Captivated, Not Trapped

What a lovely surprise.

I just finished watching the Scandi-cop (set in Iceland) show Trapped on BezosTV, and it’s beyond-words excellent.  The characters are quite real:  they’re like people you meet everyday — no superhero dead shots, no Clinty-style fistfights, people blundering through tragedy and triumph with a complete absence of witty one-liners — in short, just about the way real people behave.   And speaking of real, the unlikely lead character is the bearlike  Icelander Ólafur Darri Ólafsson with a truly magnificent performance.

As usual with Scandi-dramas, the story is complicated, with plenty of sub-plots which all somehow tie together in the end, but very believably.  It’s a tiny town in Iceland, after all, and it’s not surprising that everyone is somehow connected.

Don’t get me started on the setting and the scenery:  I’m still shivering.

This is not a show to be missed.  I’m going to take a break before I watch the second season so I can savor every memory of the first.  It’s that good.


  1. Thanks – Always in need of binge worth TV. Although I’m a little concerned by the lengthy list of characters to attempt to keep straight and the hopelessly unpronounceable Scandi names.

    Spent 10 days 2 years ago in Iceland in November chasing Northern Lights. In classic Viking counter marketing the coastline of Iceland where the people live is actually quite green , whereas Greenland is almost all ICE. Iceland also benefits from relatively warmer ocean currents and Volcanic central heating. It was the near constant 40 MPH cross winds that were the most annoying along with the fact that there is basically one loop road around the Island so everywhere you go, you wind up retracing your path back through Reykjavik. ( and everyplace else is a small remote village where everyone is related — because there is no other option )

    …… and despite your protests yesterday, Catherine the Great was actually a pretty good show.

  2. I recommend Ozark on Netflix. Gets off to a slow start & then inexorably picks up steam. A lower key Breaking Bad; I’m very much looking forward to the final season.

  3. From Trapped you can head over to “The Valhalla Murders” pretty seamlessly. Another Icelandic scandi-noir drama that I binged through quickly and enjoyed thoroughly.

    But I think the best of the Scandi-noir series that I’ve run across so far is The Bridge (original Danish/Swedish version), and only seasons 1 and 2 at that. Seasons 3 and 4 were also very good, but a cast change diminished it somewhat. Very high body counts in this one, especially season 1.

    My personal favourite show in this genre is Bordertown. I love all things Finnish, and the cinematography here is breathtaking. The episodes are in 2- or 3-show arcs but they all tie in perfectly at the end. I didn’t like season 3 as much because there was a huge change in circumstances that made it feel out of balance, but it’s still better than anything that’s ever been produced for a U.S. network. Run, don’t walk, to this one.

    Likewise, Deadwind is another scandi-noir masterpiece that’s not to be missed.

    And from the (kinda) Britishland side of things, “Shetland” is another magnificent show. Five series in all so far, with a sixth ordered. Not as gruesome as some of the scandi shows and much slower paced, but with excellent characters, dialog and scenery to die for (and in).

  4. Getting a little away from the frozen artic climate…try the movie Company Men
    Getting laid off is rough
    Also the move UP IN THE AIR is time well spent.

  5. Damn near all the towns in Iceland are tiny, small is the norm and Reykjavik is quaint compared to any of our urban shitholes. Lovely country. Gonna have to give Trapped a watch.

  6. And continuing with the icy settings you seem to enjoy here is a movie that moves along faster than the paint drying speed of Trapped…
    Wind River
    Cory Lambert is a wildlife officer who finds the body of an 18-year-old woman on an American Indian reservation in snowy Wyoming. When the autopsy reveals that she was raped, FBI agent Jane Banner arrives to investigate. Teaming up with Lambert as a guide, the duo soon find that their lives are in danger while trying to solve the mystery of the teen’s death.
    Got a 90% rating by Rotten Tomatoes

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