I'm trying to catch up on my recorded TV programs. I've seen one episode of Wallander and I'm looking forward to watching more. What do you all think? Does it bother you that the series is set in Sweden but everyone seems to be speaking with an English accent?

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It is a British production primarily for British TV, but I do believe they shot it in Sweden, plus I think most attempts by foreigners to imitate Swedish accents usually end up sounding like this guy...

I almost forgot to mention that I thought the episode I saw was pretty well done. Good acting, solid plotting, and it was nice to see a new setting on a TV show.

I loved it. The first show was in two segmemts, wasn't it? The second, the murder of the taxi driver, so far has only put one segment over my airwaves.

I do like the casting of Wallander, but wonder once again: how do men maintain a perfectly static stubble? And why is stubble thought to be attractive, manly, casual, or cool?
Apparently in the States only two of the three episodes have been broadcast. You can watch them here until June 7:


And I'm a fan of stubble.
"And I'm a fan of stubble."

Naomi, That is interesting. In my case, I translate the look immediately into its realistic aspects: how is it maintained -- and how welcome is closer contact. :)
No idea how they maintain it...and it feels like sandpaper. Imagine how your legs feel a few days after shaving, and you'll have a pretty good idea whether you want that close to you or not.
I must confess...I'm not a fan of stubble on the women I date.
I was glad to see that the episodes will be available on the PBS website. You can even download them, in 10 minute segments for later viewing. So far, I like the show.

And stubble is just a good excuse not to shave...
If you want authenticity, many of the books have been made into movies in Sweden and sub-titled. I found both versions (Brit and Swede) excellent. Now we just have to hope that Mankell decides he can bring Wallander back around for another go.
Mankell has stated that there will be no more Wallander books. In the last one of the series, Mankell has Wallander's daughter joining the police. In Sweden, this book became a movie. Within just a few months,
the actress committed suicide. Mankell says that this tragedy has become a huge writer's block for him.

I was happy that they filmed in the locale Mankell established. One of Mankell's themes is the contrast between the growing violence in society with the beauty of the geography.

Stubble or not, Branagh got the essence of Wallander.
They've done three and plan on another three next year. If my memory is correct, there are 12 books in the series.
I didn't care for it. I haven't read any of the books, but the show seemed flat, to me, with most of the tension patently manufactured. The English accents on the apparently Swedish characters also seemed to rob the thing of individuality -- the show doesn't seem to capture a particular place or setting. Normally I like Kenneth Branagh, but I just couldn't get into him on this program...
It may help to have read the books, because you get more involved with the Wallander character. TV series have to use shorthand for a lot. The plots seemed to me pretty close to the originals. I will say that the new breed of police procedural tends to emphasize different aspects of the crime novel than in the past. Wallander, in the TV series, appears alienated and unconnected. To some extent he is that way in the books also, but the books have space for human interplay between him and his colleagues, and that I miss on TV. Also, television is lousy for internalizing, and the new crime novel does that a lot.
You're right about the internalization. I'm a sucker for middle-aged police detectives who have problems with alcohol and authority --- Harry Bosch, John Rebus, can't remember the name of the Lawrence Block detective. All of the books have events as perceived by those characters. In Britain, there was a series of Rankin's books about Rebus. The dramatization also was a little flat, probably because internalization is also there. I guess the only way to avoid this in film is to use voice-overs, but they can be dreadful, ala Mike Hammer.


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