Eco-terrorism, dramatic interpersonal relationship and a furious pace; what's not to enjoy?
The Bridge Season 2 Blu-ray Review
The Bridge is another spectacular example of tight, drama driven television from Nordic production companies whose character and story to driven narrative is fast becoming the format to emulate with numerous remakes already completed.The second season of The Bridge, reunites the main cast, but this time in a story with much larger scope. It continues some thirteen months after the tumultuous events of the bridge top standoff, with a crewless tanker running aground containing, in its hold, five students. Since it is on the border, once again, it falls to Asperger Syndrome suffering police detective Saga Norén (Sofia Helin) on the Swedish side and the ever ready detective Martin Rohde (Kim Bodnia) on the Danish. What at first appears to be a strange case of kidnap turns very sour when it is discovered the students are infected with a deadly pathogen.So when a group of eco-terrorists start to take innocent lives it is up to our duo to solve the crimes and discover the true extent of the conspiracy behind their motivations. Whilst the plot is very dramatic, what makes this show so enticing and riveting is the personal relationships between the main characters; both have changed significantly from the first season, with Martin suffering a form of Post Traumatic Syndrome and Saga settling into a relationship, despite her problems dealing with people.
The second season of The Bridge, reunites the main cast, but this time in a story with much larger scope.
The Bridge Season 2 Blu-ray Picture Quality
The disc presents a broadcast correct aspect ratio of 1.78:1 1080i/50 picture using the AVC MPEG4 codec and is Region locked to B.
As with most well produced digitally filmed TV shows The Bridge showcases a clean, clear and highly detailed picture that rivals many a Hollywood blockbuster. Detail is pristine from skin texture (check out Bodnia’s beard, or Helin’s facial scaring) to clothing weaves, from pixels on the high resolution large screen in the police headquarters to brickwork of the various outside locations. There is so much on offer that it is a marvel to witness.
Colour has been deliberately muted, almost washed throughout but this doesn’t rob the picture of any punch, rather it is a style that these types of Nordic dramas have become synonymous with. Skin tones are rather pale, as if to highlight the northern aspect or the cold, but still look perfectly natural. The primaries are deliberately weak with blue pushed somewhat to heighten the sense ‘cold’. There is no bleed and gradation is fine.
Colour has been deliberately muted, but this doesn’t rob the picture of any punch.
Brightness and contrast are set to give reasonably strong blacks, still containing shadow detail and the whites never clip. Interior shots have quite a high brightness, i.e. look a little grey, but this is due to the artistic nature of the show and not a fault of the set. Check out the night shoots, or the night time overviews of the Bridge to see some lovely inky blacks. It is due to the sharp detail and well set contrast that push the picture forward giving some nice depth to the frame.
Digitally there were no compression problems, no edge enhancement or jaggies with only some rare banding that caused any issues. On the whole an excellent picture all round.
The Bridge Season 2 Blu-ray Sound Quality
Only the one track to choose from Swedish/Danish dts-HD Master Audio 2.0 Stereo. Much like the picture the sound, despite its stereo limitations is quite excellent being able to play at reference without any difficulty. Dialogue comes across strong and well detailed, never getting lost in the action. Ambient sounds, such as office clatter, weather, street noise etc. is well layered into the mix to give a very natural sound environment. The haunting score is well integrated with its deep notes bringing the sub to life on many occasions. Bass is well realised and adds some nice punch lower down. Stereo effects are numerous and fit in well with the on screen action, such as car movements, dialogue pans and ambient effects.
The haunting score is well integrated with its deep notes often bringing the sub to life.
Subtitles are in a good sized easily readable font, white and at the bottom of the screen. They default to on, and can only be turned off by accessing your Blu-ray device’s menu while the disc is playing. The grammar is mostly OK, barring the odd inconsistency and I’m not sure why it has American spellings, however, at least they hang around long enough to be easily readable and not so long as to become intrusive.
The Bridge Season 2 Blu-ray ExtrasUnfortunately none.
Is The Bridge Season 2 Blu-ray Worth Buying
The Bridge continues the trend of spectacular Nordic TV dramas that have graced our screens, and this second season ups the ante even more. Its success can be seen as a combination of rugged storytelling and dramatic tension; not only with the narrative, but more especially with the complex relationships between its main protagonists. Saga and Martin make for a compelling team of detectives, each battling their own demons just to get on in life. They are ably assisted by a wealth of supporting characters each being fully rounded with their own respective back stories. All this means you are fully immersed into the dramatic tension of the show, it hooks you from the off and then you simply have to see the outcome. It’s a format that has been emulated here in the UK and also over the pond in the US where remakes are the norm; those shows are OK, but the original is where it’s at – don’t be fooled seek out The Bridge.
Its success can be seen as a combination of rugged storytelling and dramatic tension.
As a Blu-ray set, Arrow has supplied a frustratingly good disc; the picture is spectacular, being bright, clean and detailed (in the confines of its stylised nature) and the sound is natural sounding, clear and precise. But the package has no extras and not even a menu to speak of. Nevertheless, the show is worth the effort - Recommended.
Our Review Ethos
To comment on what you've read here, click the Discussion tab and post a reply.