The Bridge – Again
FX is known for putting out fantastic programming. Just look at the catalog; “The Shield,” “Justified,” “American Horror Story,” “Louie,” and “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.” Of course I’m missing a few, including “Archer” but you look at their lineup either currently or in the past, and you see the quality. This brings me to FX’s newest show “The Bridge” a look at crime on the border of Texas and Mexico. After watching the pilot I was left thinking, “again?”
“The Bridge” is based on the Swedish TV series “Bron” which deals with crime on the Denmark-Sweden border. Who’d of thought; crime in Denmark and and Sweden, I thought that only happened in Steig Larsson novels. In this American version, two cops, Diane Kruger, who is ironically German, and Demian Bichir, who is in fact Mexican, so that helps, both find a body on the US-Mexico border. It’s discovered that the body was cut in half and comprised of two different bodies. Intrigued?
Moving from the plot aspects to the character aspects for a second, I just want to comment on the character Sonya Cross, or North, depending where you read her character’s name from. Now this is the third show in the past year where the creators decided to go the now-cliched detective route, namely giving the main detective symptoms of Aspergers. We’ve had “Sherlock” on the BBC, “Hannibal” on NBC, and now “The Bridge” on FX. There used to be an age where cops or detectives had the cliche of having a gruff exterior with a soft interior, usually involving “a past event” that shaped their character, but now we are stuck with detectives and cops who have some sort of autism. It was cute the first time, but personally I think it’s time find a new cliche.
Being that the pilot was an “extended pilot” (clocking in at just over 90 minutes as opposed to your standard 60 minute program) we get some extra time with our main characters and our “killer.” Yet, I didn’t really feel any type of investment with either North or her Mexican counterpart, Marco Ruiz. The stakes seem higher for Ruiz who is balancing both personal and professional business in one of the most corrupt cities in Mexico, whereas the only thing we know about North is that she is a little off.
Stylistically, if you took the film “Savages” and gave it the Michael Mann treatment, that’s exactly how “The Bridge” looks, which means it looks great. I would even say that it even has a little “No Country For Old Man” vibe with the look and feel of the desert landscapes. They always say imitation is the highest form of flattery.
Overall, “The Bridge” has potential, but in a TV landscape with every cop and procedural show trying to one-up the other when it comes to violence, gory, and autistic detectives, where does this show fit? Being it’s on FX, the pedigree is there, but it’s where they decide to go with the characters that really matters. If I want to see gory murders and detectives with problems I’ll stick with “Hannibal.”
Fun Fact: According to The International Boundary and Water Commission, the US-Mexico border is approximately 1.954 miles long.