A The Bridge Community
FX (ended 2014)

The Bridge S02E01: "Yankee"

There were several moments during the first season of The Bridge where I felt like jumping right off it as the series frequently skidded into the disappointing realm of unfulfilled potential and not enough guys making meth while wearing only a cocksock. I really wanted to love the show; the setting of the U.S.-Mexico border alone meant that I'd be watching it all the way through, and the middle-of-the-season stretch of bizarre incidents provided plenty of local flavor. But poor pacing and a multi-episode arc in which David Tate went cuckoo bananners with torture games dumbed down what should have been political commentary and reshaped it into a Made in Mexico copy of The Following, and if there's one show you do not want to be compared to, it's The Following.

The final two episodes of Season 1 felt completely detached from the rest of the season, as The Bridge had nowhere else to go after Tate was caught in Episode 11 (of 13). The series slogged through some sort of wrap-up, barely setting up Season 2 while ditching the main storyline with strokes so broad they barely hit the canvas. These were some brutal growing pains that The Bridge experienced as it tried to find its voice. The show was all gangly threads and awkward changes happening in real time for the viewer to witness, mostly for the worse. 

With only those last two episodes to get a feel for what the future would look like, I wasn't particularly enthused by the potential for Season 2. And to make things more interesting, The Bridge's co-showrunner and head writer Meredith Stiehm—who's considered a huge get for her work on some of Homeland's best episodes—departed the series in the offseason, leaving Elwood Reid as the lone person in charge. In short, The Bridge had a lot riding on its return.

The Season 2 debut, "Yankee," offered no indication that any of The Bridge's problems have been fixed, as it still can't seem to focus or create anything to cling to. Yes, it has stories to tell—a lot of them, actually. But none of those stories appear to be connected to the others. Sonya is now bunking and bumping with Jack Dobbs, the brother of the man who killed her sister, in what I'd call questionable behavior for a young lady. Save for one brief how-do-you-do, Marco is detached from Sonya, and trudging through a divorce and more police corruption in Chihuahua. Hank is doing non-cop stuff with Eva, instead of doing cop stuff with Marco and Sonya. Even Daniel and Adriana aren't doing a whole lot together; Daniel is following the money from Millie Quintana's house, and Adriana is helping her family search for her sister (who is probably dead, she says). Charlotte, Ray, Cesar, and Linder didn't even make an appearance in the premiere, meaning things are going to get even more crowded—and also sparse—when they eventually do return with their own stories. And let me repeat that last absence: No Linder? Are you kidding me? 


There's nothing inherently wrong with a show that depicts a cross-section of a setting by following a bunch of different characters or stories that paint a larger picture of what's going on and how everything is related (The Wire, which The Bridge clearly counts among its inspirations, was great in this regard). Heck, The Bridge has a fantastic premise for experimenting with that approach. But are any of its stories interesting yet? 

And weren't things better when Marco and Sonya worked together? Wasn't part of the fun, watching Marco deal with Sonya's Asperger's? Elsewhere, Daniel and Adriana became one of the best pairings of last summer, yet the writers have handed Adriana her own story instead of playing to the character's strengths—she's best used as Daniel's partner, part-time foil, and reluctant friend. All the main players are scattered, and that seeps into the overall feeling of the show. One hour into Season 2, The Bridge is still as aimless and meandering as it was at the end of Season 1. 

As for new characters, Franka Potente arrived as one mean lady who's connected to the pallets of cash found at the Quintana house. We still don't know a whole lot about her except that if you spill a hot beverage on her stuff, you'll be one ear lighter very soon afterward. So yeah, she's tough, she likes to take nude showers to wash the gore off her heavily tattooed body, and she doesn't mind asking a few kids for help cleaning up. Aside from that, she's not really setting Season 2 on fire as the new bad guy. It's early and there's plenty of time for her to become a bigger force in the show, but for now, I don't feel like I know enough about her to believe she's a good anchor for the season.

