20 best Scandinavian series of recent years

For a new generation of viewers, Scandinavia is not the birthplace of Carlson, Hamlet and trolls, but countries that gave the world original thrillers with a uniquely beautiful northern setting. We’ve put together a list of what’s new for Nordic noir fans. The selection of the best Scandinavian TV series includes cool detective, historical, romantic and youth TV shows.

Young Monarchs (2021)

After a scandalous incident, the Swedish prince goes to study at a prestigious boarding school. The young man gets used to his peers, engages in self-knowledge and experiences a romantic crush on a classmate. The Swedish kingdom is in turmoil and the prince is next in line to the throne. An irresolvable conflict arises between the command of duty and the call of the heart.

What do you think, is it worth filming a sequel, and what should be in it?

Original title:
Young Royals

Genre:
Drama, melodrama

Actors:
Edwin Ruding, Omar Rudberg, Malte Gordinger…

Country:
Sweden

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.8, IMDb – 8.6

Age restrictions:
18+


Ragnarok (2020)

This Norwegian town needs a hero – Edda is run by a family clan that owns a chemical factory. Who will stand up for the fjord, poisoned by mercury from the production of Yutul? Since ordinary teenagers cannot win the battle against evil, the guys are endowed with superpowers . So high school student Magne suddenly discovers that he is throwing a hammer over 500 meters. With the new youth series in the fantasy genre, viewers will pump through Scandinavian mythology and at the same time admire the landscapes and postcard houses of provincial Norway.

Original title:
Ragnarok

Genre:
Fantasy, drama, detective

Actors:
David Alexander Shoholt, Jonas Strandt Gravli, Herman Tommeraas …

Country:
Norway, Denmark

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.9, IMDb – 7.5

Age restrictions:
12+


Love and Anarchy (2020)

A popular novelty from Sweden on Netflix is ​​a kind of Scandinavian comedy melodrama series . The main character goes to a new prestigious job, where a married 40-year-old woman, mother of two children, is caught in an indecent occupation by a young programmer . Max Järvi offers a challenge game to a senior colleague in exchange for his silence. And soon a feeling flares up between the cold-blooded blue-eyed Sophie Reidman and the creative guy, setting fire to the restrained northerners.

Original title:
Love & Anarchy

Genre:
Drama, melodrama, comedy

Actors:
Ida Engvol, Björn Mosten, Carla Sehn…

Country:
Sweden

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.4, IMDb – 7.4

Age restrictions:
18+


Investigation (2020)

Fresh noir thriller based on real events. In the summer of 2017, a Swedish journalist is murdered in Copenhagen. Kim Wall went to an interview with the inventor on a submarine made by Peter Madsen, and the girl was never seen alive again. The crime mini-series shows how the Danish police are investigating – and by the end it is absolutely clear to the audience why, with a nearly 6 million population in the country, there are no more than 50 murders per year.

Original title:
The Investigation

Genre:
Thriller, drama, crime, detective

Actors:
Soren Malling, Pilu Asbek, Pernilla August …

Country:
Denmark, Sweden, Norway

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.9, IMDb – 7.6

Age restrictions:
16+


Aliens from the Past (2019)

The new Scandinavian series about aliens and liberal braces is a cool idea of ​​the Norwegians in the detective and fantasy genre . The movie is worth watching for its original idea, embodied with brutal northern humor. In Oslo, Vikings emerge from the fjord, guests from the Paleolithic, XIX century – everyone has to be accepted and assimilated. So , Alfhildr, a Viking woman, is partnered with a local detective in the investigation of alien murders . And on the courses of migrants, St. Olaf learns about marriages between men and again clings tightly to the sword and cross.

Original title:
Beforeigners

Genre:
Fantasy, drama

Actors:
Nikolay Kleve Brock, Augusta Eva Erlendsdouttir, Krista Kosonen …

Country:
Norway

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.3, IMDb – 7.8

Age restrictions:
16+


The One Who Kills – Prisoner of Darkness (2019 – 2021)

The Scandinavian series, filmed in the familiar twilight style, once again brings viewers back to the story of a maniac who chooses victims with a certain genotype. When a young fair-haired girl disappears without a trace, the case comes to the opera Jan, who finds a connection with another crime – a capercaillie 10 years ago. But in order to find a sadist, he needs the advice of a profiler, and he turns to Louise. The criminal psychologist , who had previously made a fatal service mistake, agrees to help – and she manages to figure out the portrait of the killer.

Original title:
Den som dræber – Fanget af mørket

Genre:
Thriller, crime

Actors:
Kenneth M. Christensen, Natalie Manduno, Signe Egholm Olsen …

Country:
Denmark

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.5, IMDb – 7.5

Age restrictions:
16+


Sanctuary (2019)

Helena visits her sister in the Alps, in an Italian resort that can only be reached by lift. Siri insistently asks to switch places with her for the day, but Helena refuses. In the morning, she realizes that her twin sister has run off under her name. But the worst thing is that the elite hotel turns out to be a psychiatric clinic , where forbidden experiments are carried out on patients – psychopaths with life sentences – and no one should get out of here alive. Highly rated Scandinavian series for fans of classic Nordic film noir .

