Hey TV.com, Should I Watch FX's Bilingual Crime Drama The Bridge?

Summer television is the realm of cable (sorry, Whodunnit?!), and FX is the king (of the "basic" players, anyway). So you better believe you should be paying attention to FX's new drama The Bridge, a thriller we've been anticipating ever since it was announced last year. I've already seen the pilot of the series, and I'm here to help you determine whether or not it's your cup of coffee. And since I can't hear you asking questions (catch up to our needs, technology!), I've predicted your queries in another edition of Hey TV.com, Should I Watch This Show or What?


The Bridge... great, another documentary on the Golden Gate Bridge?

Sheesh, where do you come up with these!? That's not it at all. The Bridge is an FX drama about two detectives—one American female and one Mexican male—who track a serial killer working on both sides of the El Paso-Juarez border. What!? ANOTHER serial-killer drama? Yep, but at least this one's on FX, a cable channel with a track record for quality. In addition to the obvious "American cops police like this, but Mexican cops police like this!" clash, the two detectives have vastly different personalities and butt heads a lot, which makes their pairing especially odd and intriguing.


Who created the series and who's in it

Cold Case creator Meredith Steihm partnered up with author Elwood Reid for The Bridge, which is an adaptation of the 2011 Danish-Swedish series of the same name. Steihm's past work involves writing some of Homeland's best episodes, including the Season 1 heart-stopper "The Weekend," which gives her lifelong cred in my book. Diane Kruger (Troy, Inglorious Basterds) and Demián Bichir (A Better Life, Weeds) star as the dueling detectives Sonya Cross and Marco Ruiz, respectively, and Annabeth Gish (The X-Files, Brotherhood), Ted Levine (Monk), Matthew Lillard (Scream), and Thomas M. Wright (Top of the Lake) fill out the fine supporting cast.


When does the cross-border manhunt begin?

The Bridge opens Wednesday, July 10 at 10pm. It's essentially settling into the slot left open by The Americans and will run for 13 episodes.


Who will like The Bridge?

Do you enjoy watching Homeland's Carrie Matheson not understand things/act weird? Then The Bridge should help, err, bridge the gap between now and the Showtime series' return. Sonya has Asperger’s and is about as socially awkward as can be. And if you liked the idea of The Killing but ultimately found it boring, know that The Bridge is better paced. Plus, with all the seedy Mexican underbelly that The Bridge rolls over to show you, it's impossible to not compare it to Steven Soderbergh's masterpiece Traffic in every good way possible. The Bridge is an adult drama that loves its character quirks and its grisly murder investigations, so if you're into that, you're golden. 


What makes The Bridge worth the trip?

First, let me say that Bichir is charming as all heck and a powerhouse. He's immediately one of television's best leading men. The show is gorgeous to look at, whether it's basking in the dark of night or embracing the emptiness of the dusty desert, which helps create a sense of despair that works for the appropriately bummed-out tone (though the mood is lightened at times with some well-placed and subtle humor). And as far as murder mysteries go, this one is instantly tantalizing. But what really stands out is the way The Bridge is able to tie in so many different ideas—the debate over immigration, the drug cartels plaguing Mexico, the impact of socioeconomic differences on law enforcement—in a series that is saying a lot more than it shows.



What's disappointing about crossing The Bridge?

This is probably the hardest question of the bunch because there's not much to dislike. Kruger's performance will probably put some viewers off because it's difficult to tell whether she's doing a fantastic job or the opposite, though that may be the point. Sonya isn't immediately likable. She's difficult, she's rude, she's no fun. And the show's opening episode doesn't knock you over the head with amazing moments; instead, it does a lot of little things well. But it doesn't offer a lot of closure if you're looking for a beginning-middle-end type of deal. In fact, there's a crazy cliffhanger that happens well before the end, and some odd details that spring up very late in the hour. The Bridge looks like it's going to be VERY serialized, and it may be more of a binger's dream because the wait between episodes will be excruciating. 


So... should I watch it? 

Heck yeah, it's good so far. It may not be as complete a show as The Americans, which had the advantage of incorporating great family drama, but The Bridge is heading down a different, darker, more mysterious road.


Show me a peek!

Here's a trailer!



What should I drink while watching The Bridge?

Given its multicultural make-up, how about a Bud Lite Lime-a-Rita! (Warning: Never, ever drink a Bud Lite Lime-a-Rita.)



The Bridge premieres Wednesday, July 10 at 10pm on FX. 

