Scandinavian crime in British pop culture

If one is wondering whether Scandinavian crime fiction gets any exposure in Britain, one only needs to consider the references to Scandinavian crime in current British tv-comedy. I have just seen the opening of The One Lenny Henry (BBC1) in which two Swedish-speaking police officers on a crime scene are concerned that they have been sent Lenny Henry to help out with the investigation despite it being a morose Scandinavian detective drama – and Lenny, it is implied, is far from known as morose, or Swedish. Over Christmas the Absolutely Fabulous reunion featured a cameo by Sofie Gråbøl as Sarah Lund in a dream sequence where Edina is pretending to speak Danish to Lund – fabulous indeed. Though, I have no idea what this says about the international reception of Scandinavian crime fiction.



Filed under tv crime

2 responses to “Scandinavian crime in British pop culture

  1. Dear Jakob.

    It’s an entertaining subject, the Brit reception I mean, In Denmark, or at least in my social circle, we find it rather curious and very amusing. I suppose the Scandi noir wave in Britain must be just about over by now, though.Right? The noir style certainly feels rather trite in Denmark. DR (Danish Beep) has been milking it like a promiscuous cow for quite a while now 🙂

    I’ve seen both Lenny’s and Saunders’ bits, which I liked immensely, and they make me suspect that the Brits themselves muse at the popularity of a perpetually overcast and freezing Copenhagen as barren as Saga Norén’s emotional pallet and as defiantly (un)stylish as Sarah Lund’s Icelandic sweater.

    If you write anything further on your views on the noir fad, I’ll be sure to read it.

    I’ve just realised, I’m likely writing to a Dane making all the casual exposition rather pointless. Silly old me.

    Cold, dispassionate Danish mind hugs

  2. I think it might be more about the fact that the BBC has just realised that, actually, a mainstream audience can read subtitles. Who knew?

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