I swear all I ever say in my blogs is that I can’t think of anything to write about, and yet again I’m struggling. I decided on this topic of Swedish entertainment today while I was at work but by the time I had got home I had already thrown this idea out of the window, considering it just wasn’t going to go anywhere, but I’ve brought it back from outside and decided to give it the time of day because I really am out of ideas and because Eric Saade’s new song is beyond addicting.
My love for all things Swedish really did start with Eric Saade since he performed on the Eurovision Song Contest 2011 with the song “Popular”. He so should’ve won that year, but instead, he came third, with Ell & Nikki from Azerbaijan winning with the song “Running Scared” – not that that wasn’t an important moment in Eurovision history, it was, and they deserved to have won. Loreen next represented Sweden and her “Euphoria” totally blew everyone away.
Swedish music has been a big part of my life since then, and I always follow Melodifestivalen – I’m still waiting for the day that Wiktoria and Ace Wilder win because they so deserve to get on the Eurovision stage! But, little did I know, that I have been listening to Swedish music even before I got into Eurovision, from Basshunter to Danny Saucedo, from Ola Svensson to September (now known as Petra Marklund), from Agnes to Avicii (was also known as Tim Berg, may he rest in peace).
The thing about being a fan of all these Swedish artists, which now include Robin Stjernberg, Sanna Nielsen, Måns Zelmerlöw, and Robin Bengtsson – who all competed in Eurovision – I end up listening to all the albums and singles they both previously released and subsequently released from their most popular song; and so, this leads into hearing a lot of Swedish music, including Christmas albums in Swedish. I didn’t know a word of Swedish and yet I was loving the songs I was listening to.
With that in mind, I ended up downloading Duolingo, a multi-language learning app, which features an adorable owl to help you through the exercises. I’ve been using this app for a few years now, building up my Swedish (and my Romanian, but that’s a whole different story). According to the app, before they updated it, I was 50% fluent and I had completed all the exercises available. Now, the app has changed and it took me some time to get used to it, but I’m loving this new format and it is helping me to learn more Swedish and allowing it to really stick in my head. It’s much more of a lengthy course now that it’s been updated, but it’s welcomed because learning a language is not at all easy. They’ve also, finally, included speaking exercises in the Swedish course which I am fully loving.
Since learning Swedish through Duolingo, I was surprised to find out that Channel 4 launched Walter Presents, which led to various TV series from other countries being released on the TV Channel. A few years ago, I started watching Blue Eyes, but I forgot to put it on record and only ended up watching half of series one, but I have never forgotten it and would love to watch the rest of the series. It surprised me that I could recognise some of the words they said and on the occasion, I didn’t need to read the English subtitles as I could understand an entire sentence. The drama is a political TV drama focusing on two female leads against the backdrop of the rise of a far-right political party.
This led to me keeping an eye out for more announcements in regards to Swedish TV shows. It took some time before another one piqued my interest, this time it was called Black Lake which was actually shown on BBC Four. I set this up to record, and it’s still on my YouView box waiting for me to watch. I have viewed the first episode and I completely enjoyed this creepy thriller and I can’t wait to start watching it again, I just don’t have the time. The first episode introduces us to a group of characters who stay at a lodge by a lake. Our main character, Hanne, is having nightmares, and whilst staying at the lodge, she connects the creepy goings-on with her nightmares.
The current Swedish TV show that I am completely addicted to is Alex. This is one TV show that I cannot get enough of, I’m so involved that I cannot wait to watch each episode. It is shown on Channel 4 here in the UK and we follow a dirty cop named Alex Leko (played by Dragomir Mrsic), who has decided to go clean after he accidentally shoots his partner, however, it is not so easy to break away from the criminals he dealt with who refuse to let him out of their deal by putting his family’s lives in great danger. As well as this, he’s been assigned a new partner, Frida Kanto (played by Rakel Wärmländer), who is suspicious of Alex and is investigating him.
SO excited for our next launch,WALTER PRESENTS:#ALEX,playing in full on Channel 4 from 26/09/18 at 11pm
— Walter Presents UK (@WalterPresents) September 21, 2018
I hope that Walter Presents brings more Swedish dramas to my TV, and I know that when I have the time I’ll dip into more TV shows and may even try out some Swedish films.
Coming full circle now, I’m back to Eric Saade and his brand new single. This song is his debut Swedish-language single and it is beyond catchy. He recently released the music video to the song, to which I am not that impressed with since the song is imagery-led and so they could’ve built up the visual much more; however, the purely catchy track certainly makes up for it. He has also been announced as one-quarter of the hosts of Melodifestivalen 2019. I was hoping for him to be a contestant with this song, but I guess I’ll have to settle with him hosting.
The single has been gaining thousands of streams on Spotify, and I really believe it would be a hit if it gained more attention. In English, the song means “So damn wrong”, and Eric Saade sings about the day his lover walks out on him.
It’s likely that I’ll discover more Swedish entertainment. I’m certainly interested in trying to read a bilingual book, which I only recently discovered. I definitely want to try out a Swedish film, although I want to be more fluent in Swedish so that I don’t have to read the subtitles completely for two-to-three hours. I’ve also read the first three novels in the Millennium book series by Stieg Larsson and I fully loved them, however, I’m guarded about reading the follow-up novels as they are written by another author, David Lagercrantz.
What other Swedish entertainment should I try out? Do you have any suggestions of music I would like, TV series I would enjoy, books I would love to read? Let me know by Tweeting me @CriticJonni.