Comments (74)
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Aug 15, 2013
I speak and understand 50/50 Spanish and WILL NOT watch this show.. I guess my main reason is because our TV is too small to be able to read your translations and subtitles, but I DON'T WANT to have to read the TV show I'm watching..., that's just stupid. I'm in America and if you can't say what you're saying in English, then I'm out. But thanks for trying. If you can redo your show in English (with being in America), that would be great. Thanks!
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Jul 12, 2013
Tim, You should've mentioned that there was a spoiler when you talked about Sonya having Asperger's especially that they don't mention it in the pilot, i mean it wasn't that big of a spoiler but still i would've loved it if i was kept in the dark
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Jul 10, 2013
got to say, i saw the original with english subs and it was AMAZING. i just hope the american one is as good...on the other hand, i LOVED the scenery and wooden houses of the original, so moving to the desert...eh...not sure:) anyway, i guess i will give it a go...
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Jul 10, 2013
The whole Asperger's thing might actually explain why the trailer, especially Kruger's acting, seemed so off-putting to me. When I first watched the trailer a few months back I generally liked what I saw but Kruger was so weird. They should have dug into that a little more..
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Jul 10, 2013
It can be a crap. I don't know why not just show original series in US? Better to copypaste it? I see more sense in American-Canadian border murder than in Mexican-American. Latter is too obvious (especially in the light of immigration bill talks). In case of Canadian-American culture clash it could be more fun coz Mexican culture is depicted more in US movies. Canadians are still a bit of a mystery. US and Canadians are more like Danish and Swedish in original series. And do they make Sonya character an aspergers person or just not likable bitch in us version? I predict a failure or shallow copypaste show.
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Jul 10, 2013
Canada a mystery? Puh-lease. Everyone knows the reason Americans aren't interested in Canadian culture is because Canadians are too nice to be interesting. Besides, despite Canadians vocal distaste for Americans and American culture, all the coolest Canadians move down South anyways (we got Nathan Fillion, yeah!) so of course Latin America holds far more interest than boring old Canada.

(Just in case it isn't obvious dear Canadians, I'm totally joking. Except about Nathan Fillion, that part I'm dead serious about.)
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Jul 10, 2013
what "nice" has to do with anything? Sweden and Denmark ain't that interesting countries either. Coz in Mexico people get beheaded on daily basis and drug cartels kidnap every day someone new so that's why Mexico is so interesting? Nah. Besides Canada has french side so it could be more refreshing to have french canadian detective.
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Jul 10, 2013
I actually think your argument for why Mexico is more interesting is quite strong and I agree, for all those reasons and more, not the least of which is Oaxacan cuisine, Mexico seems pretty darn exciting for TV.
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Jul 12, 2013
nah, it's lazy TV. canadians had most heinous female serial killer that got away. and I bet many more domestic freaks. mexico is awful stereotype in itself already.
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Jul 10, 2013
I know FX is known for their gritty dramas, but damn, would it kill them to try something a little lighthearted for once? Just because you're a cable channel doesn't mean you have to be grim and dark ALL the time. And enough with the serial killer stories already. We get it.

I'll still try this out, though... it's hard to find a bad FX series.
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Jul 10, 2013
Wilfred. 'Nuf said.
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Jul 10, 2013
Haha, Wilfred? I was talking about FX's dramas.
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Jul 11, 2013
I'm curious...can you give me an example of a lighthearted drama? I can't think of one.
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Jul 11, 2013
Some of my favorites are Monk, Pushing Daisies, The Good Guys, Reaper. Also, take your pick from the USA network (Psych, White Collar, Royal Pains...).

I love dark and gritty series as much as the next person, but almost everything coming out now is just so overly depressing. Have you seen Ray Donovan? Yikes!
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Jul 10, 2013
Like Elementary vs Sherlock (BBC), TV networks in America always have a way to turn a series with depth and arty touch into something enjoyable, profitable, but somehow shallow show. I am just worried.
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Jul 10, 2013
As a huge fan of the original swedish and danish "Broen" (I'm am a dane), I can only recommend this (hoping they follow the storyline exact). It is one amazing mini-series! I will definately be watching the US version
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Jul 10, 2013
'Sonya has Asperger’s and is about as socially awkward as can be'. This makes me worried though. If I wanted to watch a show in which the lead characters' disability made every moment cringe worthy, I'd wait for The Michael J. Fox Show.
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Jul 10, 2013
I was torn over whether or not I should watch this, but whenever the words 'VERY serialized' are used, I'm there.
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Jul 10, 2013
I've seen trailers for this before every movie that's been released this year. I don't think the concept bored me the first time, but it does now. Seems like a mix between The Killing and every buddy cop movie ever. It's definitely overhyped. Can it be overrated before it even airs? Judging by this article and all these comments, I'd say yes. I'm gonna save myself the inevitable disappointment. I'll check back when everyone is saying WTF, how did this get renewed for a second season?
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Jul 10, 2013
I'll watch it once I'm back home.
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Jul 10, 2013
I wish that instead they would make a show about two detectives that agree on everything and solve crimes by strictly following the rules.

