Seven reasons you should watch new Nordic noir drama Follow the Money

FOR those at a loss after Icelandic crime drama Trapped came to a conclusion earlier this month, fear not - because new Nordic Noir drama Follow the Money is a more than worthy sucessor.

Mads Justesen (Thomas Bo Larsen) and Alf (Thomas Hwan). Picture:
Mads Justesen (Thomas Bo Larsen) and Alf (Thomas Hwan). Picture:

Like most other Nordic Noir series, Follow the Money is packed full of gritty tension, dead bodies, beautiful scenery and that actor you recognise from The Bridge / Borgen / Arne Dahl (delete as applicable).

Follow the Money opens in suitably dark fashion as a corpse is found floating in the sea near a wind farm off Copenhagen. A police probe is launched, with detective Mads Justesen (Thomas Bo Larsen) spearheading the investigation as renewables firm Energreen, and its CEO Alexander Sødergren (Nikolaj Lie Kaas) come under suspicion.

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Typically slow-burning like its other Nordic Noir stablemates, there’s enough going on in the first couple of episodes to encourage viewers to stick with it.

Energreen's legal chief Claudia Moreno (Natalie Modueno). Picture: Contributed

So without giving away any more of the plot, here are seven reasons you should be watching Follow the Money...

1. You’re struggling to cope with the news that series four of The Bridge won’t be screened until 2018

Saga Noren is unlikely to be back on our screens until 2018, according to The Bridge creator Hans Rosenfeldt, but with a steady stream of Nordic Noir dramas being shown on BBC Four, even the most diehard Bridge fans should find something to keep themselves occupied in the meantime.

2. You can’t get enough of Denmark and its capital Copenhagen

Alexander Sodergren (Nikolaj Lie Kaas), CEO of Energreen. Picture: Contributed

Recently voted the happiest country on the planet, Denmark - which has recently been publicly praised by both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders - can put the happiness of its citizens down to health and medical care, family relations, job security, social factors and more. Admittedly the Nordic Noir dramas paint a rather grim and dark picture of Denmark, but it still looks good on TV.

3. You miss Borgen and its political skullduggery

Follow the Money and Borgen share a writer - Jeppe Gjervig Gram - and from the first couple of episodes, the backstabbing and underhand tactics that made Borgen such a success will be at the centre of Follow the Money’s storylines as well.

4. There are a lot of strands to the storyline

Energreen's legal chief Claudia Moreno (Natalie Modueno). Picture: Contributed

Whether it’s the body in the water, the shady goings-on at Energreen, the car mechanics or Mads’ relationship with his wife, there are a number of storylines in Follow the Money and you can bet they’ll all end up connected in some way or another. No one-dimensional plots here.

5. Financial wrongdoing has never been more interesting

The first two episodes were peppered with references to insider trading and front running, interspersed with smarmy men in suits looking suspicious. It’s not quite the Libor scandal, but for those with next to no knowledge of financial crime, Follow the Money doesn’t get carried away with jargon and legalese but it doesn’t patronise viewers either. A perfect balance.

6. It’s fast-paced and complex

Alexander Sodergren (Nikolaj Lie Kaas), CEO of Energreen. Picture: Contributed

BBC Four’s previous Saturday night drama Trapped started off at break-neck speed before slowing to a snail’s pace as the Icelandic drama was brought to a conclusion. But Follow the Money looks like it’ll be tearing along at 100mph for the entire series with little respite. It also looks as though it’ll keep us guessing - the show’s top brass have described the plot as ‘complicated,’ which is probably a massive understatement if previous Nordic dramas have been anything to go by.

7. There isn’t a weak character in it

Whether it’s Alexander Sødergren, the enigmatic CEO of Energreen, detective Mads or young mechanic Nicky (Esben Smed Jensen), the show is full of strong characters and personalities. Sødergren’s bearded fixer (Claes Ljungmark, whom you may recognise as Viggo Norlander from Arne Dahl), known ominously as ‘P,’ hints at the dark direction the show will probably take while slimy Energreen employee Peter Søndergaard could be a metaphor for the entire company based on what we know already.