2011, TV

The Bridge aka Bron (2011)

I am reviewing the first season of Bron because I have no intention of watching future seasons. (Though I have heard the second season of the American version of The Bridge is very good so maybe if I do try the American version, I will get that far.)

The following review contains spoilers.

What starts off as an enthralling, entertaining, if unrealistic, crime thriller slowly deteriorates into a ridiculous, dumb, cliched cop movie. Though I had a few reservations initially, I must say I enjoyed the first half – probably even the first two thirds – of the first season. But the last few episodes are ridiculous, none more so than the big, dumb, stupid climax that feels ripped off some terrible Hollywood cop movie. So here we go…

Aside from the problem that the villain is entirely too organized, too resourceful, too well-planned, too smart, etc., the show has a lot going for it initially:

  • Martin is bumbling-but-clever and very endearing. He’s the show’s heart, you might say. We experience the excellence of Malmo’s police – and their super-cop, Saga – through his more humane persona.
  • Saga is a pretty wonderful creation. She is arguably more of a realistic sociopath than the current Sherlock, as she is a lot more committed, and a little less brilliant. (I’m actually not sure if she’s meant to be a sociopath, or someone with Asperger’s, or what have you.) The problem is that Saga is too entertaining, and the show never gets that right. One of the strengths of Sherlock is that, much like Conan Doyle’s original stories, they are not entirely serious – it’s entertainment. The most obvious problem with this show in the early going – aside from the super-villain at its centre – is that Saga feels like she belongs in the Swedish version of Brooklyn Nine Nine or something. She’s the comic relief of an otherwise very serious show, and sometimes it feels like they do not know how to balance the comic relief with the very serious cop drama around her. But that isn’t really the problem.

The problem, rather, is that once the super-villain accomplishes his “5 problems” things go totally off the rails. It becomes personal for Martin and, to a lesser extent, Saga, and, unbelievably, nearly everything the villain does gets less complicated, less elaborate. Everything he did at the beginning was ridiculously complicated. But once his identity is revealed – and, consequently, his motive – everything goes stereotypical cop-has-personal-relationship-with-killer mode and the whole thing just becomes unbelievably cliche. During all this Saga is shot (twice!!!) and Martin is clearly bat-shit emotional, and both of them are allowed to continue heading up the investigation because, you know, that makes sense to everyone involved.

It’s like a different crew made the last few episodes, honestly. It’s been a while since I watched something this long go off the rails so quickly. (I feel like maybe I felt this way about the end of the third season of Boardwalk Empire, but I don’t remember at this point.)

All I can say is that I was so disappointed by the ridiculous “top of a building” style ending that I pretty much instantly vowed to give up on the show.


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