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Where to Watch Beck

The Crying Cop (Episode 4 of 4)
The police is under heavy media pressure after fatally shooting a 14-year-old boy. A demonstration against the violence gets out of hand and the police have to take further blame

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58 Minutes (Episode 3 of 4)
Alex Beijer's guest spot on a daytime TV talk show turns deadly. Directed by Lisa Ohlin, 2021.

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Rage Room (Episode 2 of 4)
A murder in a wooded area and a man who died suddenly in a heart attack after being awakened in the middle of the night by a masked burglar. Can the events have any connection?

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Haunted by the Past (Episode 1 of 4)
Martin and Steinar return when a dead man is found floating in the water near Liljeholmen. Directed by Pontus Klange, 2021.

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Beck is not a television show, but rather a well-known Swedish crime novel series written by author Maj Sjöwall and her partner Per Wahlöö. These novels were later adapted into various forms of media, including movies and TV series. The earliest of these was a six-episode television film series that aired in Sweden in 1997. The series primarily follows the exploits of Martin Beck, a detective in the Swedish national police.

Martin Beck is characterized as being quiet, considerate, and fiercely intelligent. He is an unassuming workaholic who often resorts to traditional detective work, putting together the finest clues and details and piecing together the crime’s puzzle to find the solution. Beck has a profound ability to empathize with victims of crime, which often leads him to doggedly pursue justice for them even in the face of departmental politics and bureaucracy.

The recommended adaptation from 1997 is fantastic at bringing this character's charisma, determination, and tenacity to life. It realistically portrays his dark, often melancholic world view, as well as his personal struggles, including a rocky relationship with his ex-wife and an ongoing battle with various health concerns. Despite, or perhaps because of, his personal challenges, Beck has a great deal of empathy for the victims of the crimes he investigates, which is one of his great strengths as a detective.

Beck's partner in the series, Gunvald Larsson, is almost the polar opposite of Beck. Larsson is often abrasive, conventionally macho, and has little patience for bureaucracy. He provides a counterbalance to the introspective, methodical Martin Beck. Despite their often palpable tension, they work well together, each providing what the other is lacking. The dynamic partnership of these two characters drives the plot of many of the episodes.

The series takes its viewers on a rollercoaster ride through the heart of the Swedish criminal underworld, depicting Martin Beck and his team's tireless efforts to uphold law and order. While it skillfully portrays a wide variety of crimes, the series consistently reflects on more significant social and political issues.

The Beck series is also notable for its distinct cinematography, largely filmed in Sweden, providing the viewer with authentic settings that add to the overall darkness, intensity, and suspense of the storyline. Scandinavian noir, of which this series is an example, is known for its bleak landscapes, moral complexity, and a high degree of character introspection.

Beck's supporting cast is as diverse and deep as the crimes they investigate. Each brings a unique dynamic and perspective to the table, adding more depth to the narrative. Perennial characters include the hapless and eager to please Kollberg, the devoted and hardworking Rönn, and the steadfast and savvy Skacke. These characters represent instruments in the hands of the talented detectives as they methodically piece together the solutions to complex criminal conundrums.

Although the Beck series, as a whole, is comprised of self-contained episodes that revolve around individual crimes, they are threaded together by slow-burning story arcs dealing with the professional and personal lives of Beck and his team, which invests viewers more deeply in the characters and gives the narrative a more profound depth.

More than just a crime series, Beck paints a vivid picture of the rigors of police work and the toll it can take on those who are part of it. The series employs a strong narrative approach and realistic storytelling to showcase the personal sacrifices that come with the job, the societal pressures, and the mental and physical fatigue that can sometimes be overwhelming.

In conclusion, the 1997 Beck series is an accomplished crime thriller with a strong sense of setting and a nuanced exploration of its characters' complexities. Its gritty realism and raw portrayal of the less glamorous side of police work make it more than just an exciting journey through crime-riddled Sweden. It is a profound exploration of humanity and the depths to which people will sink or rise under extraordinary circumstances. With its artfully woven storylines and impressively realistic perspective, Beck is a must-watch for any fan of the crime, detective genre or Scandinavian noir.

Beck is a series categorized as a . Spanning 8 seasons with a total of 46 episodes, the show debuted on 1997. The series has earned a moderate reviews from both critics and viewers. The IMDb score stands at 7.4.

Peter Haber, Ingvar Hirdwall, Rebecka Hemse
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