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  • I can’t wait. And may I suggest adding a “Netflix” tag? I feel certain I would like all your recommendations.

    • That’s a great idea – I love the Netflix recommendations from Kay and Ann!

  • Remember the three “The Girl ….” novels by Stieg Larsson, and the subsequent movies? Dark. Violent. Grim. Swedish.

  • You had me at Tom Hiddleston. I am a fan of The Night Manager and have only the series finale left to watch when it airs on Tuesday. So glad to know there’s more TH in my future.

  • Ingmar Bergman. just sayin’.

  • All the Wallander’s are absolutely excellent and make the best knitting companion!

  • I would also recommend Luther with Idris Elba. Wonderfully atmospheric police detective series with a quirky murderess who assists him from time to time. One caution….I did need to turn on the CC so I could understand what was being said. And, yes, they were speaking English.

  • I love Kenneth Branagh as Wallander and am distressed that this is the final season. And saddened that Wallander seems fated to end his days like his father.

  • You may make be break down and get Netflix. I’ve resisted so far.

  • Go with the Swedish version. Harder to knit by but even better.

  • OK, I will check out Wallander from my local library (where I work so I know we have it). I love Kenneth Branagh so I know I will like it. It’s hard to imagine him without a smile but they did the same thing with David Tenant of Dr. Who fame. He stars in Broadchurch with nary a smile in sight. It’s a great British series too. Seasons 1 and 2 should be at your local library and they are filming season 3 now.

    • OK, I just placed a hold for the first Wallander audio book (through Tennessee R.E.A.D.S.) The Pyramid. Turns out there are 13 books in all. And Season 1 of Wallander is available at my local library so I will pick it up today.

      • The Wallender books, and other novels, by Henning Mankell are great reads. Not easy to find even in NYC. I have Patti Smith to thank for this obsession.

        The K Branagh character is spot on. However, the sweaters are better in the Danish TV series “The Killing.” There are even patterns for them. Skal.

    • Broadchurch! Detective Alec Hardy. Can’t wait to see how they create a season 3 after such an ending to season 2. So good.

  • Love it but so sad this is final season . Never heard of the Tom Hiddleston version but will seek it out ASAP

    • Hiddleston played one of the younger, crag-less detectives in some episodes of the Branagh Wallander series. When TH suddenly became such big news this year, it took me AGES to figure out where I had seen him before!

  • And have you ever noticed how much of each show is long shots of the horizon with his car driving along. At times, Sweden looks like Kansas.

  • Please add Vera to your list. It isn’t Swedish but apparently they don’t own the grimly fascinating mystery altogether. It is on PBS and maybe other places as well.

    I am watching both series. It seems they go nicely with my lightweight cotton summer “Woven” shawl by Casapinka.

    It isn’t just me is it?

  • In our area, Vera is paired back to back with “Shetland”. My husband is especially fond of this one, which he sometimes refers to as “the one with the sweaters”. Seriously ,in some scenes every person is wearing some gorgeous hand knit creation: sweaters, scarves, hats. Its a good mystery series, and the most inspiring to knit to that I have seen.

    • We have Vera and Shetland, too. I have even gotten the spouse involved in watching these. I have been spoiled with the MHz Sunday night mysteries which aired Wallander in Swedish (hard to knit with subtitles). For those of you who prefer sunnier climates, if not mysteries, you might want to try the Montalbano series (set in Sicily) which also aired on MHz and can be acquired through Amazon.

      • Oh Christina, it was so good to see your post about the Montalbano series that is set in Sicily. The books behind these are amazing! I have read most of them and recommend them highly, as well as the movies.

    • Where/how do you watch “Shetland”? I can’t find it anywhere!

  • I love it that they film in Sweden, because the landscape seems more like an actual character than a backdrop in these stories, doesn’t it? Whew. When the first episode came out, I watched it (and every subsequent episode, many scenes from which haunt me to this day) only Because Ken (I call him “Ken”). Belinda told me I should also watch the “even better” Swedish version but honestly, this kind of looming, glooming, dark-night-of-the-human-souling stuff leaves me less than cheerful, and I don’t seek out that kind of feeling. Unless Ken. Or Hugh.
    I was really excited when the 4th series was announced. Excited and a little queasy. The open-faced sandwiches will be served well before viewing.

