Wallander is a beautifully deep, dark crime series based on a series of novels by Swedish crime writer Henning Mankell. The central character is a detective with a hangdog who solves strange murders in an otherwise quiet small town. All of this sounds pretty cliche until you realize that the particular setting is unusual and allows viewers a much more existential exploration of our protagonist’s inner life than in the more commonly encountered American series.
The attitude? Sweden. Rugged, sunless, rural Swedish coast, no less. All of this is expertly brought to life by Mankell, who adapted his own books while working as showrunner for the Swedish series. The show explores the dark and windy streets of Detective Wallander’s tormented brain alongside the several strange and macabre murders he works to solve.
Why was this show underrated? Well, the UK remake starring Kenneth Branagh sort of took over – and the Swedish version was released on BBC4 instead of BBC2, where the Branagh version was shown. The more popular UK version is good too, but going back to the roots of the Swedish original with Wallander is really the way to go.