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The final season of Arne Dahl premieres May 1st ONLY on MHz Choice!

My fellow citizens of MHz Nation, we live among those who know nothing of life’s seedier side. Content to traverse the world in innocence, crowding museums and posing in front of fountains, those walking fannypacks out there are missing out on the good stuff: the sinister backstreets of Florence, the stark outskirts of Malmö, the bitter cold of a Rostock cobblestone. Not us. We know what evil lurks in the heart of man – and it’s awesome! Settle in for a bumpy ride as we spin the Wheel of Murder.

Arne Dahl Season 2

THE SHOW: Arne Dahl is a Swedish police procedural based on the novels of Jan Arnald, who published his fantastic series of crime books under the pen name Arne Dahl. It is brought to you by the beloved creators of The Bridge and Beck, so you know this is the highest quality murder to be found on any continent. This is the show’s second season and I’m happy to say that, even with a few changes to the line-up, A Unit is back in even finer form. Hell, call them A+ Unit, because that’s what they are. If you haven’t yet had the pleasure of watching Season 1, don’t fret. You can catch up, here. However, it’s easy to slide in to second season without that prep work and be fully up to speed moments into the first episode. They spell out the history with clean Swedish efficiency and move you seamlessly into the story without missing a beat.

THE FORMULA: I’ve said it before, but the Swedes invented this formula and they just keep improving on it. This reunited version of A Unit is run by none other than the hot-blooded Kerstin Holm with her loyal band of Stockholm’s finest plus one rookie who puts Kerstin’s own ambitious youth to shame. They work together like a dedicated machine, and where any other cast could easily descend into cliché within their “specialty” police roles, this one rises above, weaving interpersonal relationships with the cases in a way that makes you want to camp out on Jan Arnald’s doorstep and beg for more. Honestly, brutal homicide has never been so… charming? I especially love strongman Gunnar Nyberg and wry Finn genius Arto Söderstedt, but each character is drawn and played with intricacy and sly gallows humor that is infinitely watchable.

[LOCATION] WAS LIKE ANOTHER CHARACTER: Not much is made of the Swedish landscape – Stockholm is an international city and that’s what we see, but I appreciate the glimpses of the inner lives of the characters, and the nods here and there to the complexity of Scandinavian and Eastern European cultures mingling where the crimes in question cross various borders. The newest member of A Unit, Ida Jankowicz, has ample opportunity to speak a few of the handful of languages in which she is fluent, delightfully rubbing Kerstin the wrong way even though it’s extremely helpful.

BLANKET STATEMENT: Listen, Swedish television is not going to hold back on the visuals, and some of it is rough. This is not Law & Order. Headshots, bikers, sex trafficking, stabbings, the Polish mob, suspected terrorism… it’s a lot, and it can get dark. Wouldn’t want it any other way.

Malin Arvidsson as Kerstin Holm in Arne Dahl

HEY, THERE: Remember how things in Season 1 were heating up for Kerstin and Paul Hjelm? Yeah, that inappropriate flame is still burning, even though Paul is now working for internal affairs, and has enough on his hands being tormented by his weird but delightful new secretary. I love the Hjelm character, portrayed with such muted intensity by Shanti Roney. Against his own will, he always does the right thing, even when it is totally wrong, and keeps getting pulled back in to his old team’s business without even trying, and thus back into Kerstin’s orbit causing the inevitable sparks. Is their involvement the healthiest idea for either of them? Maybe not, but no one is complaining.

MAKE A NIGHT OF IT: Perhaps you are one of the lucky few to travel to Stockholm recently and enjoy its burgeoning foodie movement. I was just reading about the city’s Chef of the Year who opened a new restaurant where he only serves things “shot, foraged, brewed, planted, raised, fermented, or handpicked” by his own waitstaff. Like food service work is not hard enough? This country has no chill. Anyway, while it’s up to you whether or not you want to do any foraging, I recommend going dark and pouring up Swedish fave Carnegie Porter while you crack a case with Arne Dahl.


*Due to distribution limitations, Season 1 of ‘Arne Dahl’ is not available to stream outside of the U.S.

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About the author:
Allison Lowe Huff is a freelance writer and editor with an overly concentrated interest in mystery stories from anywhere and everywhere. Follow her on Twitter @lowehuff.