Saturday 10/16/21
TV SERIES

Five Finnish 'Nordic noir' series to discover

Finnish fiction series are sparking interest around the world, as the 'Nordic noir' genre gains popularity.
Screenshot of the trailer of All The Sins. Image: YouTube.
Screenshot of the trailer of All The Sins. Image: YouTube.

The Finnish series are starting to arouse interest around the world.

Digital platforms like Netflix have been acquiring the rights to broadcast some of these products, so millions of people from different countries have had the opportunity to discover them. Is this the golden age of Finnish TV series?

Let's take a look at some recent hits.

Bordertown


It all started with Bordertown (or Sorjonen, in Finnish). A detective named Kari Sorjonen moves from Helsinki to Lappeenranta, a city near the Russian border, in search of the peace he and his family need. His wife is recovering from cancer and so they decide to go to his hometown. But soon Kari Sorjonen will discover that his job will not be so easy ...

The key to Bordertown's success is the charismatic protagonist. Sorjonen charms the audience with his peculiar gestures and his intelligence. In addition, he is the type of person who is passionate about his work, but who sometimes does not understand the feelings and needs of his own family.

-Where to watch it? YLE Areena (Finland) & Netflix (abroad).

Deadwind

Another Finnish production that got many fans around the world is Deadwind (known as Karppi in Finland). The protagonist has an opposite personality compared to Sorjonen.

Sofia Karppi is a detective who has just lost her husband, she always shows an impulsive character and does not think too much about the consequences of her actions, both in her personal life and in her work.

Karppi will have to figure out who is the murderer of a woman whose body has been found in Helsinki. But in the background of this case, there are some economic interests and even politics play a role.

 -Where to watch it? YLE Areena (Finland) & Netflix (abroad).

The Paradise

Unlike the previous two series, El Paraíso takes a very Finnish action to southern Europe.

In the sunny coastal city of Fuengirola (Malaga, Spain), the Spanish police are beginning to worry about a series of crimes involving Finnish citizens. To put an end to the murders on the Costa del Sol, the local security forces end up requesting the collaboration of their Finnish colleagues.

The main attraction for Finnish audiences is the return to the screens of Fran Perea (as Andrés Villanueva in El Paraíso). Perea was already a celebrity in Finland when Los Serrano became a popular series in the Nordic country.

However, The Paradise (also known as Kosta or Paratiisi) did not reach the high levels of popularity nor has it been as acclaimed by the public as Sorjonen or Karppi.

 -Where to watch it? YLE Areena (Finland).

Bullets

The next series is related to a topic that has been troubling Europe and the world for the past decades: terrorism.

Bullets shows the story of Madina Taburova (Sibel Kekilli), a refugee who has just arrived in Finland with a false identity.

As she adjusts to the reality of her new country, the police keep an eye on her to try to discover her true plans and to do so they send Mari Saari (Krista Kosonen) as an undercover agent posing as a social worker.

During the development of the first and only season, viewers will discover Madina Taburova's true intentions in Finland. In addition to this, the chapters will also explain the reason for Mari's special personality and her childhood trauma.

 -Where to watch it? Elisa Viihde & C More (Finland).

All the Sins

Last but not least, All the Sins (Kaikki synnit in Finnish) takes two Helsinki police officers to a remote town called Varjakka to investigate crimes that disturb the Laestadian religious community, an ultra-conservative branch of the Lutheran church that has numerous members mostly in Northern Scandinavia, where they live by their own rules.

Two bodies have been found dead in similar circumstances in the span of a week, so the police decide to send detectives Lauri Räihä (Johannes Holopainen) and Sanna Tervo (Maria Sid) to clarify what happened in the town.

What makes All the sins special compared to the other series is the way the music is used to create suspense, as well as the cultic undertone behind the story.

-Where to watch it? Elisa Viihde (Finland), Channel 4 (UK) & Amazon Prime Video (abroad).

*Pablo Morilla is a journalist, author of the blog Michan en Finlandia.

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