The Success of Televisual Exports: Why we just can’t seem to get enough of crime shows – Lauren Tormey

If you’re spending part of your Innovative Learning Week catching up on TV shows (or starting some new ones), then the Scandinavian Studies Department (LLC) had just the event for you! The Success of Televisual Exports event focused on recent Danish television series and famous Danish exports, primarily focusing on the popular series ‘The Killing’. Ingolf Gabold, former Head of Drama at Danish Radio and Television (DR), began the event by offering this insight: for an ILW event, we’d be talking about something that’s not very innovative—television. The television programmes we watch are essentially the same, using the same prototypes, and if there’s something television viewers can’t get enough of, it’s crime shows.

Ingolf spent the two hour session describing his job at DR and the goals he has set out for Danish television. Mixed with this, we had the opportunity to watch video clips from DR television series, including ‘The Serbian Dane’, ‘Borgen’, ‘Nikolaj & Julie’, and both the Danish and American versions of ‘The Killing’. I especially enjoyed watching the clip from ‘Borgen’, a show about a middle aged family woman who gets elected as Denmark’s first female Prime Minister. It demonstrated an important point Ingolf brought up about his shows: they must tell a double story. In this show, those were the stories of the protagonist’s life as both a mother and politician.

What I truly enjoyed about these clips overall was that even though we only watched a few minutes of each show, I already felt engaged in the story and was a bit sad we couldn’t watch more—a sign of good television!

The event mainly attracted Scandinavian Studies students and staff, but any television lover could have appreciated it—and perhaps gotten a few suggestions of new shows to watch.


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