  • And by the way, there was at least one episode where I took screenshots of a sweater in case I ever develop Reverse Engineering skills.
    Hey, it could happen…

    • I need to see this sweater!

    • Season 3, Episode 3, I think!

  • We actually watched the Swedish series first (with subtitles) and were thrilled to ‘find’ the English series. I would like to officially complain here that these series are too short.

  • Tom Hiddleston’s hair is perfectly TRAGIC in this series. Just saying.

    • Roaring with laughter! 🙂

    • It seems rare that it ISN’T tragic. Loki’s is, and I seem to recall some sad locks in Crimson Peak, too (note: even TH couldn’t save that movie. It’s pretty but so frustrating).

  • I just found Wallander on our local PBS. Will definitely go back
    and see the earlier ones o Netflix. Adore Hugh Laurie and Hiddleston on The Night Manager.

  • I know! Love Wallander too, and Vera too (hope there is a new season coming)! Rather grim finale especially when he just found….:(

  • Yes! the Swedish version is not only better, the Wallander character is marginally more cheerful than the PBS series. Dicta, on Netflix, is a Danish television series with outstandingly conducive to knitting content and a female protagonist.

    • Heading over to Netflix right now to check out Dicta. And to see if they have the Swedish Wallander, too.

  • Yes, I’m going to watch the! I watched the Fall and Boardchurch last summer. Excellent gloomy knitting tv.

  • The Swedish version is better, but I still love the Kenneth Branaugh version. I also think the original British House of Cards is better than the American version, but I wouldn’t miss an episode of the Kevin Spacey version, either. The original House of Cards is on Netflix — well worth looking into if you like that type of show.

  • Holy smokes! A Swedish version to turn to after tonight’s season finale on PBS?! Speaking of sightings, Inga, Wallander’s ex, is played by Mrs. Hughes of Downton Abbey fame in Season 2.

  • I kind of loved how even the episode in South Africa had elements of the brooding flat light. I hope that Ken, whom I have loved since “The Fortunes of War” (along with his dazzling ex-wife Emma Thompson), returns again to PBS soon, very soon. Although I’d watch him read the phone book, if they still had phone books. And “Shetland.” The fog. The turned up collar on Perez’s peacoat. Get out the hot tea and honey.

  • I love Kenneth Branagh as Wallander. I love how depressing and bleak it is. I am so happy to find someone who thinks the same thing!

    Say, have you watched Hinterland? Wonderfully dreary and bleak, the landscape fairly drips with it.

  • The British version was great, but the Swedish definitely better. Netflix has a lot of great Nordic noirs to knit by nowadays.

  • Wallender is on Netfliz? Be still my heart. When the rain moves in tonight, I’ll be checking out Season Two.

  • I’ve done a lot of knitting to Wallander! But I need to check out the Swedish version.

  • Love knitting to Wallander, Inspector Morse, George Gently was wonderful and my fav has been Hinterland – the scenery is gorgeous!
    Will now go look for Vera, Dicta, Swiss version of Wallander — any other recs for knitting TV?

  • We love Wallander! My husband has his ringtone for his phone. I flinch every time I hear it.

    • Ha!

  • Love both versions of Wallander and the books too. The Swedish version has more episodes, so more depth, especially for the minor characters.

  • My first thought was what does crochet have to do with it? I imagine there could be some sort of connection. In the future I will read more carefully.

    I like a nice gloomy episode on Sunday evening, somehow seems an appropriate transition into the work week.

  • Hulu has the Swedish Wallender, along with The Sandhamn Murders (the most amazing looking scenery and actors) Acorn has all of the Vera series,and they debut here much earlier than other sites

  • Love a bit of Nordic noir, the bridge and the killing (serious jumper fame) being especially great – and in Danish (some Swedish) with subtitles. I also loved Borgen about the Danish parliament and recently started watching Bedrag (follow the money) about economic crime

    I am not so fond of Ken as Wallander, he’s a little too tragic thespian – he plays him like Hamlet! I like the two Swedish actors that have been Wallander, slightly warmer, more human and a bit less staring pensively into the distance.

