stereotypes, crime, national culture, Danish television
In the ﬁfth episode of the American television show The Bridge (FX, 2013-14) a serial killer is on the loose on the US-Mexico border. “What the hell is a serial killer?,” a Mexican drug lord asks one of his employees. The employee explains to the drug lord that a serial killer commits murder out of desire and sometimes lust rather than need. The paradox that a murderous Mexican drug lord might not know what a serial killer is can be seen as a humorous introduction to the rough world of Mexican drug cartels. In their world, killing is a natural and necessary part of doing business. It can also be read as a commentary on the United States, where people are apparently so bored with their suburban lives that killing can become a sport – because the serial killer turns out to be an American, of course. In Denmark it is common knowledge what a serial killer is. Everyone who has seen the ﬁlms The Silence of the Lambs (1991), Se7en (1995), or one of the other popular American ﬁctional features or documentaries about serial killers frequently shown on Danish screens knows the type. In Danish history there has not been a single serial killer that ﬁts the proﬁle of the meticulous, deliberate mass murderer so oft en depicted in American productions like those mentioned above. Yet the fact that The Bridge is a remake of the Danish/Swedish television series Bron|Broen—a show featuring an American-style Danish serial killer and humorous negotiations of the diﬀerences between Danish and Swedish national cultures, but no drug lords—suggests that these cultures share some common fears.
Gemzøe, Lynge Stegger
"Transformations of National Culture in Bron|Broen and The Bridge,"
The Bridge: Vol. 40
, Article 10.
Available at: https://scholarsarchive.byu.edu/thebridge/vol40/iss1/10