Friday, May 08, 2009

'Wallander' review - Sepinwall on TV

In today's column, I review "Wallander," the new PBS "Mystery!" series starring Kenneth Branagh, who's terrific in the lead role.

19 comments:

Ruth said...

I cannot wait to see this show, the previews look fantastic!

Anonymous said...

It's a BBC production so aired over here last year. It's fantastic. Gloomy, very swedish and Branagh is always superb.

Anonymous said...

as always*

olucy said...

Thanks for the tip. I sometimes forget about Mystery! and Masterpiece Theater, so I'll definitely check this out.

Nicole said...

It is definitely worth watching. It's too bad there were only so few episodes the first time around. schalluo

fabarati said...

After sooooo many wallander movies and mini-series here in sweden, I'm quite frankly tired of the man. I definetly won't be watching.

And besides, Ystad is a small town in the midddle of nowhere. boring place to be in, boring place to set novels/tv-shows/movies in

Alf said...

I'm happy to see some Masterpiece Theatre/Mystery love on your site, Alan!

Cameron Hughes said...

The books are terrific

Angela said...

I can't remember the last time I watched a Mystery! show. The comment about it being more about the characters than the mystery intrigues me since I'm not much of a mystery person but love in-depth
characters with lots of depth.
So,thanks for the heads up!

PS: I really enjoy your blog. I was also thrilled to see and read so many comments by others about the shows too!

pmaha said...

I've read every Wallander mystery that Henning Mankell wrote. I approach with skepticism.

olucy said...

Angela, if you like stories where the characters are deeper than the mystery, you might also like Foyle's War.

Ariadne said...

Intriguing and well done but a little to dark and twisted for me to watch as relaxation. My TV listings describe it as 'the Norse Morse', which seems accurate. (Me, I prefer Foyle's War.)

Anonymous said...

I found the plot pretty boring, the episode disappointing--but I agree, Branagh was retrained and as un-actorish as I've ever seen him.

Of course, maybe I'm prejudiced from the start--I don't care for the books--as a great fan of the Per Sjowall & Maj Wahloo Martin Beck detective novels, my standards for Swedish mysteries are maybe too high.

Anonymous said...

I have read and love all the books. Very dark and dreary and the series seems to keep that part of it up. I really liked it; I really always like Branagh. The anachronism of it seems weird. Cell phones and Wallander driving my exact same car seem odd. (Plus Wallander should live in an apt bldg - oaky now I am getting picky). I will watch them all because I know the stories, but I suspect I would get alot of questions from my husband because (as with most adaptations) alot of the story is missing.

olucy said...

Branagh and Warner were quite good, but overall the story itself was a little ordinary. And it was distracting to hear British accents set among the Swedish countryside and Swedish language newspapers. Quite a disconnect.

Beth said...

Found the mystery pretty dark, but the acting was fine and it kept me awake--more than I can say for some of that Masterpiece Theatre stuff. I don't mind the British accents--they're speaking English; speaking English with phony Swedish accents to signify that it's "really" Swedish would be pretty lame today.
More props for Nicholas Hoult, please--he's doing so well!

olucy said...

But just because it's produced by the BBC....couldn't they hire Swedish actors?

sueb said...

Never read the books - I liked Branagh and Warner. The mystery itself didn't really play out to me. Why did the girl burn herself? She had escaped, why not just run away? (as one small example)
And sure Nick Hoult is just playing a bit part - once you spot him, the gig's up.
To really pick the old nits, shouldn't the detective's name be pronounced "Vallander"? It's a Germanic language.

keyboard samurai said...

Kenneth Branagh was good, the acting in general was decent on the first episode. I don't know how the books are but I didn't find the character of Wallander very compelling. Gloomy is fine but stupid isn't. He is a rather lousy detective. First, you have someone willing to kill in ruthless and grisly ways and you have a hotshot hacker kid that is solving the whole cyber mystery for you, you better damn sure protect him very, very well. When the kid tells you the answer, stop, put 2 and 2 together and sit at the CM location and take out the guy. Don't blunder around and tip him off so he kills someone else who in dying has to give you the answer again because you are not bright enough to put together when the kid told you earlier what the nature of the trigger was! pathetic.