This is an unusual police procedural TV show, set in a small town in Iceland, and bearing lots of thematic similarities to Fortitude, a show which is more unique and original, if not superior.
This is an oddly paced show, which is overly plotted – there is way too damn much going on and it’s hard to keep track just exactly who is who, given that some characters disappear for episodes at a time. (It doesn’t help that I am awful with Icelandic names.)
I quite like the reveals: they are so run-of-the-mill, so ordinary, so mundane, that they fly in the face of most of the other police shows out there. This is the show’s strength in my mind – the mystery is a realistic one, that could actually be faced by actual police officers somewhere on the globe.
The problem is that it takes a while to get there; the 10 hours feel long and there’s too much time spent with interpersonal relationships, and some of the actions of the police in the climactic episode are bizarre. (The GF was losing her mind in terms of their prioritizing.)
But, on the whole, this is really worth your time, almost for how traditional the conspiracy is. And the cast is excellent, even if the story itself is stretched too thin.
So we finished season to in December of 2021.
Supposedly set in the same town, it often looks nothing like it. (Apparently the series is filmed in two different Icelandic towns which explains in part why it doesn’t always look like the same place.)
The second season is both similar to and quite different from the first. The show remains mostly grounded in reality, in a way that so many similar shows are not. That remains the strength of the show, it’s relative believability. Much like the first season, it takes a little while to get going. And the ending is wrapped up in a bit of a bow, which feels less realistic.
But most of the things that were good about the first season remain. And the show still is compelling enough, even if it does take a while to get going each season.
We have some minor nitpicks, once again, but, honestly, the show is watchable and doesn’t make me angry. Given the sheer number of “prestige” shows I’ve watched lately that make me angry, that means something to me.
The third and final season is the shortest and probably the messiest. It made me downgrade my overall rating by one point. One issue with adding backstory in the third season is that it doesn’t make a lot of sense, given there was nothing about it in the first two seasons. But that’s a minor quibble.
This feels a bit like a different show. It’s clear that people have been paying attention to the changing attitudes towards police and the climactic episodes of this season are an attempt to reckon with it. I think it’s a bit of a clunky one, given how Andri’s redemption comes immediately after he’s been suspended and he and Trausti have fucked everything up. The competent women clear everything up and then he still gets to (mostly) be the hero. It feels a little false.
But I had issues with the whole story of the season before that drastic twist. I can’t remember the other seasons any more (we watched this in January 2023)_ but I do feel like the plot had more holes, even with fewer episodes.
But, again, it’s still watchable. It’s still better than a lot of other cop shows. It feels more realistic, both in the cops being so human and the cases being so smalltime. I don’t regret watching it. I do think it could have just ended after the first season and it would have been fine.