We’ve been running across many Nordic series lately. The plot, acting and production of some of these series are quite outstanding. There is even a special word for Scandinavian crime fiction genre: Scandi-noir/Nordic noir. We have compiled twenty popular Scandinavian series that we love watching.
“Skam” is a Norwegian teen drama which has become one of the most popular shows discussed passionately online with a growing fanbase. It takes place at Hartvig Nissen High School in Frogner, west Oslo and tells the stories of students’ lives. It airs on NRK3 and also can also be watched on official websites. A global hit, Skam is to be adapted for the US audience soon.
A co-production of Netflix and Norwegian NRK1, Lilyhammer is about Frank Tagliano, an American ex-gang member, after he was sent to Norway under a witness protection program and his experiences there.
Kampen om tungtvannet (The Heavy Water)
Kampen om tungtvannet is one of the Norwegian series with the highest rating and tells one of the lesser-known stories of the WWII. The sabotage of building a nuclear bomb in Norway by the Nazis is conveyed through the perspectives of the Allies, the saboteurs, the company who is building the bomb, and the Nazis.
Nobel, seen by various critics as one of the best foreign series of 2016, is about a Norwegian soldier coming back home from his deployment in Afghanistan. With an intriguing story and captivating shots, Nobel shows us the true price of peace.
Set in the near future, the series kicks off with Norway’s decision to halt fossil fuel production as a result of environmental policies of the Norwegian Green Party. After European Union disapproves this decision, Russia occupies Norway. The series has drawn quite a lot of attention due its original subject matter, with just its first season.
Unlike other police procedural shoes, the series about an assassination of a journalist focuses on the pressure on Detective Beck to solve the case, and doesn’t relies on a whodunit structure.
The career and family relations of a journalist who has uncovered the corruption scandal of a big multinational company turn into shambles. This series following the journalist’s life and the mysterious events that he is involved in has gained currency recently.
The series, which opens with successful businessman Aksel Borgen returning back to the town where he was born after his living in Asia for a long time, lays out his acquittal for murder when he was in high school and resurfacing of this incident decades later.
This series set in East Iceland starts with Hjörtur and his girlfriend Dagný’s journey. Keeping the focus on Hjörtur, who got lost after the fire at an abandoned plant, Trapped is Iceland’s most famous TV series.
Based in an Arctic town where no violent crime has ever committed, Fortitude opens with the murder of a scientist. Making a big splash in Edinburgh’s international Fright Fest, the series already started its second season with even a bigger cast. Dennis Quaid, Robert Sheehan (Misfits), Parminder Nagra (ER and The Blacklist), Edvin Endre (Vikings and Eddie the Eagle) and Michelle Fairley of Game of Thrones fame all star in Fortitude.
Forbrydelsen (The Killing)
Following homicide detective Sarah Lund face to face with one of the hardest cases of her career with a murder involving politicians in the first season, the series continues with a different case each of its three seasons. Regarded as one of the best Danish TV shows, Forbrydelsen is a must-see for crime fiction lovers. The series was also adapted as a Turkish TV show called Cinayet (Murder).
Borgen, which literally means “the castle” in Danish, is considered to be one of the most successful Danish TV productions. The series tells the story of Birgitte Nyborg, the first female Prime Minister of Denmark, the campaign process, her efforts to form a government, her family relations, and the Cabinet.
Bron | Broen (The Bridge)
The series, commencing after a female body is found in the middle of the Øresund Bridge connecting Sweden and Denmark, tells a series of crimes while also tackling social issues of our days. Known as one of the most famous Scandinavian series, it was also adapted in the US which takes place on their Mexican border.
Arvingerne (The Legacy)
The series focusing on a family’s tragedy after the emergence of their secrets following the death of their mother catches our attention especially with its cast.
Written by Norwegian novelist Anne Holt, famous for her best-seller Vik/Stubø, Modus sets forth a completely different aspect of criminal psychology and a sequence of events. Famous actors Melinda Kinnaman (Johanne Vik) from Bron Broen, Henrik Norlén (Nyman) and Marek Oravec (Richard Forrester) star in this series.
The series is following the unconventional detective Kurt Wallander with an unstable life, adapted from Henning Mankell’s homonymous crime fiction novels. While there is also a BBC adaption of this series, the Swedish original is a must-watch.
This series with international success tells the story of a detective returning to her hometown laced with horrible memories for the current case she is working on, only the find out that it has connections with her own daughter’s disappearance.
Midnattssol (Midnight Sun)
Set in one of the northernmost towns of Sweden, focuses on a French homicide detective investigating the murder of a fellow citizen.
Welcome To Sweden
Narrating the social and cultural struggles of an American after moving to Stockholm to live with his Swedish girlfriend in a fun and entertaining way, Welcome to Sweden is perfect for people who want to get a glimpse of everyday life in Sweden.
The series inspired by the Scandinavian crime fiction is actually about a Swedish detective called John River working in London. What sets this series apart from its counterparts is that the protagonist can communicate with the dead.
Vikings, one of the first TV series to come to mind when you think of Nordic productions, is actually created by the American History Channel as a Canadian-Irish co-production. This first original series of the channel is a historical drama about Ragnar Lothbrok, the Viking hero who challenged a short-sighted leader to expand his clan’s area of influence.