Netflix is now streaming the Danish series Dicte. The series is named for the title character, Dicte Svendsen, played by Iben Hjejle. Dicte is a crime reporter who goes back to her hometown of Aarhus after a divorce. She has an 18 year old daughter named Rose (Emilie Kruse) and an ex-husband (Lars Ranthe) who hopes for a reconciliation.
Mild spoilers ahead.
The series is subtitled in English. This is a review of season 1 only. (Here’s my review of season 2 of Dicte.)
Iben Hjejle may be familiar to American audiences from Wallander, Defiance and High Fidelity. The show follows the tradition of other successful Danish series with well-written female leads such as The Killing and Borgen and the Swedish series Annika Bengtzon: Crime Reporter. Dicte’s definitely a well-written character. She works closely with the police, but often leaps to wrong conclusions based on her own background. She’s an excellent investigator and often is instrumental in helping solve crimes.
Dicte’s background is an important part of the story. I won’t give you spoilers, but she has a troubled history that colors her behavior at work and her personal life.
The police officers Dicte often interacts with are John Wagner (Lars Brygmann) and Bendtsen (Ditte Ylva Olsen). You may recognize Lars Brygmann from Borgen – here he’s a more likable character. Wagner and Bendtsen banter about Bendtsen’s sex life a good bit when they aren’t investigating a crime. Bendtsen has a long string of female sex partners, a fact that seems to fascinate Wagner. She’s a terrific investigator and regularly gives Wagner the info he needs to make a case.
Ditte Ylva Olsen is fairly new to acting, but there are lots of photos of her dancing.
Two friends of Dicte’s play important parts. They are Anne (Lærke Winther Andersen) and Ida Marie (Lene Maria Christensen).
Another major character is Bo, (Dar Salim) a photographer from the newspaper where Dicte works.
American audiences will know Dar Salim from Game of Thrones. He was in the Danish version of The Bridge and in Borgen. He’s a major hunk. Dicte notices.
Dicte’s family and personal life are significant parts of her story arc. The crimes that Wagner investigates and Dicte reports on are often related to Dicte’s backstory in one way or another – a fact that sometimes makes her emotionally involved with the people or the crimes she’s reporting about.
I was impressed with the other Danish series about real and layered women that I mentioned above. This series doesn’t disappoint by following in their footsteps. The actors are excellent, the stories are interesting. The characters are real and complex. I recommend that you take Dicte for a spin on Netflix. I think you’ll like it.
Unfortunately there are no English subtitles on the trailers, but you can get a sense of the action from them.
This one begins with the same material, but there are new scenes starting about halfway through.
In December 2015, Netflix US obtained season 2 of Dicte. Here’s my review of season 2 of Dicte.