TV Review: Young Wallander (S1) | Shades of Nordic Noir Mystries

This new contemporary Swedish mystery crime-drama, Young Wallander focuses on Henning Mankell’s iconic detective Kurt Wallander. Adam Palsson (Avenue 5) plays the titular role and is joined by Richard Dillane (Strike Back, The White Princess), Leanne Best (Carnival Row), Ellise Chappell (Poldark), Yasen Atour (Robin Hood), Charles Mnene (The Informer), Jacob Collins-Levy (True History of the Kelly Gang, The White Princess, Holding the Man), Alan Emrys (Johnny English Strikes Again), and Kiza Deen (Hollyoaks).

Henning Mankell’s best-selling “Kurt Wallander” novels have inspired many films and TV series in both Sweden and the U.K. Featuring a Swedish and British cast this English-language original new telling sees young Kurt in his first steps as a policeman.

Premise: The personal and professional formative experiences of recently graduated policer officier Kurt Wallander as he investigates his first serious case.

Review: I am in awe of the pilot. The situation Kurt’s in is amazing, a great recipe for drama. A young white Swede officer – all those words are important – living in a council estate unbeknownst to his neighbors until a tragic night. Great set up, right there, but then what happened with his work, ratcheted up the tension to an uncomfortable level for me. And it all happens completely out of his control, it brought the series up to nice level for me where the emotions of the character plays as big of a part in the show.

The investigation is interesting and warrant a six parter. There are enough moving pieces to keep you entertain, even if there’s a slight predictability factor that goes into it. I had the culprit figured out but the show did manage to sway me from my theory for bit.

There’s a naïveté in Wallander that feels very genuine, it comes from a good place but it brews trouble for him. I could see how this would turn him into a grizzled detective, or how this is the early years of what would become the brusque disillusioned character known in Mankell’s books. Adam Palsson does a great with the character. I like his speaking voice, it’s maybe a weird thing to note but I like it.

I was impressed with the show’s diversity but I couldn’t help but notice that one particular person of color, who got sidelined, became the helper. That character was only there to help Wallander move up while he stayed down. Once you see the show you’ll know who I’m talking about and will see how they did him dirty, but you what? It looks like real life to me.

I loved the way the season ended, it was grounded, realistic and not so optimistic. There’s enough material for a second season without it overwhelming future storyline. Young Wallander is an easy binge or episodic vieawing with shades of Nordic noir mysteries

Rating: 7.5 out of 10.

For the first book in the Wallander series, click here


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