The police are unattractive, can’t sleep and need to bathe. After a full episode, I still can’t figure out who did it, or even if an actual crime has occurred. The pace is slow and everybody smokes. The suspects include everybody on screen.
I am not watching anything from U.S. TV. Case was written and directed in Iceland, a country in which they speak a totally different language! Subtitles are needed of course, but after a half an hour, my wife asked if I would turn up the volume. If you liked Broachurch, featuring the unintelligible David Tennant, this might be just as watchable.
I can’t review it, since I’m just an episode in, but it is totally out of my early TV watching experience.
Remember the 1970’s Steven J. Cannell series A-Team, Rockford Files and such? The first scene was always the crime, and the details were told on screen — as if one character didn’t know how they were doing the crime:
Bad Guy One: Hey, hurry up. We need to get these boxes of guns marked as medicine to the General before sundown, so he can kill more civilians in his foreign country including those pesky nuns who refuse to sell their mission for a fort…
Bad Guy Two: Okay, but can stop to shower and shave first?
Bad Guy One: NO. You will stay sleazy. It says so in the script.
U.S. TV is pretty much still like this. There are variations, where the good guy is secretly a bad guy, or the good guy is really good but feels bad when he does bad things…Elliot Stabler, we’re looking at you…
Even our high quality TV shows feature a reliable architecture. On Law and Order and SVU they always arrest the wrong person at 10:20, the evidence is tossed out by about 10:40, the theory of the crime changes after the next commercial, say 10:45, and in the final scenes the entire case is upended, only to end with a conviction by 10:55. Local news.
We like our cops smart, good-looking and able. Except for Law and Order SVU, where they can arrest the wrong person a lot. Eventually they arrest the correct person, and look damned good doing it. Our police dramas are just westerns in suits.
Amazon international cop shows do not follow this pattern at all. [Yes, I know the Amazon shows often are repackaged shows from individual countries.] Watch Broadchurch, Season one.The police nearly starved to death dealing with their inability to track down a sandwich shop. The police are literally not good at their jobs, lives or hygiene.
International shows avoid the U.S. pattern.
For that reason only, I’m giving Case a try.