The draw of The Bridge (har) was always meant to be Marco and Sonya, and both characters are in a tough spot, with Sonya standing up with her pants off, and Marco wondering if one of his own cops wants him dead. I'm still trying to figure out whether Sonya is a worthy lead character. Her Asperger's makes her infinitely unpredictable, as seen in her sexing up of the sibling of the guy who killed her sister; it's preposterous behavior, but it's also reluctantly acceptable because of Sonya's social disorder, a loophole that allows The Bridge to put her in incredibly dumb and dangerous situations whenever it wants to. Of course, Season 1 set a precedent for her reckless sexual antics, so who am I to wonder if what she's doing is in line with her character. I just hope the 'trait' is used well and supports Sonya's development instead of just giving her something to do. Meanwhile, Marco's strong point in Season 1 hinged on his duality of being a family man and a cop who was slightly bent, if not entirely crooked. But now his son is dead and his wife doesn't want to see him. Who is he now? Just a man who sits in a dark room drinking? 

And speaking of dark rooms, how many scenes in this premiere took place in dim rooms while the blazing sunshine crept in through the rarely opened blinds? If part of The Bridge's Season 2 objective is to give the show a dark-room makeover, then mission accomplished! Get a lamp or something, folks! 

My biggest complaint about the Season 1 finale was that it didn't leave us with much to discuss, and that's also the case with the Season 2 premiere. By sending its characters out on their own journeys, The Bridge has thinned everything out to the point that there's nothing to get excited for. We've seen a rash of cable dramas that have the look and feel of the great cable dramas that came before them, and The Bridge is quickly lumping itself into that unfortunate group. There's a good show somewhere in The Bridge, but right now the show's creative choices aren't allowing that good show to reach the surface. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know it's just the first episode of the season, but the disappointing end to Season 1 leads me to believe that this is just how The Bridge is going to be. The good news? There are still 12 episodes left to prove me wrong, and believe me, I hope I'm wrong. 


THE BORDER BETWEEN THE STORY AND THE NOTES

– I'm wondering what the show needs to do with Marco regarding what kind of cop he wants to be. Right now he lets the corruption in Chihuahua happen as long as it doesn't affect him. Does he need to take more of a stance on the matter? His job could probably use more conflict.

– Sonya continues to tell the horrible truth: "Well at least you can have sex with other women now that you are divorced."

– It was nice to see Brian Baumgartner (The Office) as a kick-ass Rush fan. It figures Daniel wouldn't understand the brilliance of Canada's finest. 

– Again, NO LINDER? Or Ray? Boo.


What did you think of the premiere? What are you hoping to see in Season 2?


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Just saw the latest episode (S2E3) and I'm afraid The Bridge is spotlighting another psycho killer this season. The show has (or had?) a great potential to be so much more than just another cops vs. psycho kind of show. It's disappointing to see it go down this route. Very, very disappointing.

I miss the scenes showing the characters crossing the bridge and the differences and similarities of the two cities on either side of the bridge.

Tim's comparison to "The Following" might turn out to be very accurate because there seems to be a religious angle with the new baddie/s.

Why does Adriana not seem to care about her sister?? She's all like, "Eh, she's probably dead. What can you do?" and then basically shrugs it off. If she put half as much effort into investigating her sister's disappearance as she does with the Millie Quintana story, she might actually find her or at least find out what happened to her.
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Judging from this review, I'm glad I jumped ship after the sloppy way season 1 ended.
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Having Lyle Lovett phone in 20 seconds every third episode or so doesn't make it any stronger. Most of the actors are killing (in a good way) but there's way too much confusion as Tim notes. It also seems like someone is watching Breaking Bad and Sons of Anarchy and thinking, "So if we do horribly violent over the top shit, it'll be good" which isn't the case. You have to know a character first before you can want to see them cut an ear off so frivolously, no? So far, in the entire history of this show, the most brilliant moment was in episode one where Marco shows pain in getting up at a crime scene. It only comes out later that he'd just had a vasectomy. That's art, a minor detail and a callback 20 minutes later! AGreed the show really good bad near the end of season one, in fact I was surprised it got renewed. Such great potential, what a waste. Please calm the chaotic writing down and get at least a little focus on a few arcs?
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"I really wanted to love the show" as do I. It's fleeting moments of brilliance are what keeps me coming back but the kick off of Season 2 left a lot to be desired. Hoping my patience pays off in the end...
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"She likes to take nude showers" ??? Um, don't we all?
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Season 1 did go off track with Tate/Marco at the end of the season, but this Episode was solid. Yes the characters were scattered and doing their own thing, but that is how new Seasons generally start. The story will come together in the next episode and become more focused from there. Seriously, this is like Television 101, how the heck can people be critical of this?
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What a mess this episode was! And we still haven't touched the tunnel thing nor Thomas M. Wright's story...
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Actually loved season1. 2 i think is looking to be equally good really like the settings of the series.
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At the time, I was totally fine with the last two episodes of season 1. I saw them as an in depth showing of what most other series would recap with out of place exposition and dialogue explain "what happened over the summer".

