Reading the Telly

Well, blow me down, Neil Kinnock's daughter-in-law is the new prime minister of Denmark.
Helle Thorning-Schmidt is Denmark's first female pm and I do hope for the Danes' sakes that she isn't planning on emulating the British example.
Two things struck me as I read the story. One, she is, like David Cameron, younger than me and when prime ministers start getting younger than oneself it's time to face the fact that middle age is knocking on your door.
And, two, she doesn't seem to be wearing a faroese jumper.
My recent experience of Danish females is that they wear faroese jumpers. For twenty days at a time.
I'm talking about this.

The Killing, Danish crime drama shown on BBC4.
The jumper-wearing woman above is Sarah Lund the detective who leads the investigation into the murder of 19 year old Nanna Birk Larsen. She wears that jumper all the way through the series. I think it must be the source of her crime solving powers as she pursues suspect after suspect through Copenhagen.
 I missed The Killing when it was first shown earlier this year and I cursed myself because I do love a bit of Scandicrime, a bit of Nordic Noir. I adore the Swedish Wallander and think Krister Henriksson is just wonderful in the role, better than Kenneth Branagh although he is good too.
 Last night the rerun of The Killing concluded. Charlie and I have been mesmerised by it. That Charlie watched something from 10 till 11 every evening for four weeks (except Fridays and Saturdays when it wasn't on) without falling asleep once is a measure of how gripping this drama is. He's usually in bed by 10.30 and has little patience with TV you have to read. 
At the end of each episode you are sure you know who the murderer is. Ten minutes into the next episode and you know you were completely wrong. The twisting, turning plot is kept up right until the end.
The acting is superb, particularly the two actors plating the victim's parents, Pernille and Theis.
 I annoyed Charlie by continually repeating my suspicion that one of the actors- Lars Mikkelson must surely be the brother of Mads Mikkelson, 'You know, Le Chiffre in Casino Royale, yes, you do know who I mean. No, I'm not saying it just because he's Danish. No, I do not think all Danes look alike. Look at his cheekbones, they're just like Mads'. Oh damn, what did that just say?'
I was right.

The cast of Engrenages, Spiral in English

Now it has finished I am consoling myself with Spiral also on BBC4. This time the crime is in French.
My French is infinitely better then my Danish or Swedish, although I have picked up a few words in those languages. Well, alright, I can say one word- 'tak', which means thanks in both Danish and Swedish -which is handy. Despite being reasonably competent when reading French I'm completely lost with the high speed Parisian French employed in Spiral. I get a few swearwords now and then but other than that it's incomprehensible. Spiral is a classy, well-paced drama which explores the way the police, judiciary and criminals are interlocked. Je l'aime.

And, for when we're tired of reading the telly, joy of joys, there is a new series of Spooks beginning this Sunday on BBC1. The final one sadly. If Harry and Ruth don't get it together then there's no justice in the world French, Danish or otherwise.


Ruth/Harry 9.1
'Marry me Ruth'
Marry him for goodness sake!


  1. I can see I am going to have to remedy this. I am VERY behind on my tele watching. I loved Wallander and from the sounds of it would love The Killing, missed Spooks too, signs of a mis - spent middle age.

  2. Sue if you ever fancy improving your Swedish let me know! (have a house there) I so agree with you about Wallander- Swedish version infinitely better. Treated myself to a day in Ystad this summer to soak up the Wallander vibe, next year Copenhagen for a "Killing-fest" (not literally!)And Dragon Tattoo? don't get me started on the USA version-pants. Roll on Spooks yay!

  3. When I heard that on the news I became confused as I thought I'd heard about Neil Kinnock's DAUGHTER and wondered how in heck she could be PM of Denmark!

  4. The Killing's been absolutely gripping, hasn't it?! I've kept up with it each day too and have been so enthralled that I actually forgot I was reading subtitles. I've also been watching the US version which is a pale shadow of the original. Apparently there will be a second series starting soon - can't wait!

  5. I loved Wallander too but didn't catch The Killing.
    Sad that this is the last series of Spooks. Yes, marry him Ruth!
    Carol xx

  6. Lucky you! Often we get the British shows, but sometimes years later! Could the show that you call "Spooks" be called "MI5" in the US? Those are the same actors...
    I love your blog by the way! Good idea for putting the comment note above...I finally figured that out, but now I have my own blog!

  7. Yes, Kay, Spooks is called MI5 in the US.

  8. I am already in mourning for the loss of Spooks........

  9. Love MI5 over here in the US. Yes, Harry and Ruth—get it together! I've streamed all of them via Netflix.

  10. I will have to look into these shows here in the US. With so much to choose from, we find it hard to find good shows.


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