Have we run out of ideas? below are the Synopsis for three TV shows.
- “When a body is found on the bridge between Denmark and Sweden, right on the border, Danish inspector Martin Rohde and Swedish Saga Norén have to share jurisdiction and work together to find the killer.”
- “Two detectives work together to take down a serial killer operating on both sides of the Texas-Chihuahua border.”
- “Set primarily in Folkestone and Calais where detectives Karl Roebuck and Elise Wassermann are called to investigate the death of a French politician. When a shocking discovery is made at the crime scene, the pair is forced into an uneasy partnership as they seek out a politically-motivated serial killer who draws them into his own personal agenda.”
Sound familurar, they are all based on the same story. The first is the Danish/Swedish co production Broen (Danish) , Bron (Swedish) or, The Bridge in UK and US. Created and written by Hans Rosenfeldt, The Bridge Scandinavian crime drama based on the premise of an unusual murder investigation. The body is found on the half way point of the Øresund Bridge connecting Sweden and Denmark, giving the two countries joint jurisdiction. The interesting this about the show isn’t the plot or the premise, or the haunting opening music (Hollow Talk by the Copenhagen band Choir of Young Believers) but the characters. Saga Norén (Sofia Helin) from the Sweden Martin Rohde (Kim Bodnia) from Demark. Hugley different characters they make a surprisingly formidable team. At first there appears to be something a little odd about Saga, her idiosyncrasies are never totally explained but most viewers have come to the conclusion that she has Asperger’s syndrome.
The second is the American remake, also called The Bridge, made and broadcast by FX. Set between El Paso and Juarez and taking the same idea of a body found between the two justifications. Diane Kruger plays the US Detective Sonya Cross and Demián Bichir plays Mexican Detective Marco Ruiz. The Third description is for The Tunnel, a British/French co production. This time the body is found, you guessed it, in the Channel Tunnel. Stephen Dillane and Clémence Poésy play the English and French detectives respectively.
Although I have watched both seasons of the Scandinavian original, I haven’t seen either of the two remakes. I have heard reasonable reports on them and am sure they are perfectly entertaining programs, as much as I like Diane Kruger, Stephen Dillane and Clémence Poésy I cannot imagine anyone other than Sofia Helin and Kim Bodniain the parts. Like a cover version of a song you love, it may be okay but do you really need it? but it goes further with a TV show. A singer may bring something new to a song, but is a remake of TV show just a cynical attempt to cash in on a successful idea? But what of my original question. Have we run out of ideas? Yes and No! The original show demonstrates that there are still original ideas out there. But cinemas are filled with sequels, reboots and English Language remakes of European and Asian films. But Television is in danger of going the same way. I don’t think we have run out of ideas, it is just that in this supposed golden age of television the stakes are so high many have lost their nerve and are afraid of the new and would rather embrace the familiar. That is why as audiences we owe it to ourselves to support the best and the most original while ignoring the generic and unoriginal.
I am looking forward to next year’s third season of Bron/Broen but will I watch either remake? Probably not.