It provided a nice cleanup of what happened through the first 11 episodes and set the stage for season 2 to hit the ground running...

Ya, so, there wasn't so much running as there was slow meandering. On the plus side, we get an evil Marie. I'm always a little disappointed that Franka Potente doesn't get more work, at least on this side of the pond.

The (potential) fatal flaw for The Bridge is how to maintain the buddy cop component of Marco and Sonya. I mean, is there really any reason for these two to interact at all any more? That being the case, we're looking at two completely seperate story lines of what happens in Juarez and what happens in El Paso. Sure, there's this Juarez Girls case that's common to both sides, but at the speed this show travels, they're a long way away from another joint investigation.

I'll keep with the show, but it's bumped down the priority list.
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Re Marco and the corruption: I think it's pretty evident this new DA wants to clean house, and I also think he and Marco are sizing each other up as possible allies in house-cleaning.
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It appears self-evident that the director and/or DP continue to like Lynch's style. A lot.
History teaches to not underestimate the psychotic underpinnings of tea drinkers. When will they learn? Apparently the obsequious banker bee didn't get the memo from John Billingsley. But then neither did the latter seem to appreciate that cartel representatives never simply request anything.
I'd agree that Franka's character appears the more interesting for the moment. A bag lady, of sorts, who is like a scald cat one minute but then calmly calculatingly brutal the next. I can only assume her tattooist was a). unwilling and b). in multiple parts now somewhere. She also appears to be the classic femme fatale with a broken spirit on display, to draw in help and/or her prey only to eat it if she so chooses. The blood soaked wash scene appeared to suggest she was not only present for the butchering but no doubt revelled in engagement by swimming in it. Thus I can't imagine she merely got covered in blood from cleaning up the house. But the question remains why she was separated from it and her thug? And, knowing what she did, why didn't she bring a spare Sunday Best?
The other story arcs/characters don't, in my opinion, really require much writing or debate over for now as they're either too incidental or obvious first season planters. And the trailer made it clear that the animal mask brigade are the real fresh troupe to look forward to getting things moving a fresh.
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Hey tim, stick a joint in it!
This is a good show, much better then some of the other drivel you love!
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I thought the season 2 premiere was good. Franka Potente is pretty scary. She scared the hell outta me. What more do u want? She was in a house full of dead bodies and blood wielding a machete. It's too early to write this show off it was only the 1st episode. I'm sure Marco and Sonya will work together. I've always hated cop shows but I really like this one. We'll see what happens.
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The show was so painful to watch last year, I'm certainly not tuning in for more this season!
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Looks like Tim have a man crush on Linder.

I liked the duo of Franka Potente and her side kick very much.

"Many Americans drive Hybrid"
"Many Americans are gay"
"I thought you will go for the hand"
"It is better, he wasn't listening"

So I was kind of disappointed he was killed so fast. I wonder why. Did he tried to rape her?

I think one of the main arc of this season will be about the missing girls. At least I hope it would be since they had been building it up.
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I think he disobeyed her and/or acted/spoke without dispensation to do so one time too many. He was definitely annoying her.

