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Geopolitical Television Drama Within and Beyond the Nordic Region

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  • Pei-Sze Chow
  • ,
  • Anne Marit Waade
  • Robert A. Saunders, Farmingdale State College, State University of New York, United States
This article presents a framework for thinking about the intersections between geopolitics and Northern European television drama by examining the contemporary Nordic Noir genre of crime drama. Nordic Noir features not only the double plot that combines sociopolitical critique with crime drama, but also a third “gaze” that engages aesthetics and territorial features that further individual series’ geopolitical critique. Nordic Noir has become especially attuned to contemporary geopolitical issues specific to its setting (climate change, East-West rivalries, etc.), through which viewers engage with region-specific geopolitical codes and visions. However, what happens when Nordic geopolitical television drama series are exported and transculturally adapted to different geopolitical and cultural realities? By examining the Southeast Asian localisation of The Bridge (Viu/HBO Asia, 2018–) that transforms Nordic Noir into “tropical noir”, this article critically reflects on the geopolitical power and societal engagement of the Nordic Noir template both within and beyond the Nordic region.

Keywords: Nordic Noir, geopolitics, transcultural adaptation, Bron/Broen, The Bridge, Southeast Asia
Original languageEnglish
JournalNordicom Review
Pages (from-to)11-27
Number of pages17
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2020

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