And to be quite honest, this doesn’t seem all that far-fetched given the inconspicuous effort they put toward launching new shows.
They did it with the magnificent Justified a few years ago, and last year, they began airing a cryptic, 30-second spot showing a car driving slowly down the street of a calm (though eerily empty) neighborhood in Anytown, USA. As the car passes the house on which the camera has been trained, and transmitted radio ghost-sounds crackle in the background, we see that it has been painted with a large, red sickle and hammer. THE AMERICANS flashes briefly on the side of the screen, and that’s it.
And I watched, because HOW AWESOME WAS THAT PROMO? And the show had a brilliant first season that fully surpassed my expectations.
So when I began seeing teasers for their newest effort some four or five months ago (maybe I’m exaggerating, but it feels like forever), I immediately knew that I’d watch it. All I knew is that it was called The Bridge and that it was premiering July 10th. Aside from that, it was the usual minimalist action: a car backing slowly away from a trailer in the black of night. A body being dragged across the desert floor with a bridge (THE bridge, perhaps?!) shimmering in the distance. Softly delivered Spanish being spoken between a man and a woman while a lone high-heel sits on the bank of a dirty river.
WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON?
Honestly, I didn’t care. Because these spots were so compelling—and given the pedigree of the channel’s recent original efforts—I planned on watching, regardless. But knowing that me talking about “softly-spoken Spanish” only goes so far, I did a little digging. And here’s what I found on the Internet.
Like most quality, “original” programming, The Bridge is based off of a Danish/Swedish TV series of the same name. Since we generally do not give a fuck about those nations, however, this particular adaptation takes place along the Texas/Mexico border. It follows the tale of two police detectives—one Mexican, one Texican—as they work together to solve the case of a border-hopping serial killer. Along the way, their efforts are complicated by rampant, Mexican-style corruption and unchecked drug cartel violence.
(Side note: apparently Mexico has like, a HUGE problem with violence related to drug cartels. Who knew?? Lol.)
Anyway, it stars a bunch of people I’ve never heard of, plus Diane Kruger (Bridget von Hammersmark from Inglorious Basterds!) Ted Levine (Buffalo Bill from Silence of the Lambs!) and Matthew Lillard (Shaggy from Scooby Doo, which I’ll try not to hold against them).
And although I kid, I promise you’ll want to catch this from the beginning. With the sorry exception of ABC’s short-lived, god-awful The River, I’m pretty good at picking television shows.
Now if only I could find a way to find a job as an overpaid, vapid studio executive. Let me know if you’ve got any connections. Thanks in advance.
The Bridge premiers on FX, Wednesday, July 10th at 9PM CT.
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