Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Day One Hundred and Twenty-seven - Annika Bengtzon:Crime Reporter: Studio Sex, "Saddest... Strip Club... Ever"

I have a secret to confess.

I've been staying away from Annika Bengtzon and her mysteries simply because so many of my hits  here on Couchbound come from people searching for her. In a weird sort of anti-pandering, I've been physically and emotionally repulsed from continuing the series due to the fact that I didn't want to come off as greedy.
Hang on, I fell in some strawberry jam!

That said, I was in the mood and said mood was finally strong enough to overcome my extreme hesitance.

Based on the Liza Marklund novels, the third Annika Bengtzon:Crime Reporter movie is titled Studio Sex and revolves around the murder of a stripper and the subsequent political scandal that results when folks find out that ruling party big wigs might have been entertaining foreign dignitaries there.

The murder strikes particularly close to home for Annika as she identifies with both the victim and said victim's best friend... so much so, in fact, that she invites that friend into her home (against the advice of her colleagues) to protect her from whom she rightly believes abused her. 

Your hair is caught in my watch! Seriously!
The abuse angle provided quite a bit of character depth for Annika that we haven't been privy to in the previous two episodes, and it does so in a nice, balanced way that saves the true meat of the story for the final moments before her ultimate confrontation with the killer. 

Speaking of the killer, it was nice to see Annika in the thick of things again like in Nobel's Last Will. Last episode was rather 'meh' when it came to the ultimate reveal and arrest. This time, the tension was back and I actually felt some threat for her well-being. Not as much as with Nobel, but better. If they can manage to keep both variety and tension, as the series progresses, I'll be pleased. If it's more like Prime Time, then I'll pass.

When it comes to the risqué factor, I'm a bit conflicted. 

Trying on a dead girl's clothes... that's got to be curse-worthy.
While it's always good to have a little tasteful nudity to emphasize vulnerability in some scenes and trust in others, it seems like they were hindered here for some reason. Where there could have made less "made for tv" consessions (like in the strip club), they were purposefully using props to their advantage... whereas when it was time for Annika to be alone, it was okay to have her topless?

I dunno... it just felt ham-fisted to be all cheeky hiding it at the club while going for it when she's in bed with her husband.

Maybe it was a union/contract thing?

Anyways, that's a nitpicky point that is really of no consequence. What really disappointed me was the resolution of the political scandal storyline. That had better come back later in the series or next season (if there is one) as not only was the ending unsatisfying, but it was too bloody short to mean anything. Just a quick bit of blackmail and done... not even a wink or nod to the paper.

Until tomorrow, Potatoes~

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