Mystery of the day – why did I binge watch both seasons of Bordertown on Netflix?
Bordertown is a police drama set in Lappeenranta, Finland, near the Russian border. It features the customary staples of such shows: brilliant but quirky detective, earnest young detective learning from him, pretty young women in peril, possible perp introduced 7 minutes into the show who turns out not to be the bad guy, medical examiner quipping about corpses killed in grotesquely creative ways.
But Bordertown also has its own unique flaws! For example –
The worst dubbing ever. One can forgive the fact that the dubbed in voices don’t match the actors’ mouths because the actors were speaking Finnish. But the dubbing also doesn’t match the captioning, and sometimes the difference is significant – the dubbed voice says “Go to hell you bastard” while the caption says “I think you should leave now.” ALSO, the dubbed voices of the main characters have the odd wooden affect of an embarrassed 6th grader forced to read from Shakespeare.
Moreover, the quirky detective has a special personal “method” of solving crimes using a “memory palace.” His secret method consists of putting lines of duct tape on the floor, appearing to play Twister with himself by moving his hands or feet into sections of the tape, and then grimacing while he tries to remember clues.
One more uniquely bad thing – Bordertown presents Russia and the Russian people with the same nuanced sensitivity as that employed by Trump when discussing Mexicans. In this show the Russians are always more violent, crude, venal, and untrustworthy than the Finns. Who knew that Russians were the (I can’t think of a substitute for N-word) of Finland?
So why did I watch it? I dunno. The acting seemed good – if only they had just had captions and skipped the dubbing.
Finland is pretty in the 15 minutes of summer – there wasn’t a single scene in which it was cold or snowy.
Oh, and I absolutely loved the names of Finnish children – Lumi, Onni, Esa, Joona, Reko.
The relationship between the FSB agent and her daughter was good, and well acted.
Bottom line us probably that knitting TV only has to be good enough to stave off boredom during the wrong side rows.
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