Scandinavian TV shows have always had a particular aesthetic, different from e.g. German shows, not to mention French or British TV shows.Don’t ask me why that is, according to my girlfriend, very talented photographer, it’s the way they frame and film the scenes, but I think there’s a cultural emotional subduableness, subtlety, and design aesthetic, not to mention very good story telling that makes Scandinavian TV shows special. In this piece, I’ll shortly go through some shows worth watching.

The Killing

I think that this show is easily the second most famous one (after Millennium) coming out of Scandinavia. A strong female character, to the point that she doesn’t work well with people, silent and determined to solve the different crime that each season is centred around. The 1st season is obviously the best one, the middle seasons feel like filler to me, but the show ends with a bang. Could not stop watching, it lead to plenty of woollen sweaters around the house as well. Don’t watch the US remake, watch this!

The Bridge

Comes in part out of the team responsible for The Killing. Another strong, but sincerely messed up female protagonist, from Sweden this time (The Killing is Danish), teaming up with a Danish policeman to solve a crime that happened exactly on the intersecting bridge between Sweden & Denmark. Most entertaining is the interplay, the psychological derangement of the female character, the way it is shot (less dark than The Killing). The story itself was not as good as The Killing, but still pretty exciting. Don’t know about the US remake, but this one is worth a watch!


Completely different show, a drama with another strong female protagonist (!). This time the focus is a politician’s rise to power and challenges in balancing being a prime minister with being a mother and a wife. Very relevant topic to today’s society, but also compelling to watch. Looking forward to the new season if/when it comes out.

The Ones Who Kill

New show that I started watching, playing in Denmark, another (disturbed) female protagonist who partners up with a profiler to solve pretty gruesome crimes. It’s well-filmed, but sometimes a bit too graphic for my taste. 


Millennium: infamous book and movie trilogy. I liked the Scandinavian film version of it, though this kind of story is better told across a season, rather than 3 movies.

Let The Right One In: thriller about vampires, great movie, more atmospheric than bloody. Liked it a lot.

Insomnia (1997 version): psychological thriller about chasing a killer during the 24 hour daylight that haunts some Scandinavian countries during mid-summer. Very haunting and effective.