It probably won’t surprise you to learn that a new Guardian list entitled ‘The 100 best TV shows of the 21st century’ is made up of 96 Anglophone shows, leaving room for just four foreign-language productions.
But blow me down if two and a half of them aren’t Danish – if we’d ever needed proof that Britain’s most high-profile left-wing newspaper loves this country (more than its own), this is it!
Written by a ‘Twin Peaks’ fan
It’s two and a half because one of the series is the Swedish-Danish collaboration ‘Bron’/‘Broen’ (‘The Bridge’) in 45th place.
Twenty-three places further up the ladder is the slow-burner ‘Forbrydelsen’ (‘The Killing’) at number 22, with political intrigue series ‘Borgen’ back in 67th.
Søren Sveistrup, the chief screenwriter on ‘Forbrydelsen’, told DR he was happy with the result, taking the opportunity to pay homage to his all-time favourite, ‘Twin Peaks’, the grandfather of slow-burning series, of which the divisive third season somehow managed to make the rankings in 22nd place.
‘The Sopranos’, ‘The Wire’, ‘Mad Men’, ‘The Thick of It’ and ‘Breaking Bad’ took the top five places.
Hans Abrahamsen is number one
The Guardian has also been compiling other cultural top 100s, including best music album (‘Back to Black’ by Amy Winehouse) and best music composition – and blow us all down again, but it’s only been won by a Dane.
‘Let Me Tell You’, a 2013 song written by Lyngby-based composer Hans Abrahamsen, was inspired by the character of Ophelia in ‘Hamlet’ and to this date Canadian soprano Barbara Hannigan is the only performer to have ever sung it.
“The vocals are surprisingly well written. It’s hard to believe that this was Abrahamsen’s first large-scale song-work,” reasoned the newspaper, which also praised the 66-year-old’s 2008 work ‘Schnee’ as another song that could have topped the list.