  • I saw the very first episode of the British Wallander. It has a FANTASTIC use of landscape as a character, or as a shaper of characters. So many shots made the world feel flat and horizonless. When you come from the Mid-Atlantic US (land of rolling hills) and have lived within sight of the Alps, endless plains feel like alien worlds. I had that same near-disorientation in the Painted Desert and driving down Jordan’s Great Desert Highway and trying to figure out visual distances.

  • Have to hope I’m not too much of a party pooper here but I really never liked the British version of Wallander. I really enjoyed the Swedish version with Krister Henriksson which I watched on MHZ Mystery. The only downside is that I really need the subtitles. Otherwise, it was awesome!

    Due to the subtitle issue, however, it’s not great knitting TV unless I’m working on something that is garter or incredibly easy stockinette (which I still mess up!). I wish I learned languages easily because if only I understood Swedish, I could really enjoy the show (and Beck with Peter Haber which I adore) AND knit to my hearts content.

    Oh, well. Into each life a little rain shall fall, right?

  • Not sure if it’s available in the US, but if you get the chance and fancy more Nordic Noir, then do watch “Trapped”. It’s an Icelandic series (sweater alert!) and had us well and truly gripped from the first moment of its incredible title sequence (images of bleak landscape interspersed with close-ups of human flesh, yikes). The detective is equally troubled but much more cuddly than Wallander.

  • Putting my two cents in for preferring the English version as being vastly more faithful to the books. I was kind of shocked when I first saw the Swedish series. It had been highly recommended, but the Wallander just seems so narcissistic, even effeminate, compared to the character as written. Not that I didn’t watch the ones available… And why can’t we get Shetland in NYC? I think one episode was shown and that was it. I was totally primed for more sweaters and had to go see Ram instead (rent that one all you gloom- and lopapeysa-lovers). I guess I have to enter the world of Netflix or Hulu to find Dicta, Hinterland, etc.

  • I just need to say “DITTO” to all of the comments. Wallander and Kenneth and Sweden are all the bomb!

  • There are actually 2 Swedish Wallander series. You want the one with Krister Henriksson. Also, smørrebrød is Danish. Smörgås is Swedish. The British series goes a bit overboard on scenic moodiness. Also, no one can pronounce the names properly! Anyone watching the Norwegian series Occupied?

  • I can’t believe no one has yet recommend the Swedish version of “The Bridge.” It has both the Swedish and Danish versions of disfunctionality, and characters who live in million-kroner homes but dress like homeless people. Just delicious!

  • I have also loved Ken for years…for me it was his spectacular Henry V that got me hooked. (Emma T. is also a treasure. Their Much Ado about Nothing is one of my very favorites.) I have watched all the British/PBS Wallanders, but find myself wanting, as you say, “to hide under the covers and not get up for a week” after every episode. Especially after this finale! Violent death! Heartbreaking diagnosis! Sadness, loss and troubled relationships everywhere you turn. And finally, one thing has continued to puzzle me about the TV series: this is Sweden! Are there no crimes committed in the winter, you know, the season where it snows for months on end?

  • I want to love “Wallander”, I do. But I just can’t reconcile myself to it being set in Sweden yet everyone speaks English with English accents.

    I can, however, heartily recommend “Grantchester” which is a PBS series available on Amazon Prime. Set in the 1950’s, an exceptionally dreamy Anglican priest joins forces with the local detective inspector to solve crimes. It is completely charming.

  • Just what is it about Scandanavian movies, TV series, and books? Maybe it is that I am 50% Swedish. Maybe it is the haunted tone that is ever present? Occupied (Norway) on Netflix is also superb. Burial Rites by Hannah Kent (Iceland) is a winner too.

  • BRILLIANT. Mr. Me very much enjoyed reading the books – now I can catch up without all the text in the way of my knitting!

  • I’ve listened to all the “Wallander” books in my studio and am now watching the British version but I have to say I get NO knitting done while I’m watching this! Same with “The Killing”, “Sherlock” and even “Vera”…the only murder/mystery drama I can knit to is “Midsommer Murders” LOL