The Norwegian mystery-crime drama series Varg Veum is fabulous. I can’t recommend it enough. Go watch it if you haven’t already.
Varg Veum is a right proper Nordic noir series.
Based on the “Varg Veum” crime novels by Gunnar Staalesen, it is dark in mood, dreary in look, and gritty in feel, with a flawed yet appealing lead character and compelling storylines.
Trond Espen Seim (The Legacy, Mammon) stars in this series of binge-worthy feature-length films as the eponymous Bergen-based child welfare worker-turned-private detective — a handsome, persistent, and more or less scrupulous gumshoe for hire whose cases invariably involve police investigations.
One is already in progress when Veum comes on the scene in the series opener, “Bitter Flowers.” The young daughter of a politician has gone missing, and lead detective Jakob Hamre (Bjørn Floberg, The Eagle) and his sidekick Jan Isachsen (Endre Hellestveit, Mammon) are trying but failing to find her. Meanwhile, the politico hires Varg to locate her secret lover, who’s also disappeared. The cops are none too pleased when Veum interferes in their case to solve his, and the missing man’s colleague, company lawyer Anna (Kathrine Fagerland, Valley of Shadows), is also less than thrilled when Varg asks her for help.
“Sleeping Beauty” opens in Copenhagen, where Veum finds a teen runaway and returns her to her parents in Bergen, where their neighbors ask him to find their son. At first Varg declines, but he ends up searching for the lad and unwittingly causes family secrets to be laid bare. In “Yours Until Death,” the fight over a car between Varg’s client and the latter’s soon-to-be ex-wife leads to death, a hook-up, and a shocking realization.
A mother discovers her daughter hanged in their home in “Fallen Angels,” while elsewhere in Bergen, Varg has a tense reunion with old friends. After the dead bodies of more hanging victims are discovered, Veum figures out the pattern and races against the clock to prevent another tragedy. In “Woman in the Fridge,” Varg makes a gruesome discovery — and experiences a personal tragedy — while searching for an employee of a large company.
The first season concludes with “Buried Dogs” from 2008, elements of which could be ripped from today’s headlines. A black youth and asylum seeker dies at the hands of police, and the fierce blowback to the remarks by a candidate for the leadership of the far right Norwegian People’s Party causes his opponent to seek help from Varg. He refuses until there is an assassination attempt.
Each “Varg Veum” story is complex and intricate, with plots twists (most of which caught me totally by surprise) that reveal ways in which jealousy, money, power, and revenge are motives for murder.
Featuring in the first season are Trine Wiggen (Struggle for Life), Frank Kjosås (The Heavy Water War), Henrik Mestad (Occupied), Fridtjov Såheim (Acquitted), Dennis Storhøi (Nobel), and Kyrre Haugen Sydness (Torpedo).
Share this post/page.