If MHz hasn’t proven itself repeatedly with amazing programming and DVD releases, then get ready to be a total believer with the series ANNIKA BENGTZON: Crime Reporter.
This series tells the story of Annika Bengtzon (Malin Crepin), a reporter for a Stockholm paper and very good at her job. Balancing this job causes some stress with boyfriend Thomas (Richard Ulfsater) who takes the lead in caring for their two small children.
Working at the Kvällspressen paper the editor Anders Schyman (Bjorn Kjellman) knows that Annika is a reporter like no other. She digs deep and has no problem being creative in getting the answers to solve the mysteries.
With each assignment Annika sharpens her skills as a investigative crime reporter!
FINAL WORD: Crepin as Annika is clearly intelligent, creative, trust worthy and strong with a flair for working out the mystery. Along with these characteristics comes a take-no-bull attitude with eyes in the back of her head. Trying to juggle home life and career isn’t without it pressures and breaking points. Crepin does an amazing job and her performance truly has to be seen as well as experienced.
Writer Liza Marklung has written eight crime novels since 1995. Her books featuring Annika Bengtzon are international best sellers. Winning several awards including the Poloni Prize (1998), The Debutant prize (1999) and named Author of the Year in Sweden in 1999. She has also won the radio network Literary Prize in 2007 and her crime novels are best sellers in five Nordic countries.
The DVD includes the following extraordinary episodes:
NOBEL’S LAST WILL – Annika attends the Nobel Ball and finds herself caught up a murder with a gag order from the police forbidding her to write about. That doesn’t stop her from looking for who is responsible in a creative way.
PRIME TIME – A famous TV host is murdered at a gathering of her colleagues. Getting in to talk to the witnesses might be difficult for any other reporter, not for Annika. At home she is also dealing with a boyfriend who is not being supportive of her work.
STUDIO SEX – A young woman is found in a public park and the trail leads to sex and politics, but are they both connected to this murder? The stress of this story also brings Annika’s past to the surface and she must come to terms with it.
THE RED WOLF – When a journalist is killed, Annika suspects it is linked to an event over 40 years old. Now she is in the middle of old loyalties and the government today, which are blurring the lines of the murder.
LIFETIME – Personal problem are plaguing Annika and things are now spinning out of control. To forget she gets involved in a story of a policewoman who is accused of killing her husband.
A PLACE IN THE SUN – In a case that covers several countries, Annika goes to Spain to follow the story of a Swedish family killed during a burglary. The more she investigates the closer the truth becomes to drugs on the streets.
Other cast include: Leif Andree as Spiken, Kajsa Ernst as Berit, and Erik Johansson as Patrik Nilsson.
TUBS OF POPCORN: I give ANNIKA BENGTZON: Crime Reporter four tubs of popcorn out of five. First let me say that I love the fact that each episode is not squished into a time frame. It gives the storyline time to play itself out without shorting the viewer.
Casting Crepin as Annika is another stroke of brilliance. There is something about her that draws me because I can believe in her character. I have no trouble falling into the story quickly and seeing where things will go and more importantly, how she gets there. In doing all of this there is an underlying vulnerability and sense of humanity that is visible if those around her would just look!
The cast entirely works amazing well together making the newspaper Kvällspressen look flawless. My only gripe is the relationship between Annika and Thomas. There is definitely a division and career jealousy here, which is just unnecessary on his part. Of course I’ll get labeled as being on the side of Annika (which I am) but once has to wonder what’s going on with guys in Sweden (oh don’t send me emails, I’m speaking in generalities!).
It is a fantastic series and just like BORGEN, COMMISSARIO GUIDO BRUNETTI and DETECTIVE LUCA I look forward to seeing more. If you haven’t seen any of the above then start with ANNIKA BENGTZON: Crime Reporter and see what you’re missing from the folks at MHz! For more go to http://www.mhznetworks.org/.
In the end – she’s not afraid to find the answers!