With its small population of only 5.6 million inhabitants, its public service broadcasting dominance, and no recent history of world colonization or immigration, the near global success of Denmark’s television industry over the last five years is as unprecedented as it is impressive. Previous work on transnational media distribution and reception has repeatedly shown that non-Anglophone content rarely exports outside its geo-linguistic region due to the perception that audiences in other regions would be too far removed culturally and linguistically. Similarly, theories on the consumption of audio-visual content have tended to neglect transnational, ‘non-resident’ viewing and, instead, emphasised the importance of geo-linguistic, national or ‘resident’ viewing. How, then, do we begin to account for the success of Danish language drama around the world? Through an analysis of interviews with international audiences of the three series Forbrydelsen, Borgen and Bron/Broen, this chapter argues that transnational and global media flow has given rise to an increasingly complex sense of cultural space and identity. It also suggests that contemporary audiences are continually zooming in and out between the familiar and the strange and between the local and the global in their engagement with transnational content.
Title of host publication
The Scandinavian Invasion : The Nordic Noir Phenomenon and Beyond