Other foreign dramas on the caliber of Forbrydelsen?
April 5, 2011 2:25 PM   Subscribe

I love Forbrydelsen. What other foreign dramas should I watch?

With all the hype over AMC's The Killing, I decided to check out the original, and I love it. Today I realized that all of the other non-American TV shows I've seen have been comedies (UK Office, IT Crowd, Summer Heights High, etc.) or period pieces (Downton Abbey, various BBC Austen adaptations) Are there any other great modern-day serial dramas that I've been missing? I'm a big mystery fan, so I really love that aspect of Forbrydelsen, but I also enjoy seeing aspects of everyday life in foreign cities.

Caveat: I can understand French, but would need English subtitles for any other language.
posted by oinopaponton to Media & Arts (17 answers total) 36 users marked this as a favorite
Check out Five Days, a British miniseries about the sudden disappearance of a young mother and her two children. Each episode checks in at a different point in the investigation.
posted by mochapickle at 2:33 PM on April 5, 2011 [1 favorite]

If it isn't too unimaginative to continue on with Danish dramas (and it isn't), it is imperative that you watch Lars von Trier's Riget (The Kingdom). So creepy and some of the best Danish TV ever - but season 1 is stronger than season 2. (Like Forbrydelsen, this has also spawned a bad American remake, Kingdom Hospital.)

Rejseholdet is also really great and highly recommended.

And you do know that there is Forbrydelsen II, right?
posted by coraline at 2:43 PM on April 5, 2011 [1 favorite]

Oooh, Riget! and Riget II

It was adapted in the US as Stephen King's Kingdom Hospital in 2004, but I enjoyed the original Swedish programme much better. It's available in DVD in this country, with subtitles. There's a bit of the supernatural going on, but it's very well done.

There was to be two later series, but unfortunately, due to the deaths of 5 of the main cast (they weren't youngsters), Lars von Trier simply sold off the scripts to Stephen King.
posted by droplet at 2:44 PM on April 5, 2011

The Yellow Bird (Swedish-language) Wallander? Done very differently from the Branagh adaptations, but with a small, loyal BBC following. On those lines, Forbrydelsen slot is now occupied by the third series of Engregages (Spiral); again, very different in character, but well-regarded.

Non-crime? Love My Way cornered the market on Logies and AFI Awards during its three-year run.
posted by holgate at 2:46 PM on April 5, 2011 [1 favorite]

The Brits have a tradition of short term serials; a particualrly good one is Our Friends in the North, starring Christopher Eccleston of Shallow Grave fame, and Daniel Craig.
posted by droplet at 2:49 PM on April 5, 2011

Spiral is the French Forbrydelsen, really.
posted by bonaldi at 2:50 PM on April 5, 2011

Watch House of Cards before the Netflix remake can ruin it for you.
posted by zamboni at 3:11 PM on April 5, 2011

The original Edge of Darkness is one of the best things ever made for television. I don't know why I say "the original", because God knows there was never a remake starring Mel Gibson and LALALALA I CAN'T HEAR YOU
posted by rdc at 3:32 PM on April 5, 2011 [2 favorites]

99% of the foreign dramas I watch are Asian rom-coms, but if you're up for a miniseries, BBC's new Sherlock is amazing, and the second series is coming out this fall.
posted by specialagentwebb at 4:37 PM on April 5, 2011 [2 favorites]

Matrioshki is a brilliant (and often grueling) Belgian drama about European sex trafficking. Certainly as dark and intense as The Killing.
posted by Kandarp Von Bontee at 5:11 PM on April 5, 2011

The Red Riding series very much fits in the tone of Forbrydelsen. Mystery, slightly period (set over decades), moody & dreary locations, and great performances!
posted by haplesschild at 6:51 PM on April 5, 2011 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Wow, looks like I'm in business (TV-watching business, that is) for the rest of the year! Thanks, all!

Also, *of the same caliber as. Yikes.
posted by oinopaponton at 6:57 PM on April 5, 2011

How do you lay hands on all these when Netflix/Amazon/eBay/public library are no use? I can't seem to find most of these series.
posted by orrnyereg at 7:04 AM on April 6, 2011

I love Forbrydelsen; I watched the entire series in two weekends over the winter, marathon-style. What a great show. Hopefully AMC's remake is just as good.

I'd suggest the BBC miniseries Luther, which was replayed on BBC America last summer, and is scheduled for a second series in 2011. Same single-crime multi-episode arc idea as Forbrydelsen. Idris Elba is a fantastic actor.
posted by firstcity_thirdcoast at 8:27 AM on April 6, 2011 [1 favorite]

I second The Red Riding series. Good, devastating stuff.


Wire in the Blood - TV series

Survivors - TV series - 2 seasons only

Collision - Mini-series

Place of Execution - Mini-series

Waking the Dead - TV series

All of these are available on Netflix streaming.
posted by lucyleaf at 9:57 AM on April 6, 2011

Just saw this thread while looking for some other BBC series to watch. Just got sucked into Luther (available on Netflix) and the Shadow Line (not yet legally available in the US). Also, Sherlock is pretty good too.

All quite different than the Killing or Forbrydelsen but very good.
posted by hazyspring at 5:03 PM on June 5, 2011

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