I guess it’s becoming evident that I watch a lot of Scandinavian television. The Bridge (or Bron/Broen as it’s know in Scandinavia, meaning “bridge” in Swedish and Danish) follows a long murder investigation launched when a body—or, as it turns out, parts of two bodies assembled as one—is found in the middle of the Øresund Bridge that links Sweden and Denmark. In fact, the bisected body parts are carefully placed either side of the exact boundary between the two countries. Two detectives, one Swedish and one Danish, take the lead in the investigation. What follows is, among other things, an extended tour of Copenhagen and Malmö.
If you can ignore the increasingly common trope of the sexually attractive, socially and psychologically impaired, and intellectually brilliant female sleuth teamed up with a crusty male sidekick (Girl with a Dragon Tattoo, The Killing, Homeland), you might find the show’s setting and narrative arc interesting.
I’m only concentrating on exteriors and interiors because this is after all a design blog and for any designer it’s hard to ignore the architecture, urban planning and interiors in Bron/Broen. It’s also enjoyable to see the sheer amount of IKEA involved; I have those water glasses. Do Danish detectives have better design sense than North American detectives do? Well, obviously.
It’s notable that there are only eight high-rise towers in all of Scandinavia, and most of them not very tall. There are only two in Sweden—one in Stockholm and the one in Malmö. Featured repeatedly in The Bridge, it’s Santiago Calatrava’s white Turning Torso. It’s Scandinavia, so it’s quality without quantity; the opposite of what we do in Vancouver.
Kim Bodnia as Danish detective Martin Rohde in his house, with son.
Sofia Helin as Saga Norén, Swedish detective from Malmö, Sweden, in Martin Rohde’s house in Copenhagen