Just like I’ve read several books during the great isolation, I’ve also watched a number of tv series. One was a UK crime series set in Mallorca. It’s about a female cop who chases a suspect down to Mallorca and he escapes and makes a fool of her. She ends up staying. Then she’s paired up with a German cop who also ended up there more or less by accident, plus he was never the most brilliant cop back home. Unlike most people I’m not crazy about hot weather and beaches so this series wasn’t among my favorites. I did like the German cop though and I didn’t exactly hate the English one either, even though she was boring and lacking in personality.
Another was a Finnish series set in the south of Spain (”The Paradise” - nothing to do with that other tv series by that name). Apparently, just like Swedes, Finns love to live in the sun. An older female cop with a husband who’s going senile, is sent to investigate a case of a Finnish family butchered in their camper van. The grandmother of those children was a friend of the cop so it was a bit personal. In Spain, this older female cop meets a younger Spanish cop and they are attracted to each other. Sadly, I must say that this felt unrealistic. Sure, the man had had a Finnish girlfriend so he was partial to women from Finland but this lady was at least twenty years older, probably more. At first I found the whole thing rather refreshing after billions of books and tv series and movies about men in their seventies ending up with women in their late twenties or early thirties, but in the end, it got a bit annoying. This lady was so completely assured of her attraction and beauty, that she never even questioned the younger guy’s interest in her. Besides, there was no ulterior motive, apart from wanting to relive his earlier love for a Finnish woman.
The series was interesting. I usually like it when the motive of the killer lies in the past. This series felt a lot more realistic than the Mallorca Files. I had the impression that it was mainly created to advertise Mallorca.
It was also interesting but tragic to see the cop’s husband’s descent into total dementia. He had these clever tricks to make people believe he wasn’t forgetting things. Also, as a doctor he managed to fool the staff of his nursing home into letting him go. Sometimes he was completely lucid and lectured at the university like nothing was wrong, at other times he beat his grandson or his wife for some real or imagined slight.
Another thing that’s interesting is that when the original language of a series is not English, we actually get a translation of the title, like when I was a child. In Sweden they have this annoying habit of sometimes using another English title that they make up, instead of the original English one, but don’t actually translate it into Swedish. Looking at old tv series and movies, the translation they made back then was sometimes good and sometimes less so, but I appreciate that they made the effort. I remember being surprised at some translations. They were so completely different but then again, if any pun or double entendre was untranslatable I guess they had to make up something reasonably similar or the equivalent of the original title. Actually, it just hit me that the series Vera does have a translation into Swedish, which it didn’t need to. It’s called ’A Case For Vera’. And Call the Midwife has a translation - ’The Midwife in East End’. And the old, old Midsomer Murders does have a translation too, a literal one meaning the exact same thing, or at least close enough ’The Murders in Midsomer’. I guess I was wrong about not getting any translations of tv series. Endeavour has one. It means ’Young Inspector Morse’. Death in Paradise is called ’Murder in Paradise’ which is close enough. But Grantchester, Poldark and Doctor Who don’t. They just got to keep their own, as did Dublin Murders. Odd, but I guess that’s because it’s a new series, not one that’s been around for ages, like Midsomer Murders.
It’s like book covers. I really hate it when they use a generic one or worse, when you can tell that whoever made the cover art had no idea of what the book was about. It’s more or less ’let’s put a half naked woman on the cover, that’s always good’. I’m mostly referring to my dad’s books. He probably never looked at the cover art and if he did, he probably liked it anyway. Now if the situation had been reversed and the main character was a nine-year-old boy and they’d put a half naked really hot guy in his twenties on the cover, it would still annoy me. Even if a hot guy is nice (though usually those artists make any person look very plastic and unrealistic).
Last year I read a really great crime novel set in Svalbard/Spitzbergen. In Swedish it was called something meaning ’The Coal Child’. It refers to a kindergarten for children whose parents work in the mining industry. At one point someone mentions in passing that some people have been poaching reindeers. That didn’t ruin the novel for me at all, because it wasn’t spelled out. I’m not sure this has been translated into English, but if it has, I can really recommend it. I love the skillful misdirection.
At the beginning of the novel I was sure I knew what was coming and I wasn’t sure if I wanted to finish the book at all, but I was completely wrong. It was about something else entirely. Very clever. I just checked and there is no English translation, but both a German one and a Dutch one. The author is Monica Kristensen, if anyone’s curious and the German version is called Suche, which works out great because much of the book is about a search. I’m guessing the Dutch title means The Missing, which again, seems appropriate.
Oh, can I ask you guys something? Is Stranger Things worth watching? We are going to watch Veronica Mars whatever anyone else thinks, because we’re hardcore fan girls, but I have no idea about Stranger Things. If animals get killed we won’t like it and possibly if children are killed too, it depends on how much ’in your face’ it gets. I watched a trailer and it seemed good - a bit like the X files. Would you say it is? Also, we are going to take a chance on Locke and Key. Has anyone watched that? Sorry for the long and rambling post. It’s the isolation that’s beginning to get to me.