Danish police drama ‘The Team’ premieres Jan. 2nd only on MHz Choice!

My fellow citizens of MHz Nation, we live among those who know nothing of life’s seedier side. Content to traverse the world in innocence, crowding museums and posing in front of fountains, those walking fannypacks out there are missing out on the good stuff: the sinister backstreets of Florence, the stark outskirts of Malmö, the bitter cold of a Rostock cobblestone. Not us. We know what evil lurks in the heart of man – and it’s awesome! Settle in for a bumpy ride as we spin the Wheel of Murder.

Are you ready to join The Team?

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Veerle Baetens (LEFT), Lars Mikkelsen (MIDDLE), Jasmin Gerat (RIGHT)

THE SHOW: The Team is a Danish police procedural which tracks a murderous crime spree that crosses no less than three borders: Denmark, Germany and Belgium, uniting investigative units from each nation through Europol to form a cop supergroup. Take that, The Bridge, with your paltry two countries! It was created by Peter Thorsboe and Mai Brostrøm, (who also made The Eagle another very good show involving a multi-national police team), and stars Lars Mikkelsen as Harald Bjørn. You’ve seen quite a lot of him in things like 1864 and Borgen and no end of other excellent stuff including Sherlock. Harald is called upon to lead this team as they investigate the brutal killings of multiple women and determine their connections to each other and the killer. The first season of eight episodes premieres January 2nd on MHz Choice. A second season is reportedly filming in 2018.

THE FORMULA: Oh, we’re right in line with the formula, here, and they’ve got it down to a science. Highly ethical detectives with turbulent (sometimes intertwined) personal lives, systemic corruption, human trafficking, former Soviet gangsters, hidden motives. It’s a lot, and they pack it in with brutal efficiency. Each episode is an hour long and, even though they could have been forgiven for filling a lot of time with extended shots of Antwerp, Berlin and Copenhagen, the show has judiciously dispensed with any filler. This, along with the nonstop twists and turns makes “The Team” perfect for binge watching.

[LOCATION] WAS LIKE ANOTHER CHARACTER: Though the team in question is made up of police from three countries, we’re actually treated to two bonus locations – Austria and Switzerland. I mean, doesn’t every police detective climb a mountain by himself in the Swiss Alps on vacation? Watching it is like going on the European vacation of your dreams… except with brutal murders happening everywhere. Filmed in at least six languages that I could count, including quite a bit of English, it’s a veritable smorgasbord of everything we love about an MHz Choice selection: a stunning European backdrop, and from Belgian detective Alicia Verbeek (the amazing Veerle Baetens), at least, questionable winter fashions.

BLANKET STATEMENT: Well. We’re dealing with more than a few murdered prostitutes, and they don’t shy away from what that looks like. Shrewd preparedness to deploy the blanket over your head is advised for the squeamish but, even though I cringed a few times, I can’t call the rough moments gratuitous. The harshest thing to endure is the light the plot shines on the crisis of disenfranchised people of all kinds.

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HEY, THERE: Not content with all the angst produced by watching people get murdered right and left, they had to throw in a verboten love story between Harald and his beautiful German counterpart, Jamie Müller (Jasmin Great), complicating matters for everyone involved. I don’t know how they found the time, but this little hint of nostalgic steam between them is enough to make us forget some of the hard stuff for a fleeting moment here and there.

MAKE A NIGHT OF IT: I’ve had the unforgettable pleasure of traveling in Europe at this time of year, and watching Alicia struggle to escape from various snowbanks reminded me of my favorite survival tool when confronted with freezing winter weather: glühwein. Ja! It’s a German winter staple of warm red wine cooked up with a bunch of mulling spices and I can think of no better accompaniment to this chilling human drama. Get yourself a large cupful and join The Team!”

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About the author:
Allison Lowe Huff is a freelance writer and editor with an overly concentrated interest in mystery stories from anywhere and everywhere. Follow her on Twitter @lowehuff.