If you love to binge-watch crime TV series, then you should look across the ocean and check out some foreign dramas. Some of the most popular American crime shows of the last few years have been based on foreign TV series. In most cases the shows are not exact remakes, so you won't feel like you're watching a carbon copy. In all instances the setting is different, and in some the killers and motivation have even been altered, so you will be in for a surprise. Here is a list of three really great foreign TV crime shows that spawned US remakes.
Broen (The Bridge)
Broen is a Danish crime drama. It's about a Swedish female detective (with Asperger's syndrome) who must join up with a Danish homicide detective to solve a murder that occurs on the border of both countries (on a bridge, to be exact). The American remake ran only two seasons and focused on a Mexican detective teamed up with a female American detective (played by Diane Kruger). The Danish version is much tighter, focusing on the crime and the personality conflict between the female detective and her male counterpart (a womanizing, married man). The American version included a huge drug-business plot line, and a vibe that was more No Country For Old Men or Sicario than the brooding psychological drama that Broen was. The original is still in production and still a smash hit in Europe. The most interesting thing in both series is the character of the female detective, who has to struggle with Asperger's while solving a murder. The plot of the European version is much more streamlined than the American version and is much more of a classic procedural crime drama.
Broadchurch is a tremendous English crime drama that starred David Tenant. It was so successful, and Tenant was so good in the lead role, that he came over to star in the US remake. The US remake was not as popular, perhaps do to the decision to alter the ending of the original. While it was close to a point-by-point remake, the series does take a severe left turn at the end. The English version had a second season that continued the plot line of the original and also fills in the backstory of the protagonist. It deals with the murder case that took place before the events of the first season that caused Tenant's character to show up in Broadchurch.
Forbrydelsen (The Killing)
The Killing was a huge hit when it was on AMC a few years ago. Like The Bridge, it featured a female detective with an odd personality. In this one, she is partnered with a young detective who is battling an addiction to drugs. The two of them have to navigate the murky details surrounding the murder of a young girl. The American remake is interesting in that it has more of an emphasis on the personality of the two detectives whereas the Swedish original was more of a Euro-style thriller that focused on the corruption and political machinations involved in the murder. Like Broadchurch, the resolution to the murder is different in the original, so you won't be bored watching it.
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