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...

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

What's Done is Done: The Eternal Struggle Between Good and Evil on the Season Finale of "Lost"

Every story begins with thread. It's up to the storyteller to determine just how much they need to parcel out, what pattern they're making, and when to cut it short and tie it off. With last night's penultimate season finale of Lost ("The Incident, Parts One and Two"), written by Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse, we began to see the pattern that Lindelof and Cuse have been designing towards the last five seasons of this serpentine series. And it was only fitting that the two-hour finale, which pushes us on the road to the final season of Lost , should begin with thread, a loom, and a tapestry. Would Jack follow through on his plan to detonate the island and therefore reset their lives aboard Oceanic Flight 815 ? Why did Locke want to kill Jacob? What caused The Incident? What was in the box and just what lies in the shadow of the statue? We got the answers to these in a two-hour season finale that didn't quite pack the same emotional wallop of previous seas

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 .

Me Want Food: Jenna Gets Famously Fat on "30 Rock"

I don't know about you, but I've already ordered my "Me Want Food" t-shirt from the NBC store. Last night's episode of 30 Rock ("Jack Gets in the Game") was, in my opinion, one of the strongest of the series and has officially pushed the zany comedy into the realm of Arrested Development : deftly plotted and intricately layered, with so many jokes piled atop of jokes that it requires several viewings in order to catch them all. While at its heart, 30 Rock is a workplace comedy, it's left that narrow pigeonhole behind to become a witty example of how intelligent and taut humor can work (and flourish) on television... and exist in harmony with hilarious throwaways like the Thriller -inspired Werewolf Bar Mitzvah music video that would have done the AD crew proud. I want Will Arnett to appear on this series whenever possible. His gay exec Devin is hilarious, manipulative, and has an inexplicable weakness for Kenneth the Page, but he claims to have