All the Bridges and Tunnels


Having now seen all the variations of TV’s Bron/The Bridge/The Tunnel, I find that even though each story is roughly the same, the gems of each are in the cultural differences that pop up in the telling. Sure, the Swedish-Danish production has some of that, but the cultures are not so vastly different (nor are the languages) or looked upon in the same ways, with the same kinds of prejudices as what one finds in US – Mexican relations or in the somewhat tense/frosty historical relationship between the UK and France. It genuinely surprises me that all three versions managed to be compelling and made me want to continue watching.

I saw the US version first, and I enjoyed it but felt that it struggled at times to explain and fit together elements of the story – particularly when comparing it later against the other versions of the show. The Scandinavian original is the gold standard, but the somewhat broader canvas created by the US and UK versions allowed for some consideration of real issues plaguing both countries (immigration, illegal immigration, human trafficking) – this exists between Denmark and Sweden as well but is not quite the same hot-button issue it is on the US-Mexico border or in the UK-France cross-Channel transport. Even the change of scenery in each story – and mostly good acting in all cases – made each version feel fresh. The insults that Brits and French and Americans and Mexicans hurl at each other is also a difference – the Danes and Swedes may have their issues, but nothing like what US-Mexico relations and mistrust amounts to.

I am not qualified to go on about this – I don’t have any deeper analysis. It has been a while since I saw the US version and a few months since I saw the Scandinavian one. Having just finished the UK/French version this weekend, I now only feel qualified to have an opinion – that I like them all.