You may not know, but Netflix has started to really up their game when it comes to Nordic TV shows which is very exciting. We have seen the start of this with Young Wallander – an English version of a Swedish show – but there have been some increasingly better series on offer on the platform.
Snabba Cash is the most recent Netflix production and it has been an enormous hit and we really loved it. So we thought we would share our top five favourite shows that you can currently find on there, plus a little insight and news on what is due to come to Netflix in the near future!
1. Snabba Cash
Whether you have heard of the Snabba Cash trilogy or not, you can go into this show without having seen the films as it is really a reboot of them with a fresh and modern take. When we say fresh and modern, we really mean it. The intro is probably one the catchiest and stylistic we have seen in some time, with some aggressive Swedish rap as the theme song – the minute that hit we were sold. Six easily binge-able episodes later and we are left wanting more!
The show is best described as a brutal take on the drug world and how it can affect the people around it in different ways and different paths in their lives. From nihilistic tech entrepreneurs to young drug dealers on the streets. It is pulsatingly intense and violent, at times funny, and the acting is absolutely fantastic!
This one has been around a little while but if you haven’t discovered it yet you really should! A Danish thriller which has a seriously great cast – you have the likes of Dar Salim, Danica Circuc, Lars Ranthe (Another Round), Soren Malling (Borgen, The Killing, The Investigation), and also Marcus Also (Vikings).
The story centres on Dar Salim going undercover with a biker gang who are causing major problems on the streets. The lines get blurred and with a story focused on Dar Salim’s past we are left trying to figure whether he really is good or bad?
Lars Ranthe really steals the show here as the scar faced psychopathic leader of the biker gang – there is plenty of action and tense sequences all well played out in an easy six episodes. This really was a gem to find and comes highly recommended!
3. Love & Anarchy
For something a little bit more light-hearted then look no further than Love & Anarchy. Released at the end of last year this series was definitely a breath of fresh air from your usual police procedural drama. Here we found Ida Engvoll’s highly strung career driven consultant Sofie entering a flirtatious game with young IT support guy Max (played brilliantly by Björn Mosten).
As you might imagine things escalate over the perfectly paced 8 episodes (around 30 minutes per episode making it dangerously easy to finish rather quickly). The show is funny but also moving and there is an exceptionally fantastic support cast that includes Caliphate‘s Gizam Erdogan, Rein Brynolfsson, and Carla Sehn.
If you need a pick-me-up and something fun with a fair bit of nudity thrown in, then this should definitely be your next fix! We call it a new genre of Nordic Nude!
4. The Valhalla Murders
Briefly over on BBC Four the Icelandic drama soon found itself over on Netflix, so if you missed the opportunity to see the crime series there you know where to find it now! It has been a while since we had a great Icelandic crime series (really since Trapped), so it was great to get back into that harsh landscape and twisting stories in the excellent Valhalla Murders.
The series follows two detectives as they trace a serial killer dispatching off a number of innocent people in a particularly grisly method – but are they innocent? And who really is behind all of it? The series will keep you guessing and for us we have to applaud the excellent Björn Thors who really steals the show as detective Arnar.
The series seemed to be a bit hit and miss with some Nordic Noir fans but we think it best to judge for yourselves as we were pleasantly surprised and would love to see another series potentially pairing the two detectives together again.
This show really took us by surprise – and it is no wonder that there is a second season on the way to Netflix very soon. The show, though certainly directed at a YA (young adult) audience, is still really good fun with a brilliant soundtrack, fantastic (and gorgeous) cast, and stunning backdrop of the Norway’s beautiful landscape.
The story is a modern take on the Norwegian gods, all played out in a tiny Norwegian town nestled beside the beautiful fjords and surrounded by the mountains. It is a fun and inventive take on it and aiming it at a younger adult audience allows itself to be both comical at times but also some dramatic edge to it too. Expect some blood and gore to be present but subtle.
The young cast are all fantastic and in particular young Mange (played by David Stakston) who is the new face in town discovering that he has some pretty special powers!
Season 2 of the series should be premiering on Netflix on the 27th May! We can’t wait!
What can we expect next?
We got some details of a couple of upcoming Netflix-produced Nordic TV series – prepare to get very excited and these are just the beginning!
Katla (RVK Studios, Iceland)
Katla will be making its premier in June 2021 – so hopefully not too long. We have been incredibly excited about this one – the cast alone is something to get hyped about (Aliette Ophiem, Ingvar Sigurdsson, and Þorsteinn Bachmann to name just a few) but also the series will have four episodes directed by brilliant director Baltasar Kormákur who is also onboard producing the series.
All we know about the series is what IMDB says – a year after the eruption of Iceland’s volcano Katla, the tranquility of a small town in Vik is disrupted. With this series filmed in Iceland we can’t wait to see how its beautiful backdrop will play a part in this story.
The Chestnut Man (SAM Productions, Denmark)
Its official release is to be determined however we know that it is due in 2021 and at the speed the year has been going that shouldn’t be too long to wait!
Most Nordic Noir book fans will know exactly what they are getting but those unaware of the book better get ready for an extremely dark thriller which has been adapted from Søren Sveistrup’s famous novel.
The plot focuses on two detectives on the hunt for a sadistic killer who likes to leave chestnut men as his calling card at the scenes of the grisly crimes.
Danica Curcic will play lead detective in the case with fellow Dane Mikkel Boe Følsgaard – this is Danica’s third appearance in a Netflix show (if you want something completely different check out Equinox which is currently available) and with most Danish shows a fair few familiar faces will appear no doubt!
If you can’t wait for the show to be released and haven’t read the book – then get reading as it truly is a classic! Lets hope its adaptation can be pulled off!
Feature by Alex Minnis / Photo Credits: Netflix