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Arne Dahl - Swedish MRE propaganda?

(9 Posts)
BubblesOfBliss Mon 20-May-13 16:44:07

I'd guess the popularity of Scandinavian crime dramas (Wallander, The Killing, The Bridge, 'The Girl Who' trilogy, etc) has been mainly down to the depth of the characters, detailed mundane realism, great script-writing, and non-patronising portrayal of women and social issues. Unfortunately Arne Dahl bucks this trend and appears to be a propaganda exercise for an embittered MRE.

What I've noticed:
1) Glorification of male violence - characters who made it to the A team seem to violently overstep professional boundaries. Paul Hjelm shot a refugee, Jorge Chavez beat up a suspect.
2) Apology for male violence- Gunnar Nyberg draws a lot of pathos for estrangement from his kids since beating up his ex wife when he used to take steroids. A great deal of attention goes to his reformed character - his church-going and choir singing are often referenced.
3) Unaware misogyny - When Gunnar plucks up the courage to contact his kids - he starts with his daughter, its no big deal - he calls her, but she is suspicious of him- she doesn't go all gushing. For some reason the thought of contacting his precious son causes him so much more anguish and turmoil - and us, the viewers are presumed to know exactly why contacting ones estranged son would be more of a big deal than contacting the estranged daughter. When he does pop in to see his son, he discovers not only that his son isn't frosty like his daughter, but he is so loyal and forgiving he called his own son Gunnar.. Gush, gush, gush... Also the unrealistic and unconvincing relationship between the only woman selected for the team Kerstin Holm and an old priest with leukaemia, nothing about their attraction to one-another is explained or portrayed so she is reduced to a symbolic 'good woman' without any complexity as a human being (perhaps the writer is an old priest who likes the idea of getting his hands on a young policewoman? wink )
4) Overt misogyny - hatred of women's reproductive systems. Viggo's unrealistic story is where his one-night stand with a woman who deliberately became pregnant leads to her unrealistically present the new-born to him, then dashes his hopes by saying she wants him to have no part in raising his daughter. Chavez's implied 'unreasonable/crazy/demanding' girlfriend has spoilt his opportunity for a great relationship with someone new by announcing she is pregnant. Ahh - poor Chavez eh? Also there's Paul Hjelm's wife who discourages him from following his instincts as a dad which is presented as the reason the son goes off the rails... until Paul violently beats the living crap out of the one who has supposedly led the son astray in front of him, which brings the boy cosily back into the fold again.

More shit things about it is some squirmingly bad script-writing, America-worshipping crap that deviates from the high quality local Scandinavian portrayals in the other dramas, and the reliance on attention-grabbing gore.

Has anyone else noticed this?

BubblesOfBliss Mon 20-May-13 16:55:47

Just had a thought - there's also racism going on- a 'disposable or threatening' foreigners theme- the shooting of the refugee holding people hostage as mentioned which gets swept under the carpet - that wouldn't happen in Wallander! And the fact that the people who are illegal immigrants turn out to be al qaeda..

Bigoted right wing arse-wipery. sad

DioneTheDiabolist Mon 20-May-13 16:58:06

Maybe you shouldn't watch it again.

BubblesOfBliss Mon 20-May-13 17:09:19

Maybe you shouldn't watch it again.

Erm.... I wasn't asking for advice thanks

Salbertina Mon 20-May-13 17:13:37

Well i don't know about propaganda but agree that its misogynistic and (gratuitously) violent. Nothing like as good as The Bridge.

BasilBabyEater Mon 20-May-13 19:22:01

I watched the first couple of episodes and somehow didn't get round to watching the others, partly because I didn't think it was worth the time - I realised that if this wasn't happening in a Nordic language, I wouldn't be watching it. grin It struck me that it simply wasn't as interesting or entertaining as either The Bridge or Borgen. Roll on a new programme in the nordic saturday night slot.

BubblesOfBliss Mon 20-May-13 20:08:48

Roll on a new programme in the nordic saturday night slot.

I agree... but I do like a whodunnit and there's not much else going on at the moment. Now I've started playing MRE bingo with it, I'm interested to know if they'll do a 'false rape accusation' sub-plot next..

UptoapointLordCopper Mon 20-May-13 20:17:33

I think I agree with most of what you said bubbles. I was especially unimpressed with Chavez. But he may get his comeuppance at some point. And Paul Hjelm's beating up people in front of his son. But I missed all that about Gunnar. That would teach me to try to do something else when watching a programme with subtitles ...

(As an aside - I thought the illegal immigrants who were supposed to be al qaeda turned out to be human rights activists and the A unit didn't hand them over to the Americans. )

On the plus side, it does have an older woman as a competent leader, which you don't see very often. (Do you? Don't watch that much telly, so may be wrong.)

But strangely what stayed with me most was when in Borgen the reporter (can't remember her name) was told by her boss that he hoped she doesn't become pregnant too soon. I was like shock.

Mitchy1nge Mon 20-May-13 21:05:48


perhaps that explains why I get bored and start masturbating partway through, never happened with the killing or the bridge

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