Things start with quite a bang in The Lawyer. An actual explosion. The lawyer.
There is a code at work, of course. The colours are dulled, somewhere between yellow and sepia, which means this event takes place in the past, in the memory of the character it shows as a boy. He is Frank Nording (Alexander Karim), soon to be revealed as a kickboxing lawyer who is tortured by his past and running away from it.
In this yellowed flashback, which repeats in his dreams and in his kickboxing rage, he is a boy bouncing a ball. He comes out of a café, glances towards a Volvo, then watches in horror as the car explodes.
Frank has a sister, Sara (Malin Buska). She is cute, almost as beautiful as Frank. She is a cop who wears Doc Martens and Levi’s. She keeps phoning Frank because, unlike him, she is obsessed with finding out the truth about that explosion, which killed their parents.
Mostly, Frank doesn’t take the calls because he is busy winning legal cases, almost on charm alone — because he is pretty, with a fine suit, and a slight nick around the forehead from the time the kickboxing rage turned into an explosive spasm.
Oh, such lush torture. It feels churlish to suggest that something as crude as a formula might be at work in this latest Scandi-noir drama, developed from an idea by Hans Rosenfeldt, who created The Bridge (Saga Norén and all that), and Marcella (in which Anna Friel demonstrated just how important the exoticism of Sweden and Denmark was to the appeal of these generic tropes).
But still, Frank is gorgeous, and it’s best if a hero can be relied on to oscillate between engagement and denial. Sara, the cop, has her own quirks to fry. Frank suggests she might be unwell again and, sure enough, there she is at home in a red dress, messed up on heroin.
There are other complications, like Frank’s married girlfriend. They have sex in a visitors’ room at the courthouse after exchanging hot looks in an infinity mirror. And there’s a corrupt ex-cop who has a boat, a rendezvous in a bar called The Loch Ness Monster and a ruthless Mr Big who has ties to Moroccan syndicates, drugs, protection rackets — all the stuff. The action takes place between Malmö and Copenhagen. It is a beautiful mess, a puzzle with moving parts, and it explodes under ice-blue skies.
It is now too late to start understanding Still Game, a comedy about old gits, which is — or was — bigger than The Beatles in Scotland. The stars, Ford Kiernan and Greg Hemphill, play arenas in their homeland, where their doddery heroes, the cardigan-wearing misanthropes Jack and Victor, are hailed for the consistent misery of their world view. This final series has already been shown in Scotland, and has the feel of a victory lap. There’s a guest appearance from Martin Compston, speaking his native Bampot.
The theme is the fleetingness of Internet fame, and the novelty of old people getting mobile phones. There is a plot implausibility involving a FaceTime message, but that’s less important than the swearing and the comedy teeth in a farce that plays like a profane cross between The Simpsons and The Broons (of Sunday Post comic-strip fame).
Ask a lawyer
The Lawyer: Complicated cops, smouldering looks and ice-blue skies...