Welcome to Why Aren't You Watching... where we direct you to some of the great television that has flown under the pop culture radar. Can't face blindly scrolling for something to watch? We've got you covered. Here's where we recommend your next series.
Did you know that Channel 4 has a whole separate on-demand streaming service purely for incredible international shows? Neither did I, until pretty recently. If you take the time to click through All4, you’ll stumble upon Walter Presents, a service that offers a huge catalogue of award-winning foreign language dramas. If you’re a fan of slick, tense and compulsive TV, I’ve found one for you to try out.
Greyzone is everything you’d expect from a good crime thriller: a looming threat to society, lingering doubt over who the baddies really are, and enough action to make you jump every now and again (but not so much that all you’ve got are a few gun-happy intelligence agents shooting at people in a high-speed car chase. It’s better than that).
First we meet Eva (Tova Magnusson), a lead agent with the Swedish police, who is on her way to intercept a suspicious lorry at customs. The two men driving the vehicle look pretty shady, and jump on the defensive as soon as she discovers a hidden compartment in the back of the truck. Shots are fired. One dies, one gets away, and Eva eventually finds that the pair were trying to smuggle a giant warhead into the country. Who it was meant to be delivered to (and how it was intended to be used) remains a mystery.
Meanwhile in Denmark, Victoria (Birgitte Hjort Sørensen) is getting her young son ready for a trip to Paris with his dad – her ex-partner. While they're away, she's heading to Frankfurt to give an important presentation at a tech conference about a new drone that she and her company have engineered. She smashes the presentation and is approached by a suspicious man, Iyad, who claims to be an old friend from university and journalist keen to interview her about her work. Obviously, she doesn't recognise him as a threat and is quickly drawn to him. She makes the huge mistake of inviting him to her home, where – to give you a very minor spoiler that you'd quickly gather from the trailer – she is kept hostage.
As the series unfolds, links are made between the two events and the terror plot at the middle of it all comes sharply into focus. I got real Homeland vibes and if the tension of Sgt. Nicholas Brody's storyline is missing from your life, you'll be quickly invested in Greyzone. The series' two leading ladies make for a breath of fresh air in this particular genre. Particularly as they are both leaders in their respective fields – technology and government intelligence being notoriously male-driven. They're smart, engaging and are perhaps the real reason you'll devour all 10 episodes far quicker than you expect. There's a lot to unpack from their personal stories, too. Oh, and if you're not used to or even a little intimidated by foreign language programming, don't worry. The English subtitles are easy to follow without taking over the whole viewing experience, and after the first 10 minutes or so, you'll forget the show is largely spoken in Danish.
Greyzone is available to watch on All4 now