But, as is often my case...I can't forgive killing the dog. Why, why, why with the animal-killing?
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The leftovers have lots of killing of animals too and Hannibal had some. I do not know if it is a coincidence but looks like it is more common these days.

To me it is just as bad as killing humans and we got lots of that too.
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I invariably think of John Le Carre and the Smiley books when I watch the American version of The Bridge. It goes against the grain of sensationalism in American procedurals in much the same way as the aforementioned books were to the Bond mythos. The pace is slow and for some, boring. The plots seem chaotic, while the Americans love to be given the plots on a silver platter: who the villain is, why he is killing, what is the motives of the hero's to have chosen to be a cop or spy.
Personally, I like the slower pace because it gives me time to dwell on my own over the different ramifications of the plots, it makes me Google at least or research, or even sometimes reread books to understand what is exactly happening and what are the genuine motives involved. The more chaotic the plots, the more I enjoy the exquisite details that make them come together like the butterfly's wings in the scientific theory of the same.
If you do not get that both Scandinavian series as The Bridge and The Killing are about the freedom to make up your own mind about the subjects involved, then really, you should not watch it.
I think it is too early to dissect episodes at this point, but I most assuredly enjoying the ride. I sincerely wish you the same.
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Like a lot of shows, The Bridge could benefit from lessening the soapy drama aspect it employs.
The corruption and drug plots are done well, and as long as there is more emphasis on them, I'll stick by it.
I don't care about Sonya's hook up, Marco's divorce or Daniels AA plots as they muddle the shows focus.
Franka Potenta's character was quite interesting - she seems to have some aspects of aspergers or obsessive compulsion, which may draw interesting comparisons to Sony as the season progresses
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I think it would be a fun twist on the overused alcoholic storyline if Daniel actually did manage his alcohol consumption responsibly, especially while others continue to ask and ridicule him over not going completely sober. I doubt this will happen, and they'll probably just go into the all too familiar story of him losing control and spiralling out.
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I'd prefer it if he became a raging drunk, but his work actually improves because of his drinking
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I would accept that scenario as well, just anything other than the ridiculously overused failing drunk who has to come to terms with his failures and overcome sobriety to move forward. That storyline has been used WAYYY too many times.
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I've grown tired of imports from other Euro community countries being regarded as something new and fresh to the point of being aired as The Emperor's New Clothes. Yes, of course, there are shows with some unique qualities to them but many, and I really mean many, are far from original and come off as seriously naff and hammy. In fact, there's a substantive recently made pool of 70s/80's -esque shows that are totally cringe inducing and child-like in their plots and language - except with the 'saving grace' of adult themes and actual boobs, other than the actors per se.
However, I'm going to watch the season two opener of this later because I, dare I say it, I do, liked season one overall.
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I have to say that Franka Potenta did come across as an interesting villain. Cold, brutal and with whatever her weird thing is about being touched, there's some potential there.

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I didn't see her so much as cold and brutal as just focused on her job and accepting of the life she'd chosen to live and how things generally have to work in that life.
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Not any criticism on the Mormons, but she looked a lot like the bunch that apparently took care of Howard Hughes,if you get my drift.
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No offence I hope, but I think you shouldnt review this show.
You dont seem to enjoy or appreciate whatever this show has to offer. I dont say you are a bad reviewer. but it is too obvious you are not "compatible" with this show, I dont see the point of reviewing it.

The Bridge (US) has a specific character and pace, slowly evolving whatever plot it has in mind. To write from episode 1 that it goes nowhere and that nothing exciting happens shows most of all that you dont care about the series and you dont have any interest of investing in it.

Personally I found the 1st episode intriguing and the set up for the rest of the season interesting. I have my issues with the show, mostly that still loves to go around 1 bazillion of plots instead of focusing on the 2 basic "couples": Marco and Sonya and Daniel and Adriana.
However I found it much improved than season 1, which we spent following the Danish/Swedish Original's plot of the omnipotent serial Killer.