Original title:
Himmelsdalen

Genre:
Thriller, detective

Actors:
Josephine Asplund, Matthew Modine, Lorenzo Riquelmi …

Country:
Sweden

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.3, IMDb – 6.8

Age restrictions:
16+


What’s Hidden in the Snow (2018)

What is hidden under the snow or in the archives of closed criminal cases? A Swedish police officer returns to work after a long illness and urgently assembles a team of outsiders who have been abandoned by other departments. Peter Wendel needs to hurry – he is sure that the unknown informant is not lying and really committed crimes. This means that an innocent person is behind bars, which the police do not want to admit. The idea for the Scandinavian series is based on a real case – in the history of forensic science there was such an impostor maniac Thomas Quick, described in the book by Leif Persson.

Original title:
Det som göms i snö

Genre:
Thriller, drama, crime, detective

Actors:
Robert Gustafsson, Maria Sundbom, Johan Ulveson…

Country:
Sweden

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.7, IMDb – 7.4

Age restrictions:
16+


Platform 45 (2018 – 2020)

A detective classic, the old-fashioned and always interesting Agatha Christie-esque plot trap in the Scandinavian murder-at-sea series. The role of a trap for the victim is played by an oil platform, on which one of the crew members dies. To sort out the accident, Andrea, a Benthos Oil specialist, is forced to go to sea just before Christmas . On the spot, the woman realizes that something is being hidden from her, but then a storm breaks out , communication is lost, and the small company with the killer is cut off from the rest of the world.

Original title:
Rig 45

Genre:
Thriller, crime

Actors:
Lisa Henny, Gary Lewis, Björn Bengtsson …

Country:
Sweden

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.2, IMDb – 6.1

Age restrictions:
16+


Rebecca Martinsson (2017 – 2020)

A lawyer from a prestigious Stockholm firm, Rebecca Martinsson, travels to the small mining town where she spent her childhood to attend the funeral of a loved one. In the things of a woman pastor, the lawyer discovers messages with threats. What if Mildred was killed and the fatal fall in the church was not accidental? Fearless and stubborn, Rebeka begins a search for the truth that leads to the secrets of the Swedish wilderness.

Original title:
Rebecka Martinsson

Genre:
Drama, Crime, Detective

Actors:
Ida Engvol, Eva Melander, Jakob Jorman…

Country:
Sweden

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.6, IMDb – 7.2

Age Limits :
16+


Hostage (2017 – 2019)

Terrorists are holding more than a dozen hostages in the metropolitan metro , promising to kill passengers one by one if they do not receive 4 million euros. But under Danish law, ransoms cannot be paid for hostages, so extraordinary action is needed. Sergeant Philip Norgaard, who himself survived a brutal captivity in the past, goes to negotiate with armed criminals. There are still few Danish shows among the best series in Scandinavia, and this drama is one of the new independent projects in the thriller genre.

Original title:
Gidseltagningen

Genre:
Thriller, drama

Actors:
Johannes Lassen, Alexander Villaume, Peder Thomas Pedersen …

Country:
Denmark

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.8, IMDb – 7.2

Age restrictions:
16+


Midnight Sun (2016)

Another stylish and multi-layered series from the creators of The Bridge, which has earned the approval of the audience. The investigation into the death of a French citizen in a mining village takes place under the polar sun, which does not set for 6 days, which gives the events a special mood. A racial conflict between the Sami and the Swedes is superimposed on a detective story about serial murders, and the secrets of the inhabitants of the northern wilderness will be dealt with by the district attorney Anders Harnesk and an officer from France, Kaina Zadi.

Original title:
Midnight Sun

Genre:
Thriller, drama, crime, detective

Actors:
Leila Behti, Gustaf Hammarsten, Alben Grenholm …

Country:
Sweden, France

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.3, IMDb – 7.5

Age restrictions:
18+


Tide (2016 – 2018)

30 years ago, a young pregnant woman drowned in a wave on the beach , buried in the sand before the tide. The testimony of a witness – a 9-year-old boy – was not enough to solve the murder. The old wood grouse as a summer assignment went to a student of the police academy, Olivia Ronning. The girl meets with Tim Stilton, who worked on this case, and now an unemployed bum, and at the same time, attacks on the homeless are taking place in Stockholm. A multi-layered series, following the tradition of Scandinavian TV shows, with an exciting plot and an unexpected ending.

Original title:
Springfloden

Genre:
Thriller, drama, crime, detective

Actors:
Julia Ragnarsson, Kjell Bergqvist, Cecilia Nilsson …

Country:
Sweden, Germany, Belgium

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.9, IMDb – 7.5

Age restrictions:
18+


Northerners (2016 – 2020)

790, fjords, vikings, wind noise and bones crunching – the popular series plays on romantic clichés about northern barbarians, but all the main events take place at home, in Nurheim. There, the Norwegian guys will not only have to relax after the raids, but deal with neighbors from other villages, family problems, and drink without sparing the liver, delighting the audience with Scandinavian black humor .

