It always difficult to review a series which is so highly watchable and enjoyable on one level and yet so disconnected from reality and so difficult to enjoy on another. I know many will say just sit back, enjoy and don't worry about all of the plot holes and the lack of realism but I just find that really hard to do.
Of the two distinct groups of detective dramas (namely the realistic type and the edge of the seat with no hold on reality type), The Bridge clearly falls into the latter category. The recipe for this type of drama is as follows:
Take one detective who is a one-of-a-kind maverick who uses unorthodox methods but solves the cases no one else can. One sidekick who is not as bright as the lead detective but faithful and prone to the odd flash of brilliance. One unusual (possibly vintage) car which the viewers love. One ridiculous and convoluted plot that makes little sense but keeps you on the edge of your seat. Optionally the detective can be a workoholic, an alcoholic/ drug user and have a messy love/social life. Tip: Think Morse, Sherlock Holmes, Wallander etc etc etc.
This recipe is used effectively in The Bridge. Sofia Helm plays Saga Noren, a female detective who is socially inept, unemotional, seemingly unable to feel emotion or empathise with the human race, a workoholic but a brilliant detective who drives a lovely old Porsche. Perfect! The fact that her portrayal is patently ridiculous and at times reminiscent more of Star Trek's Data than a human being actually does not matter overly since with a plot as ridiculous as this, the fact that you have a detective in the lead role whose actions defy belief becomes of little importance. The fact of the matter is that The Bridge is a highly engaging series which, although nonsensical and at times painful viewing (especially when Saga Noren tries to understand human life - take the menstruation scene), is (in spite of these failings) highly watchable.
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