Following the death of her father, Eva Thörnblad returns to her hometown of Silver Heights. Upon her return it is evident her fathers affairs is not the only thing on Eva’s mind.
She joins the investigation of the disappearance of a boy, which she thinks is connected to the disappearance of her daughter seven years ago. But what she uncovers goes much deeper and darker than the large forest surrounding the town.
Starting out as what appears to be solely another detective story, Jordskött slow starts to unravel itself as an interesting fantasy. A lot of this story has been brought from Swedish folk law but with the continuing idea of “how would todays society deal with this situation?” This idea is introduced slowly, so while watching the first couple of episodes it may just seem like another episode of The Bill, by the time you are half way though you feel yourself hooked on trying to work out what is actually happening and who can be trusted.
Being fundamentally Scandinavian Henrik Björn has included a few underlying core qualities: nature v’s nurture and love. These play to his advantage, the most devilish content I can expect from any TV show these days might include Sharron getting with Brad at the club. Yes, there is talk of affairs and illegitimate children but the focus is on what happens as a result of this. Watching through the extra content on the DVD’s, Björn himself says that he wants to see what drives people to commit evil acts through rational decision making.
The choice of actors was very interesting: it ranged from those just starting out, experienced professionals and even a Swedish pop star. Most of the talent in this will just be another name to you unless you are hot on your Swedish day time television, but I don’t feel like they should be missed out.
Moa Gammel is our main protagonist – Eva. Gammel demonstrates she clearly knows how to dominate a scene, weather it be through being a strong female lead, defensive and under pressure or even showing a soft side. Working along side her is Göran Ragnerstam and Richard Forsgren who plays Detective Wass and Tom respectively. Both of these actors left me untrusting and cautious at times, which was brilliant. Perfectly working with their own agendas leaves you wondering how they fit into the bigger picture. Finally my personal favourite: Esmeralda who is played by Happy Jankell. A relatively new actress, Jankell is questioned so much through the first season in so many different ways, by the end of it she is left with so many possibilities for future episodes. I suppose their combined range contributes hugely to the success of the show. It adds an air of comfort as well as off the wall characters. It all feels very inclusive and this even stretch’s out to the UK with a few references that we can engage with.
Probably the best part of Jordskött is the depiction of Sweden (minus the excessive kidnappings and killings). It beautifully captures the surrounding areas through large areal sweeps including flourishing forests and meandering rivers. But also in the little details in green houses, items left around a room abandoned long ago, even down to the wildlife around the areas. Both of these create a dark and atmospheric setting, with a little added fog, that really sets up the tension and a good couple of jump scares for good measure. Again all of this is following on from the idea of respecting nature, which Scandinavia does so well, in an obvious but acceptable way.
This crime/thriller is much more than it first appears. Laced with intrigue, each episode draws you to cautiously continue with baited breath. The best description of these first 10 episodes is “Drama, crime Noir with a super natural touch”. A very precise categorisation to the start of what I hope is a long-term show. It might feel a little slow to start in the first episode but, with such an individual premise, by the time you finish watching season 1 you will be looking out for season 2. I know I am.
Season 1 of Jordskött is out on DVD from Amazon and on download from iTunes.
Written by Chuckie @ChuckieGinger