If you've been watching crime dramas on SBS over the past decade, you will be familiar with Nordic Noir (sometimes referred to as Scandi Noir) as a genre. The dark, moody crime dramas from the Nordic regions where the police investigating the murders often facing their own inner turmoil while investigating bleak crimes. It's a very female-driven genre with shows generally centred on the complex and compelling women leading the investigations.
When The Killing debuted in 2007, the Danish series was an immediate success. But it wasn't until the series started to be broadcast internationally in 2010 that Nordic Noir started being recognised as a genre in television, adapting the term already used for the recent success in Scandi crime fiction seen within book publishing, such as the Wallander and Millennium book series.
The success of The Killing, followed by The Bridge, Trapped, and other Nordic Noir shows gave international broadcasters the confidence to start programming a lot more foreign language dramas. As they say, a rising tide lifts all boats, meaning there was suddenly a lot of great drama being produced from across the globe competing for audiences, often embracing a Nordic Noir flavour.
Despite Nordic Noir continuing to captivate audiences, producers from Denmark, Sweden, and Scandinavia have been looking to push the boundaries of the genre and subvert Nordic Noir genre conventions. While some producers have looked to include supernatural themes (Jordskott) or explore cultural diversity (Midnight Sun), a recent trend has been to maintain the focus on complex characters dealing with internal conflict and apply them to lighter subjects. In a sense, Nordic Noir is now shifting towards Nordic Light.
Nordic Noir shows aren't going away any soon - audiences still adore them, but the textual palette is being expanded to bring us all sorts of new stories.
Young and Promising
Three ambitious young women are trying to find themselves in Oslo among a myriad of social expectations, ambitions and shattered dreams. The European answer to 'Girls', Young And Promising's true-to-life approach and endearing characters will take over your heart.
Seasons 1-3 are streaming now at SBS On Demand, with six episodes every season.
Veni Vidi Vici
Karsten, a high-brow film director, premieres his new film Veni Vidi Vici, which is a flop. Unable to find any work in the film industry, he receives a call from Vincent, an old movie producer friend, who offers him a directing role on his new project; little does Karsten know that Vincent is working in the porn industry.
Season 1 is streaming now at SBS On Demand.
Best friends Rebecka, Johanne and Kira are enjoying a weekend at a summer cottage in Norway with their husbands. The men board their fishing boat and leave the wives behind on shore. As the boat sails into the distance, it explodes without warning. Back on the pier, the three women raise the champagne flutes. Rebecka, Johanne and Kira killed their husbands to win their freedom but the “accident” soon becomes a joint Swedish/Norwegian murder investigation where events and situations are darker and more complex than they seem. Freedom has its price.
Seasons 1-2 are streaming now at SBS On Demand, with eight episodes every season.