“Summer of Suspense”: Award-Winning Danish TV-Series to Stream on Topic
An interview with Ryan Chanatry, General Manager of the US streaming service Topic.
Topic recently announced their upcoming “Summer of Suspense” extravaganza, diving into the “it’s criminally good” vertical of crime thrillers and mysteries. As part of this thematic selection, Topic will provide a home away from home over this summer for three critically acclaimed Danish TV-series: Follow the Money (Bedrag), The Bridge (Broen) and The Killing (Forbrydelsen).
As Topic expands their streaming repertoire with these Danish offerings, Denmark in New York caught up with Ryan Chanatry, the General Manager of Topic to explore the streaming service’s flair for Danish thriller series.
Denmark in New York: Why did Topic pick the three Danish series: Follow the Money, The Bridge and The Killing for the “Summer of Suspense”?
Ryan Chanatry: We are focused on bringing stories from around the world that have not had an opportunity to be seen yet in North America. Follow the Money and The Killing have never been fully released here, yet they are two of the most original and well-regarded Nordic Noir series, and we wanted to ensure that audiences could finally experience them. The Bridge, while previously released, has not been available for a little while and makes a great additional viewing option. Additionally, we recognize the value that crime, thrillers, and justice themed programming have as universally appealing ways into storytelling and with our focus on series’ that have an elevated global lens, DR (Danish Broadcasting Corporation) offers some of the best there is.
What, in your mind, characterizes the aesthetics and appeal to US audiences of these Danish TV-series?
RC: In some ways, US audiences are just now really discovering the appeal of international TV. Denmark’s series have a history of creating rich, nuanced, and engaging characters that draw you in and keep you hooked. The simplicity of a concept behind The Bridge, which has inspired so many additional amazing iterations since it was released, pulls you immediately into the world, while keeping you guessing as the mystery unfolds. While many American series might move more quickly, there is an increased interest to embrace more thoughtful, measured storytelling that these series represent. Combining that with their visual style and whodunit elements, we know that anyone who loves this type of storytelling will be interested in checking these out.
How will you describe Topic? How does it differ from the other streaming services?
RC: Our uniqueness is in our specific and curated selection that differs from what the mainstream services are primarily choosing to offer. We showcase across genres and formats while aiming for a tonal red thread that keeps it all feeling connected, no matter what you select to watch.
Being independent, we can program more provocatively, champion voices that hold the powerful accountable, and uphold Topic as a destination for emerging and established award-winning filmmakers who wish to take chances and let their voices be heard. We look for all our programming to be smart, meaningful, and most importantly, engaging and entertaining.
By focusing on narratives, characters, and experiences that are not frequently found on screen, we are aiming to combat past stereotyping over time and build an inclusive as possible service.
What can we expect from the “Summer of Suspense”?
RC: We kicked off the “Summer of Suspense” with the incredible German series, Dark Woods, inspired by a true crime murder case; and season two of An Ordinary Woman, a unique thriller from Russia.
On June 13th we will kick off three months of releasing all the seasons, week by week, of Follow the Money, The Bridge, and The Killing.
To wrap things up, we will head to Russia to explore the true story of the Dyatlov Pass Incident via the new series, Dead Mountain; explore a mysterious death in a small town in Tasmania with The Tailings; and then revisit what would happen if you had to investigate your own death in season two of the amazing French series, Beau Séjour. In the middle of all that, we will also be releasing the Topic Original critically acclaimed and ratings hit, Philly D.A., which just wrapped up its linear debut on PBS. No matter which week this summer you choose to check out Topic, we are confident that you will find something that will keep you on the edge of your seat when it is a little too hot to be venturing outside!
The three Danish series:
In The Bridge, a woman is found murdered in the middle of the Øresund Bridge — right on the border between Sweden and Denmark. The Swedish and Danish police find themselves in a race against the clock in a deadly showdown with a superior enemy, where no one will be the same when it is over.
Follow the Money is a series that takes us into the world of economic crime in the banks, on the stock exchanges, and in the boardrooms. It is the story of speculators, swindlers, corporate moguls, and the crimes they commit in their pursuit of wealth.
In The Killing, a brutal murder of a young girl launches an extended police investigation. Detective Sarah Lund is supposed to leave for a new life in Sweden but cannot bring herself to leave the case behind.
Watch Follow the Money from June 10th, The Bridge from July 8th, and The Killing from August 12th or check out Topic’s “Summer of Suspense” trailer featuring all three series on YouTube.
Katrine Nørholm Jensen is the Strategic Communications and Press intern at Denmark in New York
Sofie Dalhoff Saabye is the Culture and Public Diplomacy intern at Denmark in New York