And now even Wales is doing Nordic Noir

May 9th, 2014

This article is more than 10 years old.

“It’ll be bleak, complex, character-driven, gory, unflinching, harsh and money-making,” contends Wales Arts Review. 

Often referred to as Nordic Noir, series such as The Killing generally set themselves within a police procedural sub-genre typified by dark, morally complex moods of pessimism, fatalism and menace.

And now Hinterland (or Y Gwyll in native form), a Welsh-based crime thriller, is competing for a place within this previously elite group with a drama set in a coastal town plagued by inclement weather, which sets the tenor for a classic noir production. 

“It’s a case of the Welsh selling Nordic ‘noir’ back to Scandinavia,” states the Independent. 

Despite being the originators of this kind of noir, Danish channel DR snapped up the rights to the series before it was even finished. And Netflix has since followed suit and plans to show it in the States and Canada. 

There are two versions of the series (in English and in Welsh) and it is unclear which one is being screened here. That’s another mystery, albeit slightly less noir.

Also new:

If you enjoyed the buggery scene in Scum, you’ll like Her Majesty’s Prison: Aylesbury (TV2, Thu 22:40), an acclaimed reality TV show in a youth offenders’ prison. Anyone got a spare sock?

Her Majesty's Prison; TV2, Thu 22:40

And the same goes for Eastern Promises and Meet the Russians (DR3, Thu 20:30), because once you’ve started fantasising about the ‘orrible oligarchs getting killed by Viggo Mortensen’s mafia hitman, it will be hard to stop.

Roy Keane never knew, and Keane and Vieira: Best of Enemies (K6, Sun 19:55) is worth a watch, even if it is exaggerated.

Better is The Road to the NHL Winter Classic (SVT1, Wed-Thu 21:00) – as boring as most US sports are, the docs are fascinating. 

Elsewhere, we’ve got the final of Eurovision (DR1, Sat 21:00); top-notch ventriloquism on Jeff Dunham: Minding the Monsters; Britain’s Witch Children is a doc about abusive African pastors that drew the ire of various churches when it aired; there’s another chance to see Tricky Dicky get the home movie treatment in Our Nixon (DR2, Tue 21:00) and Stephen Fry talks about his zillion passions in Gadget Man (DR3, Tue 20:45) – of which misogyny must be one, given the absence of lady toys.

Coming soon:

The Red Road

Every triangle on the tattoo represents…something

Jason Momoa is a beast, the kind suited to ripping out man’s throats (Khal Drogo in Game of Thrones), so it’s no surprise to see him get this starring role as a Native American embroiled in the fallout of an accident that has left one of his tribe dead and a cop’s wife with blood on her hands.

Scoring 66 on Metacritic, many advised perserverence.“It demands patience, but from what I’ve seen, it strongly suggests that will be rewarded,” noted Newsday, which applauded Momoa’s “harrowing performance”.

Sport of the week:

EPL Final Day; K6 Sun 15:00 (Photo: Scanpix)

The Ice Hockey World Championships (SVT4, Sat 15:40) is dull. Contested every year, this time just after the Olympics, all its best players are still competing in the NHL. While the English Premier League climax and Spanish GP (TV3+, Sun 12:30) will need Man City and Lewis Hamilton to trip up to not join them.

Film of the week:

Killing them Softly; SVT2 Fri 22:45

Despite having Brad Pitt and James Gandolfini on board, 2012 crime drama Killing Them Softly failed to achieve immortality.

Sadly, the same can’t be said of the hero of the silly Green Lantern (TV2, Sun 21:00) – as much as you might will him to run out of spinach and fall to his death.

Already dead is the kid in Rabbit Hole (DRK, Sat 0=:45), and bizarrely it’s a comedy. 


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