What a year for Nordic TV series – we saw a huge influx of series become more and more accessible for us. The long wait for Entrapped (season three of the Icelandic series Trapped) finally arrived on Netflix, as did Sisterhood over on Walter Presents. The return of Finnish series Deadwind also made a return – with another season of Wisting also released.
It has been hard to keep up with it all and with the introduction now of Viaplay UK we can confidently say that it is going to be hard to run out of shows to watch from the Nordic region now.
So, the question is, which ones did we love in 2022?
10. Clark | Sweden | Netflix
Clark was probably the wildest series we saw from the Nordic region this year, and to be fair, probably for quite some time. The lead performance from Bill Skarsgård was absolutely hypnotic as the famous Swedish gangster Clark. The series is shot as if you have just drunk ten cups of Swedish forest coffee thanks to brilliant direction from the shows director Jonas Åkerlund.
If you haven’t caught this series and fancied trying something different then Clark is your absolute go-to!
9. Black Sands | Iceland | Alibi
You might have already scrolled through our list and spotted a glaring omission – Entrapped is not featured here – instead what you will find is Black Sands. Alibi’s first foreign series was a strong pick for the channel (which can be found on Sky or Now TV’s Entertainment channel) and we hear the series has already picked up a commission for a second season.
The shots here, which feature the Southern part of Iceland near Vik and the black sand beaches of Reynisfjana, are rather stunning (as you’d expect from Iceland) and the cast is a nice mix of recognisable faces along with some fresh new ones. In particular there is a great performance from Aldís Amah Hamilton who managed to make a drunken interrogation scene feel like one of the cringiest moments in television.
8. Where Were You? | Denmark | Viaplay
When Viaplay arrived it was a little overwhelming – where to even begin? So many TV shows that we have been waiting for for so many years all landing on your lap at once. We decided to dive into something we didn’t know anything about and in doing so we discovered this powerful series – Where Were You?
Part of Viaplay’s strong young adults series (there is also Boys, Delete Me, and many others to discover) this had us hooked from the start with some very impressive performances.
7. Threesome | Sweden | All4
This series we almost stumbled upon when it appeared on All4 without any warning. A Viaplay original (which you can now also access on the streaming website) which we will hopefully get to see the second season of in 2023.
The series was easy to binge through as it had shorter episodes which we are finding quite common now with Viaplay original series. As for what it is about? Well let us have one of its stars, Matilda Källström, explain:
“The short answer is: it’s about a couple dealing with the aftermath of a threesome. But the real answer is: it’s a very raw and honest story about feeling lost and the journey of trying to find yourself again“.
6. Young Royals Season 2 | Sweden | Netflix
The second season of Young Royals managed to keep the story of Simon and Erik’s relationship running for another six episodes by throwing in some other love interests, some other shocking plotlines, and a strong commentary on how social media can really wreck people’s lives – whether you are royalty or not.
The chemistry of the cast continues to shine and we are delighted to share that there will be a third (and final) season coming in the future!
5. The Playlist | Sweden | Netflix
There has been some fans calling Netflix’s The Playlist ‘the best Netflix original in a while’. Whilst we do not whole-heartedly agree with such a bold statement, we do feel that the Spotify fictionalised biopic was certainly a fresh take for fans of Scandinavian television looking for something a little different.
The story was told in a unique way and the series featured an incredibly strong cast including a fantastic performance from Christian Hillborg (pictured below)!
4. The Lørenskog Disappearance | Norway | Netflix
Last year we had the likes of The Investigation and The Hunt for a Killer – both of which ended up as joint number one for us as we were so torn as to which of the two we preferred. It introduced a fresh new take on providing us with Nordic Noir by developing a series based on true crimes.
The Lørenskog Disappearance does exactly the same thing and much like its two predecessors this is not an action-packed television drama. Instead it follows the the detectives, journalists, and lawyers during an investigation which still to this day has never been solved. Some might be disappointed by the fact it has no concrete result, but this series is about more than that.
Given that we had to really dig deep to even find who the directors behind series were (as they weren’t even listed on IMDB before the series was released), this has been one of our most read interviews of the year when we got to speak to one of the directors Gjyljeta Berisha.
3. Snow Angels | Sweden | Walter Presents
It was two years ago when Nordic Watchlist first spoke to Snow Angels lead actress Josefin Asplund – and a year later the series we discussed finally arrived. It was worth the wait though.
There were some incredibly strong performances in this dark series that followed the case of a missing infant – and it kept you guessing right until the very end, which is an incredibly impressive feat to pull off these days (though we are sure some super TV sleuths might have cracked it earlier).
The series was certainly a slog to get through because of the heavy subject matter but once finished it never really left our minds – even eight months later.
2. Snabba Cash Season 2 | Sweden | Netflix
This series is becoming a big hit and it was so great to hear people, including the likes of Ricky Gervais, give praise to this show. With it being shown on Netflix, Snabba Cash has had the ability to be able to available to a much wider audience and that is great news for all those involved with the series.
Season two picks up after all the chaos of season one and it would be safe to say that the chaos does not end – it very much continues and what makes the new series so fascinating is that it doesn’t leave you with many people to really root for. Each has a bad trait and you just hope you get to see a redemptive arc in their storyline; but how this series ends, well, there better be more – they are really onto something here!
1. Borgen: Power & Glory | Denmark | Netflix
What made this, season 4, so good was that unlike the previous Borgen series’ this had a storyline that spanned over eight episodes – it injected some new blood with the likes of Magnus Millang, Mikkel Boe Følsgaarg, Simon Bennebjerg (all of whom fitted very snuggly into the Borgen universe) joining Sidse Babett Knudsen’s Birgitte.
So those who have always been interested by Borgen could watch this series without having seen the others, yet those who have seen the other series get some nice payoffs and further knowledge for some of the arcing storylines.
From its credit sequence to the very relevant issues brought to the screen here this was truly Nordic television as its very best and it is such a shame this will be the final one when they have brought in such great new characters.
This was simply number one for us based on the fact that we had binged through this in a few days – much like a book you can’t put down Borgen: Power & Glory was impossible to resist.