Season 1 Now Streaming!

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From the producers of The Bridge* and the screenwriters of Beck comes Spring Tide. Coming March 20th to 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.

Julia Ragnarsson (LEFT) and Kjell Bergqvist (RIGHT) star in Spring Tide

THE SHOW: Spring Tide is a Swedish police procedural (called Springfloden in Sweden) written by Rolf and Cilla Börjlind and based on their novel of the same name. The Börjlinds, before becoming novelists, wrote the first series of Arne Dahl, and much of the Beck series. In the great tradition of Swedish crime writing partners, they very much know what they’re doing and they’re doing it with brutal Scandinavian efficiency. Spring Tide stars Julia Ragnarsson (The Bridge, Wallander) along with the wonderful Kjell Bergqvist (Death of a Pilgrim, The Fourth Man) as a police college student and a weathered detective caught up in a 25-year-old, complex cold case so chilling I am still shivering several days after finishing it. The first season of 10 episodes premieres March 20th on MHz Choice. A second season is currently in production.

THE FORMULA: Leave it Sweden, the provenance of this whole moody genre to put a new twist on the game: this time, our hero in the fight is Olivia, who has yet to even enter the police force. If a bit naïve about the seedy underbelly of international crime in which Stockholm appears to be a major player, she’s badass enough to pursue the case in the face of clear and present danger. With the help of Stilton, the cop who has seen WAY too much (so much that he went a little crazy and is now homeless) and a gang of delightfully compelling supporting characters, they unravel a three-decades-old murder. Who’s on deck? Sensible, shrewd lady police chief? Yes. Crack team of investigators who will leave no stone unturned? Check. Assorted lovers and friends to pull the heart strings and provide both pathos and levity? All there, and all perfectly balanced.

[LOCATION] WAS LIKE ANOTHER CHARACTER: Is it fair that Stockholm has everything? Gorgeous people, architecture, scenery? The answer is no. I want to live there, despite only knowing enough Swedish to order meatballs at IKEA. Spring Tide shows this amazing city at its best and worst, truly making it part of the story, though the initial crime is committed on the Koster Islands (also incredibly beautiful, damn you, Sweden). It doesn’t hurt that the show is shot with cinematic skill, making the best use of the embarrassment of riches that the surroundings provide. Shout out to Olivia’s classic Mustang convertible in a shade of what I can only describe as “I am extremely jealous” green.

BLANKET STATEMENT: Listen. I’ve enjoyed more than my share of murder mysteries and crime dramas. In fact, my interest in foreign television was born when I became completely enamored of Henning Mankell’s “Wallander” books and sought out the various adaptations thereof. It is from this expert position that I offer the following: Spring Tide features one of the most unsettling murders I have ever encountered in print or on film. It’s not gory, but it is as dark as they come. This is what the Swedes are good at — pulling the curtain back on the cold seam running through the human soul. Anyway, it’s in the first scene of the whole series and even though I pulled the blanket over my head, the very idea of it grabbed me so hard that I had to know what happened and how. I’m not going to sugarcoat it — the B-stories and sub-plots hold their own in the violence quotient, as well.

Niklas Hjulström (LEFT) and Helena Bergström (RIGHT) in Spring Tide

HEY, THERE: There’s not much room for love stories, but Spring Tide still manages to wedge a few in, and I very much appreciated it, especially the moments of bittersweet solace shared between Stilton and Vera (played by Anna Wallander), a woman battling demons of her own. Bergqvist and Wallander are an achingly poignant combo, and I wanted more.

MAKE A NIGHT OF IT: There you are, on the edge of your seat, reaching nervously for your snacks, about to crack open a container of Surströmming and… ha ha, NO. Don’t do it! Apparently, that “delicacy” is basically a murder in a can and a crime against the five senses and possibly a sixth. Instead, dig into Spring Tide with some traditional “husmanskost” – Swedish soul food – and load on the lingonberries. By the end of this thing, you’re going to need the comfort food.


*Due to distribution limitations, ‘The Bridge’ is only available for purchase and is not available to stream with an MHz Choice subscription.

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 MHz Choice is available in the U.S. & Canada. Free 30-day trial then $7.99/mo. Subscribe at mhzchoice.com.


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.