My love affair with Canadian TV has now extended to Danish TV. Everyone has heard of The Killing which ranks among my all time favourite shows. You can read my reviews here and here (hanging out for season 3!).
Recently, another Danish show that’s just come to my attention is The Protectors. I’m nearly finished series two and it’s just getting better and better. I love the way the Danish screenwriters create dialogue – such a happy lack of cliche! Often times characters don’t reply to each other in conversation, or if they do, it’s so awkward that it seems completely realistic. Less is often more and this show is a perfect example.
For those who’ve never heard of the series, here is the premise:
In today’s violent world, the lives of many politicians, industrialists, heads of state and other VIPs are often endangered. To counteract these threats, the Danish Intelligence Bureau established the elite Personal Protection Unit – a force of competent, quick-thinking and dedicated bodyguards. This Emmy award winning Danish crime series centres around the lives and missions of these specialists, the people they protect and their enemies.
As each episode is fairly plot heavy, it takes until the second series for the characters in the PET protection unit to fully develop. This is the pay-off that attracts me to television over film; the reward for an investment. I’m particularly enjoying the often volatile camaraderie between the three main bodyguards, Jasmina, Rasmus and Jonas. Having graduated through a tough selection process together, they maintain a sibling-like rivalry and a bond that is as close as family.
The stories are what you would expect; misbehaving politicians, international espionage, terrorism. The tone of the show is unpretentious and almost as gritty as The Killing (though it lacks The Killing’s unparalleled slow intensity and creepiness). It spends a fait bit of time exploring racism and gives a clear view into the racial tensions in Northern Europe. I’ve slowly accustomed to the Danish language and I’m starting to pick up nuances that the translation ignores – another enjoyable part of the experience.
It’s very hard to go back to normal TV fodder after watching Danish TV.