One of the best crime drama of this decade.
Nordic Noir once again offers an exceptional TV series in The Team, that will keep you hooked until the very last second.
After the murder of three prostitutes in Berlin, Antwerp and Copenhagen, Interpol creates a team for the three police forces to co-operate. Alicia (Veerle Baetens) enters as the Belgian correspondent, to work with two well-acquainted teammates Jackie (Jasmin Great), from Germany, and Harald (Lars Mikkelsen), from Denmark. At first following the easy and too forward lead of Jean-Louis Poquelin (Carlos Leal), they will soon realise they are digging on something much darker and atrocious than they could have imagined.
It’s yet another amazing and thrilling police drama from the studio that produced The Killing (2007–2012). Avoiding to fall into the easy traps of a basic police TV show – namely shallowness of backstories, poor character psychologies, and perpetuating clichés – the ingenuity and complexity of the script can only add to the addictive nature of The Team. The story is led like a puzzle that assembles its intricate pieces at the very end.
Even though the investigation sprawls across several countries, resulting in several languages and locations, it never strays into becoming confusing, instead allowing greater realism and giving each country its own traits. The themes approached are crucial contemporary issues mostly ignored by Western society. Each of them are given several perspectives and plunge into a deep addiction, keeping from the basic and obviousness crime investigation that are too common today.
No character in The Team is perfect, which serves to enhance their wholeness. Flaws are the key to having an audience not knowing who to trust – crucial in crime drama. In only eight episodes, each coming in at just under an hour, the show achieves its story and explores its main characters to the bones. Even secondary characters get backstories, such as Harald’s assistant Kit (Ida Engvoll) or Belgian judge Stéphane Pernel (Hilde Van Mieghem), exploring deeply character psychology and power play amongst them. Each relationship is different, complex, and shows the meticulous detail put into the show. Special mention goes to Jackie (Jasmin Great), the lead German character, for breaking the mould of typical female cop. She does a great job while managing a happy family, refusing to choose between the two areas of her life.
Moreover, the show is constructed in a way that allows for several interlinked villains. They’re all bad, all vicious, and all cruel, but also all different. Fortunately, The Team succeeds in avoiding cliché and boring hierarchical crime organisations, focusing on complex situations where they even end up into bitter betrayal, leading to some shocking sympathy.
The actors are brilliant in their role. While Lars Mikkelsen is known in the UK for its representation of one the best villain in Sherlock, Magnussen, he goes into a completely different kind of register in this show, demonstrating his amazing acting capabilities as the hero. Both female leads Veerle Baetens and Jasmin Great are magnificent and develop their characters with their own traits as powerful women leading in their jobs. Hilde Van Mieghem captures the attention of the viewer throughout the show, playing a rather curious character with great character. Nicholas Ofczareck shines in the bad-tempered Marius Loukauskis, perpetuating the image of an unconscious fool and at the same time a merciless tyrant.
In conclusion, the surprising plot, the excellent actors, and the perfect characters developments all combine to give one of the best crime dramas available on the small screen. You don’t know what you’re missing until you binge-watch The Team.
The Team is available now to buy on DVD.