Killing us softlyInvestigating the aesthetics, philosophy and influence of Nordic Noir television

Type Article
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-35
Number of pages15
JournalThe Journal of Popular Television
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 01 Apr 2015
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This article will investigate a form of Scandinavian crime fiction known as Nordic Noir, primarily focusing on examples from Swedish and Danish television. First, it will set out and explain the genre’s major narrative and aesthetic characteristics, offering illustration from serials such as Wallander (2005–2014), Forbrydelsen (2007–2012) and Broen (2011–). It will then explain how these techniques are specifically designed in order to explore a number of moral, social and ‘philosophical’ concerns. Finally, it will reveal how the genre has influenced recent examples of television drama found in Britain and America, focusing on Broadchurch (2013–), The Fall (2013–) and True Detective (2014–). The conclusion will argue that Nordic Noir’s global influence is now helping to reinvent a new breed of miniseries, one that is uniquely suited to the requirements of the new broadcasting age.


  • police procedural, detective drama, television aesthetics, Scandinavia, television narrative, mini series