Cop1 - I think we should wait and call for backup.
Cop2 - Good idea. I was gonna say that. I'll call for backup.
Cop1 - And I'll wait.
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Jul 10, 2013
But that would be a very boring show.
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Jul 10, 2013
Or exciting because it's different!
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Jul 10, 2013
I like your wit, Manny Calavera!
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Jul 10, 2013
I plan on watching it---now I'll read your suggestion/article above;-)
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Jul 10, 2013
The Banshee effect.
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Jul 10, 2013
yep, you got it;-)
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Jul 10, 2013
One day I'll forgive and forget Tim wrote that horrible Banshee 'Should I Watch' article, but not today.
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Jul 11, 2013
on the same page as you
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Jul 10, 2013
I'm a little apprehensive that this is based on a Scandinavian crime series, I mean honestly haven't we had enough of those lately, surely a network as fearless as FX doesn't need to jump on that bandwagon. But this does sound like one of the best (if not the best) new shows we'll see all year so I will definitely be watching.
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Jul 10, 2013
If this "The Bridge" follows the step from "Bron/Broen" (original series) will be unmissable.
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Jul 09, 2013
I will trust you on this, sir...
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Jul 09, 2013
Tim, I hope your 'Bridge' description ("bilingual crime drama") isn't misleading -- I seriously want a TV show two-fer: darkly entertaining, yet helps me brush up on my Spanish. ¡Dos por uno!
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Jul 09, 2013
This may be a Swedish/Danish remake, but be aware its loosely based on the real world Juarez serial killings of young women. I believe those crimes have gone unsolved to this day
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Jul 10, 2013
That sort of makes it creepy.
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Jul 09, 2013
Sorry tonight i'll be watching Camp but maybe if it's really good i'll watch it later
because i'm tierd of Cop Detective Drama Killers etc...
i just want a light hearted summer show and Camp is everything i want
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Jul 09, 2013
"The Bridge... great, another documentary on the Golden Gate Bridge? Sheesh, where do you come up with these!? That's not it at all."

Do you have some kind of a Jekyll and Hyde complex? Answering your own questions and berating yourself in only two sentences?

Moving on...the answer to question if you/we should watch this show is a resounding "yes". I was suspecting that you'd mention Homeland. Based on the trailer, Kruger does have a bit of a Carrie Matheson feel to her. She also just happens to be one of my favourite actresses. I don't know Bichir well, but in my understanding he is a very talented actor. He has an Oscar nomination, so that says something.

When I heard about The Bridge the first time, I wasn't that excited. I thought it'll probably be good, but I don't want to start watching another "cops hunting a killer" show. But during the last months I've been caught in the hype, and I've decided that I must watch it. How could I not when Diane is in it? We don't get to see her on TV that often. The last and only time she has done a TV role was in 2002, and that was her very first acting job (according to IMDB) in an episode of a French drama. I have no idea how big that role was. Apart from that she once did a small, uncredited role in an episode of Fringe in season two. (Boy, she really has a solid track record on TV. First Fringe, and now The Bridge. She only does excellent shows.) Other than this, she hasn't been on TV, so getting to see her on The Bridge will be a treat.
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Jul 09, 2013
I never saw the Swedish version over here since I can't stand listening to Danish. English-speaking people won't know what I'm talking about and it might be a stupid reason...but it is what it is. Soooo gonna watch The Bridge.
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Jul 10, 2013
As someone who doesn't speak Swedish or Danish (or any language other than English) I'd love to hear what makes Danish irritating. I might learn something. Can you put it into words?
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Jul 11, 2013
As someone who does speak Danish, I'd like to point out that Norwegian and Swedish both sound like strange, mangled versions of Danish to me. So it's all very subjective :)
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Jul 09, 2013
Love FX, hope they don't dissapoint.
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Jul 09, 2013
You had me at Asperger's. On cable. Done properly. We'll see how that goes.
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Jul 09, 2013
No way I'm missing this. Been on board since day one.
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Jul 09, 2013
An FX drama? Pfft, say no more. There's /almost/ no chance it won't be well made and won't appeal to me. Now if someone could just have a serious talking-to with the folks that are developing their new comedies and get them back on track, all will be right in FXdom again.
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Jul 10, 2013
I imagine lots of words sound like Pfft when you're talking through a pipe.
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Jul 10, 2013
It's maintaining the smile the whole time that took the most practice.
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Jul 10, 2013
Well played
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Jul 09, 2013
I am definitely going to watch it, it looks great, i am guessing it will be the best show of this summer(i also hope)
And i think the reason why Sonya acts like Tim said, is because she have Asperger's so i don't think that's a bad thing, but a realistic view of some people with AS which cause some social awkwardness(sometimes a lot) and people with it sometimes seem a little emotionless or cold
The cast seems great, the story seems great, and what Tim said about the show talking about some controversial things just makes me more eager for it,
But is it going to be a mini series(one season) or is it going to be a multi season show?, does anybody know??
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Jul 12, 2013
Tim, You should've mentioned that there was a spoiler when you talked about Sonya having Asperger's especially that they don't mention it in the pilot, i mean it wasn't that big of a spoiler but still i would've loved it if i was kept in the dark
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Jul 09, 2013
Just guessing here, but the original is getting a second season, so I my bet would be that they'll be going for multiple seasons if the ratings are good.
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Jul 09, 2013
I'm waiting for this since it was announced, so yeah, I'll watch.
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Staff
Jul 09, 2013
Steven Soderbergh's "Traffic" is not a masterpiece. But excited to watch this show for sure. Breaking Bad type vibe.
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Jul 09, 2013
Takin' it back to the '80s black stand-up cliche jokes, huh Tim? Classic!

