Staying In(stant): Your New Favorite Scandinavian Thriller

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1bridgemainPhoto: Courtesy SVT1.
Full disclosure: We love TV. So much so that sometimes we'd rather spend a whole weekend in front of the tube than dancing in da club. Is a lack of television service holding you back from feeling our joy? No problem! You can get by just fine on Netflix, Hulu, and the myriad other streaming services rapidly taking over the home-entertainment industry (thank you, Internet!).

Some shows are just better when binge-watched. Whether it's the latest BBC comedy, a PBS miniseries from the '70s, or just that cultish show prematurely scrubbed from a network, we're hooked on the stream. Staying In(stant) is your guide to the best of streaming content. Each week, we bring you a show we're obsessed with and think you'll love, too.


This Week: The Bridge in its original, subtitled, and yes, Diane Kruger-free form.

Where To Watch: Netflix

How I Got Hooked: It's a good thing I visited Copenhagen, Denmark and Malmö, Sweden (the latter by chance, because when you can be in another country in 30 minutes, you just go) a year before I got into The Bridge. Scandinavia, for me, included buying Pippi Longstocking souvenirs, eating open-faced sandwiches, and strolling along canals. I had no idea it was also the sort of place where political terrorists wreaked havoc, or where a severed human body could be placed mid-way along the Øresund Bridge that connects Denmark and Sweden.

That bridge and that body give the show its title and plot, respectively. What ensues is a power struggle, followed by a reluctant partnership, between two homicide detectives: Copenhagen's jovial Martin Rohde and Malmö's brusque and bossy Saga Norén. Martin, played by the increasingly attractive Kim Bodnia, is a flawed family man with a kind heart and likable manner. Sofia Helin's Saga, on the other hand, has a social ineptness that hints at Asperger syndrome. (She also manages to wear the same pair of leather trousers every single day.)

Without giving the plotlines away — they are genuinely chilling, involve a high body count, and center around eco-terrorism — watching Saga and Martin work together is the show's highlight. He's quick to call her out on a social gaffe, and she pulls no punches when questioning him about his home life. Even when the show's dipping into personal issues (What's up with Martin's vasectomy? Will Saga scare off her new boyfriend's mom?), the dramatic tension never quite dissipates. Benson and Stabler have got nothing on these two. Alas, reports say that Kim Bodnia will not feature in the third series, which will focus on Saga.

I should also note that I've not seen a single episode of the FX version of The Bridge. Just as I couldn't watch the U.S. version of The Killing after I'd fallen in love with the original, I simply can't accept the possibility of an alterna-Saga and neo-Martin.

Best Episode: In terms of sheer anxiety-inducing moments, episode 10 of the second series is a nail-biter. To avoid spoilers, I'll simply mention that it features a confessional moment from Saga, some bonding between her and Martin, and two shocking deaths — one of which really comes out of nowhere. Seriously, just watch it.

Why You'll Love It: Because Saga is one of the most interesting characters, male or female, on TV today. Because you like getting scared now and then. Because you can never quite figure out who the culprit is. And, because by the end you'll feel like you've totally mastered Danish and Swedish.