifies the power of the provocative and globally significant Nordic noir genre, and the show's lead delivers one of television's most haunting performances of the past decade. Gråbøl, 44, has achieved cult status in Britain and abroad for her embodiment of Detective Inspector Sarah Lund, the grim-faced, Faroese sweater-clad cop with a penchant for solving impossible crimes while sacrificing everything else in the process.

Forbrydelsen (literally “The Crime,” but generally translated as The Killing) was the basis for AMC’s short-lived murder-mystery series, which may or may not be resurrected thanks to an assist from Netflix. Outside the United States, however, the original is still going strong, as the enthralling third and likely final season of Forbrydelsen premieres in the United Kingdom this Saturday on BBC Four.

Previous seasons have followed Lund through a devastating sequence of hardships, both personal and professional, the result of outside forces and her own intractable nature. Season 3, which takes place several years since we last saw her, finds the detective’s career on a more solid footing. She has put her past disgrace behind her, and she radiates an unsettling sense of complacency as she prepares to leave the Copenhagen police force for a cushy desk job. “If you lose everything you invest, can you just put everything on the table again the next time?” Gråbøl recently asked in a newspaper interview. “Like most of us when we get older, we tend to think, ‘Let somebody else save the world.’”

But then a young girl is kidnapped—an act of as yet unexplained vengeance—and corpses begin piling up in a grisly (and connected) murder spree. The kidnapping harkens back to the first season, recalling the murder of teenager Nanna Birk Larsen. This time, however, the victim is still alive, and Lund is forced to confront her past mistakes. If she can find the girl and stop the gruesome killings, there’s hope of redemption—or at least amends. An investigation of byzantine complexity leads Lund through the murky waters of the Danish financial sector to the corridors of power, entangling a billionaire financier and his family, an assortment of venal civil servants, and even the Danish prime minister in a web of murder and deceit.

Gråbøl’s Lund isn’t your typical female police detective. In fact, she isn’t a typical female TV character of any kind. She wastes little effort on irrelevancies like her appearance, usually pulling on a Faroe Islands jumper—now iconic thanks to the series—day after day, rather than worrying about her outfit. “It tells of a woman who has so much confidence in herself that she doesn’t have to use her sex to get what she wants,” Gabrol said in an interview last year. “She’s herself.” The knitted sweater is Lund’s uniform, her armor against the world.

Continue reading at The Daily Beast...


Popular posts from this blog

Katie Lee Packs Her Knives: Breaking News from Bravo's "Top Chef"

The android has left the building. Or the test kitchen, anyway. Top Chef 's robotic host Katie Lee Joel, the veritable "Uptown Girl" herself (pictured at left), will NOT be sticking around for a second course of Bravo's hit culinary competition. According to a well-placed insider, Joel will "not be returning" to the show. No reason for her departure was cited. Unfortunately, the perfect replacement for Joel, Top Chef judge and professional chef Tom Colicchio, will not be taking over as the reality series' host (damn!). Instead, the show's producers are currently scouring to find a replacement for Joel. Top Chef 's second season was announced by Bravo last month, but no return date has been set for the series' ten-episode sophomore season. Stay tuned as this story develops. UPDATE (6/27): Bravo has now confirmed the above story .

BuzzFeed: "The Good Wife Is The Best Show On Television Right Now"

The CBS legal drama, now in its sixth season, continually shakes up its narrative foundations and proves itself fearless in the process. Spoilers ahead, if you’re not up to date on the show. At BuzzFeed, you can read my latest feature, " The Good Wife Is The Best Show On Television Right Now," in which I praise CBS' The Good Wife and, well, hail it as the best show currently on television. (Yes, you read that right.) There is no need to be delicate here: If you’re not watching The Good Wife, you are missing out on the best show on television. I won’t qualify that statement in the least — I’m not talking about the best show currently airing on broadcast television or outside of cable or on premium or however you want to sandbox this remarkable show. No, the legal drama is the best thing currently airing on any channel on television. That The Good Wife is this perfect in its sixth season is reason to truly celebrate. Few shows embrace complexity and risk-taking in t

BuzzFeed: Meet The TV Successor To "Serial"

HBO's stranger-than-fiction true crime documentary The Jinx   — about real estate heir Robert Durst — brings the chills and thrills missing since Serial   wrapped up its first season. Serial   obsessives: HBO's latest documentary series is exactly what you've been waiting for.   The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst , like Sarah Koenig's beloved podcast, sifts through old documents, finds new leads from fresh interviews, and seeks to determine just what happened on a fateful day in which the most foul murder was committed. And, also like  Serial  before it,  The Jinx may also hold no ultimate answer to innocence or guilt. But that seems almost beside the point; such investigations often remain murky and unclear, and guilt is not so easy a thing to be judged. Instead, this upcoming six-part tantalizing murder mystery, from director Andrew Jarecki ( Capturing the Friedmans ), is a gripping true crime story that unfolds with all of the speed of a page-turner; it