As for those comparing it with the original Swedish/Danish version, I have to say it is a different show anymore. I absolutely loved Bron/Broen but it also has its own issues. Second season of Bron, even if it had some very strong moments and great finale, it was a bit of mess especially for the Saga character. And the pace it is pretty much the same, nothing was resolved or told from the 1st episode of Bron, on the contrary.
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Tim should not review many a shows because he has shown time and again that he just hates nearly every series he has recently reviewed. Check it out, the balance against series he doesn't like outweigh by far those he does. He doesn't get European television of which this series is an American version, nor does he understand comics for series taken from that medium. And the list of shortcomings just go on.
I do not dislike the man, whom I have never met or had any meaningful conversation with him .He can be a ravishing genius and wonderful personality for all I know.But it is clear he simply has nothing to do in that particular business of reviewing.And I am not by far the only one who shares this view, so welcome to the club, Lolotaki.
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well I had no interest of continuing to visit this place, but Kerkesh you might make me come back again next week. Even if the reviewer continues not to get a single clue about the show he is supposed to review :D
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:-D
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TIM SHOULD REVIEW EVERYTHING!!!
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That's the best of your jokes , yet. I couldn't stop laughing until it hurts. Lenny Bruce has nothing on you.Hilarious. OMG, you're just killing me.
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It might be the most offensive joke I have ever told!
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Think I will pass, better do an entire recap of SoA :)
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As long as they stay away from the Tate story which really was a giant let down of what could have been a great season of tv last year then it will be judged kind of new and I am going to give it another 4 Ep test.

But out last season did kind of leave a bad taste in my mouth. The reveal that the killer was merely a revenge seeking psychopath that put way too much effort in trying to enact that revenge was kind of a giant waste of time. If this is going to focus more on the cartels then it might get interesting. But Marcos is right, he and Sonya are causing trouble for them, there really is nothing stopping them from killing her and Marcos. So that plot hole is kind of a big one to try to fill. Neither he or Sonya aren't particularly above average as police officers so why not eliminate them and go on about your business.

The rest hasn't been brought to the forefront yet so I guess we will wait and see.
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MICROSPOILER

Tate will be back. His very abused face was shown in the "scenes from upcoming episodes" bit at the end. I doubt he himself will be a major character other than as some sort of plot device in Marco and Fausto's relationship, but the season won't be completely free of him.
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There is a strong subplot of revenge and its meaning that runs all through the series, so the issue of whether Marco will kill or spare Tate will have to surface at some point. I just hope it will not be a focal point.
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That I can handle. As long as it isn't drawn out. Actually now that I think of it it could help with the plot hole. If fausto gets Tate for Marcos to kill then he has Marcos and Sonya through Marcos. Which could provide them both the protection that they need. Even if Sonya doesn't know or realize that is why. I am not sure but that would at least help explain why they haven't been killed.
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Dear American tv station, just because all your CSI/NCSI ECT. suck ass its no reason to POORLY copy ours and make it suck by "Americanize" it. Here is a good idea: A show about tv writers who were so out of ideas that they had to start buying other peoples work.
Just do SUBTITLES FFS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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I think, dear fujin, that it is the desire of the Scandinavian creators to enter the more potentially wealthy American market. Don't forget that the Scandinavian producers have remained involved in the different Swede and Danish productions revisited for American consumption. These series do not suck and justice have been done to them as best as could, it is the reviews on that site that entirely at fault.
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if a Scandinavian series has been remade by Americans they always suck compared to the originals. " justice have been done to them as best as could" = they were generalized a notch to interest everyone.
Our television networks are publicly funded to ensure that writers have the ability to care about story arc and not the most common denominator that ensures high ratings.
Its just a better system that goes away from the American recipe tv shows, (ncsi, csi Miami , csi ny, csi las vegas) copy paste ad infinitum, and when you have seen one episode you have almost seen the whole show.
Yes America and Canada have good shows as well... there is just further between them than over here.
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I'm sure Danish-Swedish television is just brimming with brilliant programming begging to be plagiarized by hordes of untalented American hacks.Here is a good idea: why don't you leave us silly Americans to our own devices and you can lighten up and go watch one of those cheery Ingmar Bergman films.
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Because as we all know, TV board members are all idiots and assholes no matter what continent they are on, so the idiots here actually buy the crappy remakes of our shows.....

