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Scandinavian detective dramas come to the U.S. on DVD

Kenneth Turan's DVD pick of the week

April 11, 2013|By Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times Film Critic

A smart company called MHz Networks has come up with the shrewd idea of presenting to American audiences the European TV movies that have been made from the works of great modern European detective novels. The company has already done so much  that it is best to look at its output region by region, and this week Scandinavian detectives get the nod.

The first of the great Nordic detectives was Sweden’s Martin Beck, created by Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo, and MHz brings us multiple episodes of “Beck,” TV stories inspired by those memorable novels.

Sjowall and Wahloo also inspired Henning Mankell, whose Kurt Wallander novels became an international sensation, so much so that the BBC filmed them with Kenneth Branagh as the star. Those looking for a more authentically Swedish feeling can check out the “Wallander” series starring the much-lauded Krister Henriksson as the detective.

Also Scandinavian and also released by MHz is “Borgen,” a strong dramatic series that’s been called the Danish “West Wing” and that Stephen King considered his favorite TV series of 2012.

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