The best Nordic Noir shows take a great deal from the novels that inspired the genre. They are often filled with morally complex characters and bleak landscapes. They deal heavily with the contrasts of the seemingly boring surface world and the twisted world of crime that is wound beneath that calm veneer. These TV shows have found audiences outside of the Scandinavian countries where they originated and have introduced a mass audience to a compelling new form of storytelling that builds on classic noir series.
There are so many great Nordic Noir TV shows out there that it can be hard to rank them all. Forbrydelsen, which translates to The Killing, proved to be so popular that it received an American remake in 2011. There's also Deadwind, a Netflix series about a detective trying to get over her husband's death when she discovers the body of a young woman buried at a construction site. Nordic Noir is not afraid to dive deep into the seedy underbelly of society. It may not be for everyone, but if you have a taste for dark detective stories, then Nordic Noir is an excellent place to find your new binge-worthy series.
For the purposes of this list, we'll use the English translations where possible. All fans of Nordic Noir are encouraged to vote for their favorite TV shows in the genre on this list. If you love The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, then you'll want to see what you should check out next.
MonsterIngvild Holthe Bygdnes, Jakob Oftebro
Monster is a Norwegian mystery television thriller. A young girl is missing, and her boyfriend dead. Police inspector Hedda Hersoug is back in her birthplace to live a quiet life, but is forced to work with the solitaire superintendent Joel Dreyer hunting down a serial killer.
- 58Borderliner (Netflix, 2018) is a Norwegian noir crime drama series that involves a police... more
TellusMinka Kuustonen, Lauri Tilkanen
Tellus is a Finnish crime television drama. Tellus, a Finnish environmental group led by Eevi Forsman, use increasingly radical means to "save the earth". They are pursued by Taneli Lokka, an experienced police detective, who tries to save the earth in his own personal way.
ModusMelinda Kinnaman, Henrik Norlén
Modus is a Swedish crime television drama. talented ex-FBI profiler works with the police and her own autistic daughter to unravel the strange motives of a vicious killer.