»Women’s Roles in Contemporary Scandinavian TV Series«

Authors: Stutterheim, K.

Start date: 24 January 2014

Journal: Autorenserien II Auteur Series II Quality TV in den USA und Europa Quality TV in the USA and Europe

Issue: 1

Publisher: Fink Wilhelm Gmbh + Co.Kg

Place of Publication: Paderborn

ISBN: 978-3-7705-5812-4

Crime stories in particular have been a beloved artistic genre since ancient times, in which it is possible to represent “the everyday secrets of private life that lay bare human nature.”3 They allow us to bridge the contradiction between the public form of representation and the private character of its contents.

Naturally, private life allows for no observer, no ‚third person,‘ who would be entitled to act as “an observer, a judge, an evaluator.”4 Events in each individual life only carry over into public interest if they become criminal activities or are affected by such activities.

Any event, however, “that has any social significance,”5 allows private life to shift into public perception. This presumes both an active participant and an evaluating person. The private human being thus becomes a public person. This is the metamorphosis narrated in the recent Scandinavian series, in particular in those discussed here.

>> 1 Forbrydelsen, Season 1 In the following I will focus in particular on the representation of the characters, especially on the way they are shaped by certain uses of film aesthetics. I will discuss their significance for the basic tone of the story told. This essay focuses on those characters that carry the central, that is, the horizontal dramaturgy. Series like The Killing and Arne Dahl are primarily characterized by credible, modern, and unconventional female characters. The Danish production Forbrydelsen is about one particular commissioner, Sarah Lund, played by Sofie Gråbøl; in the Swedish series Arne Dahl, on the other hand, there are four female investigators, who are treated on equal par with five male investigators in an ensemble. I will discuss how the female characters are presented in relation to their dramaturgical significance in the ensemble as well as to the conventions of the detective series.

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