Original title:
Norsemen

Genre:
Comedy

Actors:
Kare Konradi, Nils Jorgen Kaalstad, Jon Eigarden …

Country:
Norway

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.0, IMDb – 7.8

Age restrictions:
16+


Shame (2015 – 2017)

In the list of the best Scandinavian series, the most popular teen drama of recent years, served in an innovative format. The heroes of the show, or rather the artists for their characters, maintained real-time profiles in social networks, creating the effect of presence. Virtual correspondence, new photos, videos were posted on a special website, and at the end of the week, events in the life of high school students were summarized in a series. In each season of the melodrama, what is happening is shown from the side of one character, starting with the first heroine – Eve.

Original title:
Skam

Genre:
Drama, melodrama

Actors:
Yusefine Frida Pettersen, Iman Meschini, Ulrikke Falk…

Country:
Norway

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 8.1, IMDb – 8.6


Code 100 (2015)

In the Swedish capital, there is a hunt for girls with blue eyes and blond hair – their corpses are found in parks. But why does a maniac leave daffodils next to blondes ? And how many victims are actually – what did the experts at the crime scene miss? Stockholm detective Mikael Eklund, who is investigating the case, is paired with an American cop, Tommy Conley, who flew to the aid of Europeans from New York, where similar murders took place.

Original title:
The Hundred Code

Genre:
Detective, crime

Actors:
Mikael Nykvist, Dominic Monahan, Felice Jankell …

Country:
Sweden, Germany

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.3, IMDb – 7.3

Age restrictions:
18+


1864. (2014)

For viewers interested in Northern Europe, the historical Scandinavian mini-series will prove to be a real find. For eight episodes, the Danish director spoke about the national trauma – about how the Danes lost Schleswig and Holstein, and what happened in the country in different sectors of society during a critical era, not forgetting about love dramas and bucolic scenes. And a separate bonus will be the battle with the Prussians at Dyubbel, realistically filmed with the involvement of military experts.

Original title:
1864

Genre:
Fantasy, drama, military, history

Actors:
Pilu Asbek, Sarah-Sofie Bussnina, Bent Meiding…

Country:
Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Germany

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.2, IMDb – 6.7


Hellfjord (2012)

A mini-series made as a parody of films about the wilderness, where the hell is going on – a black Norwegian comedy. In the center of Oslo, a policeman of Pakistani origin kills his fallen horse in front of the public , literally reading the instructions. He is sent to the fishing town of Hellfjord, where the average age of the inhabitants is 67. But this does not mean that there is no place for criminal secrets, hard trash, and there is nothing for the police to do.

Original title:
Hellfjord

Genre:
Comedy, detective, crime

Actors:
Zaid Ali, Stig Frode Henriksen, Ingrid Bolso Berdal …

Country:
Norway

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.8, IMDb – 7.2

Age restrictions:
18+


Bridge (2011 – 2018)

In the top of the Scandinavian series is a noir thriller named after the Øresund bridge connecting Denmark and Sweden. After a brief power outage, a body is discovered in the middle of the bridge, but it turns out that the find consists of half different women: a Danish prostitute and a Swedish clerk. Therefore, the case is assigned to two policemen – the eccentric Saga from Malmö and the good-natured Martin from Copenhagen. Brilliantly made atmospheric detective show spawned imitators on the continent and overseas, but no one was able to repeat the success of the original.

Original title:
Bron/Broen

Genre:
Thriller, crime, detective

Actors:
Sofia Helin, Kim Bodnia, Ture Lindhardt…

Country:
Sweden, Denmark, Germany

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 8.3, IMDb – 8.6

Age restrictions:
16+


The one who kills (2011)

The main characters of the series – investigator Catherine Jensen and profiler Thomas Schaeffer – get a chance to return to criminal investigations. The duo was entrusted with solving the murder of a girl found in the woods. Having made serious mistakes in the past, the two penalty boxers formed an effective and selfless team to search for maniacs, mafiosi and psychopaths. The action takes place under a gloomy Scandinavian sky, and it is impossible to calculate who will be the criminal and where the next tragedy will occur.

Original title:
Den som dræber

Genre:
Action, thriller, crime

Actors:
Laura Bach, Jacob Cedergren, Lars Mikkelsen …

Country:
Denmark

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.0, IMDb – 7.2

Age restrictions:
18+


Millennium (2010)

Highly rated crime thriller is a European collaborative project based on Stieg Larsson’s bestseller Millennium. This is not only a detective, but also a psychological drama with curious characters, which won an Emmy for best miniseries. The classic duet of the main characters – hacker Lisbeth Salander and journalist Mikael Blomkvist are investigating the complicated case of the murder of the niece of the owner of a large concern, Henrik Vanger.

Original title:
Millennium

Genre:
Action, thriller, crime, detective

Actors:
Numi Rapace, Mikael Nykvist, Lena Endre …

Country:
Sweden, Germany, Norway, Denmark

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.9, IMDb – 8.4

Age restrictions:
16+


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Jared Lambert/ author of the article

I’ve been writing about movies, TV shows and anime for over 3 years, and you may have seen my reviews on Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic.

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