Wait, the lead character has Aspergers? Oh dear, that may not work for me, I almost always hate when TV handles that one - Boston Legal was the closest and even it missed the mark considerably. It's like fingernails on a chalkboard.

I was originally on board for this show, but I think I'm passing not because of the aspbergers thing or because it sounds bad, just merely for it being a bummer with no answers. I'm just not in the mood for that sort of tv usually. I'll put my vote in maybetown though, population: 4.
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Jul 10, 2013
Why do you think that lead having Asperger's is a bad thing??
A lot of tv shows characters fall somewhere in the autistic spectrum or have some autistic treats (Hannibal - Criminal Minds - TBBT - Community - Person of Interest - The Wire - The Shield - Boston Legal - Star Trek - Rome - House - Bones - Monk - The Middle - The Mentalist? - All of Sherlock Holmes movies and tv shows - some other tv shows and a lots of movies)
I also hate it sometimes because of how they show them and because sometimes they give them Asperger's just to make them special, but there is some great shows with regular characters sometimes even leads with what may seem like AS or may fall somewhere in the autistic spectrum
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Jul 10, 2013
My issue with them portraying someone with Aspergers is two-fold. First, it's that shoehorned nature you mentioned, and often it's done very over-the-top or inaccurately.

Second, Aspergers specifically causes every person who is shy or weird, or knows someone that way, to start spouting off that they have Aspergers because they are similar to a character on TV.
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Jul 10, 2013
I agree
but i am still totally hooked for "The Bridge" it seems interesting because it's no just about the cliche serial killer approach, but it seems to discuss some of controversial issues which is really original and new
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Jul 10, 2013
Makes sense. I just am not in the mood for "bummer tv" right now, and not getting any answers quickly. Plus, living in Los Angeles this material hits a little close to home.
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Jul 09, 2013
Meredith Stiehm said in an interview with Alan Sepinwall that the case wraps before the end of the 1st season. There will be answers, but the case won't be solved in the first episode.
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Jul 09, 2013
Perhaps some legit citizens should invite their gardner/builder/nannies in to voice the foreign lingo parts to save on the need for reading at all. Surely that'd aid viewing figures?
Where'd I put those Bill Maher tickets...
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Jul 09, 2013
WAY psyched for this puppy. Worked at a playhouse once where Bichir starred in a production and he was the nicest, coolest guy ever. Not to mention an amazing actor (dude's been nominated for an Academy Award y'all!)
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Jul 09, 2013
The original was garbage but highly overrated in some quarters for some reason.
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Jul 09, 2013
I've been waiting for this. Finally it's here *woot!*
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Jul 09, 2013
I'm definitely going to be watching.

I like your mention of Diane Kruger's possibly disappointing acting, because I remember when this site first showed the trailer (which I assume is the same one at the end of this article), I and at least one other commenter mentioned that her acting seemed a little weird. So... yeah... the fact that her character is weird could make her acting look weird, too. *shrugs*
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Jul 09, 2013
I loved the original, so I'll definitely check it out and hope it's different enough to keep me guessing.
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Jul 09, 2013
The original was fantastic but I have a good feeling about this version.
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Jul 09, 2013
If its as good as Swedish/Danish version you should really watch it!
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