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Wallander – tv review – minor spoilers

You know, I haven’t reviewed tv shows really and that’s kinda weird, now that I think about it since I’m trying to get into tv writing. I’ve decided to change that on a semi-regular basis.

The first victim show is Wallander since I doubt many of you have heard of it, let alone seen it. This show was originally done in Sweden and is based off a Swedish mystery series that revolves around the title character, Kurt Wallander. The version that I saw was done by the BBC and Kenneth Branagh not only headlines, but he’s an EP, too (one of many for the series). There are three seasons so far with a fourth planned and/or being filmed. Supposedly, that will be the last one but I’m thinking they’ll probably go for a fifth, depending on what Branagh has going on.

On the whole, I like this show. It’s not what one would call action packed, though there are some tense moments and a few car chases.

It’s the characters that make this world go ’round, imo, and of course, Wallander himself drives the action. Although for a lead in a detective series, I will say that it’s a bit odd how often the action drives him. Wallander is definitely in touch with his feelings, which makes for a nice change, but (and this is probably my rampant American pov speaking) the crying happens an awful lot. He’s a sensitive man, no doubt about it. The acting all around is really great, from the leads to the recurring to the victim/bad guy of the episode. I have to give a special shout out to David Warner, who plays Kurt’s dad. He does an outstanding job with a tough role. And for those who don’t know, Tom Hiddleston is a regular in the first two seasons; it took me 2 actual episodes to figure out who he was, which still cracks me up.

One thing that bothered me about this show was the actual camera work. They use a blurred lens (don’t you love the technical terms around here? ;o)) for the first two seasons on the shots where Kurt’s being all introspective (and some just for the scenery) that gave me a literal headache. I was glad to eventually see that go away. Either the character’s introspective or not; the camera shouldn’t be the obvious means to show that, imo.

As for the stories themselves… they were pretty original and I definitely enjoyed them. The whole “two unrelated things becoming related later on” gets a little old, but doesn’t really detract from the show. I probably noticed it more because I’m a writer than because it’s truly a blatant vehicle.

You can see all three seasons on netflix and/or dvd right now. I do recommend this if you’re looking for a nice, smooth show with good characters and interesting stories. Enjoy!

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About Nancy M. Griffis

Author and screenwriter who loves scifi/action/adventure/urban fantasy genres. I have two published novels, Mind Games and Eternal Investigations, as well as a short story published for charity called "Home Fires Burning." All are available through amazon.com and barnesandnobles.com.

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