The Bridge, which starts season Two on the FX network July ninth, could be called the series “so good it was remade twice.” The original version of the two cops from different countries separated and joined by a crime on the connecting bridge between their two jurisdictions began life as Bron/Broen on Scandinavian television.
Like the U.S. version, the first season started with a body being found on a bridge between the countries of Denmark and Sweden. The two cops in the original show were also a woman and a man. In the Scandinavian show it is made obvious that the female detective suffers from Asperges or a form of Autism. A move that gained the show many fans and one which was hailed as being bold and new.
A second version of Bron/Broen , or The Bridge was made in the U.K. after the original Scandinavian show’s second season aired on BBC Four. This British remake was titled The Tunnel and deviated from the original format by having the location of the murder victim placed midway in the Channel Tunnel, aka the Chunnel, between Calais, France and Folkestone, England the series aired on Sky Atlantic.
With Scandi-crime already proving very popular in literature as well as on the big screen, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Headhunters, et al, it is not surprising the the same should be true for crime on the small screen.
Season two of The Bridge will start on FX July ninth and this American remake was approved for a second season without much issue, pretty much as the original was. The U.K. version has yet to be confirmed for another season on the Sky network, but rumor is that it’s “in the works.”
The plot of Bron/Broen or The Bridge fits like a glove with the ongoing problems along the border between Mexico and the U.S. with its illegal immigration issues. Another perfect fit is the reality of the two worlds in the area of law enforcement. Just these two juxtapositions enable the show to continually move forward and allows fans to learn more about the two main protagonists.
While it is not readily apparent that the El Paso cop, Sonya Cross (played by Diane Kruger) may have a touch of Asperges or Autism, she is at the very least a spiritual twin of Dr. Temperance “Bones” Brennan (played to absolute perfection by Emily Deschanel, sister of Zooey). This is, at first, a bit off-putting. Appearing to be a mimicry of the Bones character, it feels awkward until one realises that Bron/Broen series used this device in its plotline, which may or may not be a “homage” to Dr. Brennan.
All the main actors are a treat to watch, with the apparent exception of Diane Kruger who some would like to see replaced if the message boards on IMDb are to be believed. Demian Bichir fills the shoes of his character Marco Ruiz effortlessly. Ted Levine as Lieutenant Hank Wade is full of authority with just the right amount of that jaded tone which precedes retirement.
Matthew Lillard is, as usual, a treat to watch. Even in the role of a shabby and somewhat despicable news reporter, the actor rocks his performance out of the park. Season two of The Bridge starts on FX July ninth, presumably where episode 13, The Crazy Place left off. Fans will no doubt set their DVR’s for Wednesday night at 10 p.m. just to make sure they do not miss this season two opener. This show proves that Scandi-crime is just as good on the small screen even when moved to the U.S. Hulu has the entire first season available for those who want to catch up.
By Michael Smith