You Americans are Awesome at syfy and action, witch we suck at, but Drama? Americans suck at making tv drama
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You have no idea what you're talking about.
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There are far too many exceptions to the rule in that scenario to give your statement any validity.
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Subtle, layered, thought-provoking drama is certainly not beyond Americans' abilities to make and/or watch and appreciate. There are many fine examples to support that assertion (IMO). However, all too often the major networks go with a Lowest Common Denominator approach since that will ultimately generate the most advertising revenue. When all is said and done, the studios are out to make money more than producing high quality fare.

I really wish they did have a rising-tides-lift-all-boats mentality but most don't. TV has the power both to elevate the collective intelligence level of the population and to lower it greatly. That's a huge responsibility and opportunity that they largely choose to sacrifice on the altar of pure profit.

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That's the difference right there: advertising revenue - our television networks are publically funded. There is no pressure to apple to the lowest common denominator, I just hate that they buy low quality American carp (no offence intended) remake of there own shows. It makes me want to rip off the tv board peoples arms and beat them to death with it. I have see American tv channels, and I have to say (again no offence intended) it sucks ASS compared to ours.
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I really like this show and while it is sometimes a bit clunky it remains very interesting.I have faith they can pull it together for an excellent season.
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The second season premiere earned points from me for using a flashforward and not captioning the next scene with a time and/or place.
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I have to say I really enjoyed this episode. It brought the good kind of crazy that the first season got known for. At the moment I very much judge this episode based on feeling, because there isn't much content to go on since it is the first episode. I would put the emphasis on Tim's comment "I know it's just the first episode of the season". At the moment the different story lines are not connected, but I know they will become connected as the season progresses. Will the show succeed in connecting them in a satisfying manner? That I don't know, but I'll be a judge of that once the season has ended.

As Tim said: " There are still 12 episodes left to prove me wrong, and believe me, I hope I'm wrong." I hope that too. But for the moment, I won't jump to any conclusions or speculate what the potential of the second season will be based on this single episode. As just an opening episode, I thought it was fine, not superb, but fine enough for me to keep watching the show.
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There is no reason to spend time watching this remake, which is but a pale and uninspired shadow of the original Danish-Swedish original series.
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I think you should look at this and The Tunnel as somewhat sociological studies on the different perceptions of the peoples involved and also entertain you. I think any comparison beyond that is doing it a disservice and perhaps, yes, you should not watch it. Personally, I gain from watching it, but that's just me.
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Not sure why, but i've always wanted this show to succeed, and even if it always just misses the mark I keep coming back.
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I think they really need more focus on the cinematography. The locations and environments are amazing when you see them, they really need to use them more.
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It coulf get there any time but so far there is no mystery. Shows such as this (sleazy cop thriller/procedurals) need a season long mystery to hold them together the fact that season 1 'solved' the mystery 2 weeks before the finale which took the point outta watching illustrates this.
What is mystery so far? Is there anyone Sonya won't bounce bones with? Is Marco ever gonna wake up & realise shit happens & the best he can do is look forwards & quit glumly gazing backwards?

As audience intriguing mysteries, those two suck but thus far they are all that is on offer, apart from if Linder shows up, whether he will do an Orr and take the crab apples out of his cheeks so we can understand him when he speaks.
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needing a season long mystery is your thing, but it is not necessarily everyone's else's thing. So if this show doesn't give you that, then I can see that you would have problems with it. To expect the mystery to develop in the first episode could be asking too much, and I expect things will form in the next few episides. There are many things happening with this series, and I welcome them. They help keep me watching.
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Not bad but not great. That's just the way it is for this series. Even so, I'm still far more enthused about this than Tyrant, to which I've cooled more and more with each successive episode. FX has some splainin' to do of late.

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/yawn.

Nothing exciting at all.
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