NRK TV, premiere on Monday 25 October, will air on NRK1 later
It is possible to make exciting crime out of everyday and human drama, of which «Snow Angels» is a good example. This is a new Swedish-Danish collaboration between Swedish SVT and Danish DR, which has previously been responsible for the international success «Broen».
That this series gets like many foreign remakes is more uncertain. “Snow angels” are as dark as in “The Bridge” and Nordic noir-friendly in winter, but here intense killer hunting is replaced with a focus on human desperation and the gloomy sides of life.
It’s Christmas Eve morning when Jenni wakes up, discovers that the little son is gone and has not happened. That she has to take sleeping pills to cope with baby crying and other stimulants to deal with life in general does not improve her memory. On the eve of Christmas Eve, a snowstorm has hit so hard that the authorities asked people to stay inside, and Jenni has had to put the little one in a pram outside the door to make him fall asleep. She must hope she has not done it in the ear, and that it is the man Salle who has taken his son on a trip. When Salle (Ardalan Esmaili) comes home, the theory goes in the sink, and the eldest daughter Nicole is of no help. She is a hearing-impaired little girl who probably feels in the way of her parents, and who turns off her hearing aids when the world becomes too demanding.
This couple does not like the police, but when someone first calls them, they are quickly suspected of not telling the truth. The police’s skepticism does not just have to do with the fact that they have moved out to a small, cluttered apartment in a tired suburb of Stockholm. Jenni looks a bit ruined, has silicone, lots of tattoos and goes with a constant expression that she is hiding something. Salle has an old drug story on the record. Jenni and Salle are not dream parents exactly, they have apparently lost an infant, but you get sympathy anyway. It has to do with a good script, and good actors, who avoid that the portrayal of the people who live in the backyard of the welfare society does not become pure clammy social porn.
Police investigator Alice (Eva Melander) is the type who lets prejudice lie, and uses routine and experience to keep all possibilities open. She is that there is a lot that does not agree with Jenni and Salle, and suspects everyone and no one.
After a first episode that puts many in a bad light, the story jumps back five weeks in time and begins to unravel the prehistory. Jenni is not the perfect mother, she likes a party with cocaine even as a pregnant woman. Salle has two jobs to get everything going, and no one has much time for little Nicole – who probably does not really want a little brother.
Jenny’s appearance causes the Danish nurse Marie (Maria Rossing) to report in a message of concern, which is ignored. It has little to do with the fact that she is the type who prefers to give more than less in the job when it comes to questionable parents and young children, something which also explains why she has moved from Copenhagen to Stockholm.
At the police station, investigator Alice has created problems for herself, headstrong and tough as she thinks she is, but would rather be at work still at home with the battered and needy husband. The action offers a number of human destinies, a proper winter pale and the grumpy gang who have in common that they do not have much to look forward to or good things to fill the room with. Fortunately, this is more than a complete description of the misery of many in the Nordic Social Democrats. For «Snow Angels» manages the required mix of being good human drama and thrilling crime at the same time, even though the portrayal of people and types is more in the soul as expected and they are complex. The story works because it knows how to send attention to ours in all directions without giving away too much along the way. But here there is no reason to expect a good Christmas mood.