THE TEAM

PrintE-mail Written by John Townsend

Three prostitutes are found murdered in the exact same way over consecutive nights across three countries. With the discovery of a photograph that provides a connection, Interpol assembles an investigation team made up of officers from Denmark, Belgium and Germany to solve the crime. As the death toll rises, they find a web of deceit and corruption going back several years.

It’s likely we’ve all watched some Nordic Noir over the past few years. From Stieg Larsson’s original The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and its sequels, to Henning Mankell’s Wallander, these largely procedural crime dramas have become a regular fixture on our television listings. The one you might not have seen, or possibly even heard of, though, is The Team. Originally screened in early 2015, and starring Lars Mikkelsen and Jasmin Gerat, this is a drama very much in the same vein as The Killing and all the others, but here you constantly feel there’s something missing.

With only eight episodes in the series, you would expect The Team to crackle and fizz a little more than it does. Of course, investigations take time, but here the officers seem to identify clues and uncover secrets extremely quickly, and then ponder on their findings for some time while drinking coffee. High-tech wizardry is used to identify culprits from their body size and way of moving, and yet little is then done with the information. You’re left wondering if this series could have been tied up in fewer episodes.

Some of the filling comes from the complicated personal lives of the officers, with Mikkelsen’s Harald haunted by past infidelities and Gerat’s Jackie troubled by an extremely unhappy marriage. Nothing is particularly deftly handled, with subtlety thrown out in favour of brutally obvious stereotypes and clichés; a lesbian here, an illegitimate child there and numerous affairs.

Yet despite the issues, The Team remains an entertaining few hours of television. True, the crime story itself takes too long to get going and there’s probably a little too much unnecessary foreshadowing, but overall the characters are engaging enough in the bleakness of their lives, and you do find yourself caring if they’re going to catch the bad guys or not. The series’ visual style is similar to its Nordic Noir cousins, with simple, stark colour palettes blending with the often-restrained natures of the characters.

If you’re a fan of the genre, then you will enjoy The Team. It follows the same guidelines and includes many of the same tropes, but does so just a little too much to distinguish itself. Enjoyable, but nothing more.

THE TEAM / CERT: 15 / DIRECTORS: KASPER GAARDSØE, KATHRINE WINDFELD / SCREENPLAY: MAI BROSTRØM, PETER THORSBOE / STARRING: LARS MIKKELSEN, JASIN GREAT, VEERLE BAETENS / RELEASE DATE: MARCH 6TH

 


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