If you’re a fan of what has turn into referred to as “Nordic noir,” you count on a scarcity of motion in thrillers that come from Scandinavian nations. There tends to be numerous speaking and taking a look at screens and pin-and-string boards. But a brand new collection from Norway, primarily based on a real story, appears to be nothing however speaking and staring.
Opening Shot: In a darkened home, a lady solutions the cellphone, as two masked males enter by way of the entrance door in broad daylight.
The Gist: The intruders seize the lady, who screams. They knock her out, put her in a physique bag, and depart a be aware. Supervising this kidnapping is somebody carrying a police ID round her neck. Apparently this can be a take a look at run to see how lengthy the entire thing might need taken.
On October 31, 2018, Tom Hagen (Terje Strømdahl), considered one of Norway’s richest individuals, calls in an emergency: His spouse, Anne-Elisabeth, has been kidnapped. A ransom be aware is left on a pink chair, telling him to not get the police or media concerned. Detective Jorunn Lakke (Yngvild Støen Grotmol), the cop we noticed making the take a look at run, is put in control of the case. With her accomplice, Micael Delvir (Kidane Gjølme Dalva), they attempt to canvass neighbors and buddies with out letting on that they’re seeking to Anne-Elisabeth’s abduction, in order to not tip off the abductors.
But they’re getting nowhere. The kidnappers have demanded their cost in an obscure cryptocurrency that can take months to mine, however they do talk by way of fractional Bitcoin transactions; they simply don’t know that legislation enforcement is on the opposite finish of that communication. Weeks go by and evidently if the abductors have been actually motivated by cash, they’d be extra desirous to get the transaction achieved. And as a result of the authorities have been retaining the kidnapping out of the media, it’s been very troublesome for them to maneuver ahead.
Then Anne-Elisabeth’s cell quantity — forwarded to the police — is leaked to the press. Jorunn and her boss plead with reporters to allow them to examine, however additional information in regards to the Hagens makes each Jorunn and Micael surprise if this isn’t a kidnapping case.
Our Take: One of the issues we count on from Nordic noir is that there isn’t a ton of motion; it’s extra of an mental train than the rest. But the primary episode of The Lørenskog Disappearance, which relies on a real story, tried our endurance in that regard.
Because the present begins with a flash-forward scene, we spent the primary half of the episode pondering that Jorunn was being put in control of a kidnapping that she had orchestrated. We don’t assume that we’re significantly unobservant viewers — we wouldn’t be capable to do that job if we have been like that — so it felt significantly irritating to have to return to that flash-forward scene greater than as soon as to verify who was in it and why.
To be trustworthy, having Jorunn examine a kidnapping she orchestrated would have made for a way more compelling drama than what it turned out to be, and it seems that that that flash-forward scene wasn’t compelling sufficient to make the mark it supposed. At some level, you understand that they did that observe run out of sheer desperation as leads run dry and different forensic proof leads nowhere. But none of that’s significantly apparent at that time, so that you spend valuable minutes puzzling about it as a substitute of really following the story.
But what actually tried our endurance is that there’s numerous speaking and numerous looking at screens, however not a complete lot else. The writers attempt to break up the go-nowhere storyline with a B-story about Jorunn coping with his father, who in all probability is within the early phases of Alzheimer’s however doesn’t wish to get examined. She additionally has to deal with recollections of an accident that killed her mom 20 years in the past.
Unfortunately, we may even see extra of that, at the same time as we modify views from Jorunn to reporter Erlend Moe Riise (Christian Rubeck), to the attorneys to the informants. Lots of speaking and plenty of looking at screens. If they comply with the timeline of the particular story, there’s more likely to be a decision that received’t fulfill viewers. It’s solely a 5-episode restricted collection, so the time invested received’t be that egregious, and the shifting views will assist freshen the story. But, lord, this present has a complete lot of nothing happening, and that’s not good.
Sex and Skin: None.
Parting Shot: After realizing that Anne-Elisabeth was seeking to divorce her husband Tom and he or she had an hermetic prenup, Jorunn decides to open the case as much as the media after weeks of getting nowhere.
Sleeper Star: To be trustworthy, nobody actually stands out.
Most Pilot-y Line: As Jorunn enters a activity pressure assembly after studying in regards to the Hagens’ prenup, we hear somebody in there discuss utilizing “IKEA gingerbread dough,” saying the youngsters received’t know the distinction. Seems like a bizarre apart for what’s a reasonably critical present.
Our Call: SKIP IT. It’s not like The Lørenskog Disappearance is poorly achieved. It’s simply boring, even by the requirements of Nordic noir.
Joel Keller (@joelkeller) writes about meals, leisure, parenting and tech, however he doesn’t child himself: he’s a TV junkie. His writing has appeared within the New York Times, Slate, Salon, RollingStone.com, VanityFair.com, Fast Company and elsewhere.