Scandi-noir & the House of Cards

As I have just finished watching Borgen, my Saturday nights and Sunday mornings just won’t be quite the same. To end 2012 I’d indulged my Danish-noir fetish through every episode of each series of Forbrydelsen (The Killing), so the return of Birgitte Nyborg’s wrinkle-nosed smile at the start of the year came as a welcome antidote to Sarah Lund’s formidable cold-eyed scrutiny.

I discovered that I quite enjoyed a subtitled series; this layer of information, however mistranslated, is akin to an extra bit of gristle upon which to muse and gnaw as the plot unfolds. Anyone who has seen Inspector Montalbano will know what I mean. My family oscillate between being politely curious and occasionally fed up with my Scandi-obsession or Mummy-quirks, as they put it. “What’s so interesting about political dramas?” asks my seven year-old. I can’t really explain without mentioning Edge of Darkness, House of Cards, The West Wing, A Few Angry Men and … Oh dear, I’ve lost her at mention of Edge of Darkness. Perhaps it was a rhetorical question as all she really wants to do is play Moshi Monsters and I’m hogging the computer.

For much of this winter season, my children had at least one parent who would play silly games with them without considering the time the next episode was being screened and changing their bedtime or meals accordingly. However, this is no longer the case; for the past few days my Husband has been glued to Netflix as episode after episode of House of Cards has been streamed into our home via his iPad. I am feeling his loss, though not grieving yet, I am aware that he is as currently obsessed with Kevin Spacey’s direct-address asides as I was with Sophie Grabol’s jumpers and her poor taste in men. I guess herein lies the rub; each of us recognises something of ourselves in these characters.

Pity our poor children.

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