Dicte: The Second Season of the Popular Danish TV Series

After thoroughly enjoying Season 1 of the Danish TV series Dicte, which aired last fall on Netflix, I hoped that there would be a second season. Well there was. Season 2 aired on Danish TV beginning September 24th, just about the same time I was watching Season 1.

This is a series about a journalist working for the Internet edition of a Danish newspaper. She is the crime reporter and she’s based in Aarhus which is Denmark’s second biggest city. Her name is Dicte Svendsen. Iben Hjejle has the role.

Svendsen worked on reporting crime stories and quite often she uncovered information which both got her into a few difficult as well as life threatening situations as well as being helpful to the police. On the police side we had Detective John Wagner and his assistant Linda Bendtsen.

At the newspaper there was the older editor Kaiser, and a hunky staff photographer called Bo.

On the home front, Svendsen lived with her teen-age daughter Rose, had dealings with her ex-husband Torsten. Then there were Svendsen’s girl friends – Anne Skov Larsen, a midwife working at Aarhus University Hospital, and Ida Marie Svensson. a woman in an unhappy marriage.

What made this show appealing was the seamless blending of the crime stories and the personal sides to the characters.

That's Kaiser, the older editor standing on the right

That’s Kaiser, the older editor standing on the right

The second season consisted of 10 episodes, or stated more accurately 5 stories each with two parts. To make the series more intriguing, both the crime stories as well as the personal stories worked as on going threads. By this I mean that events and crimes that started in the first episode of the season continued straight through until the end.

Bo and Dicte

Bo and Dicte

While it is not necessary to have seen Season 1 to enjoy Season 2, there are a few facts that I shall put before you as a way of providing some background. Right in Episode One of Season 1 we meet Dicte and learn that as a sixteen year old – she gave birth to a son. Two things happened straight away – the infant was taken from her and immediately put up for adoption, and she was thrown out of her home by her parents who were devout Jehovah’s Witnesses.

So twenty years later, Dicte returns to Aarhus to take up a new career as a journalist. She has a now teenage daughter in tow, a failed marriage, and her parents still shun her.

As Season Two begins – out of the blue, Dicte gets a call from her father who tells her that he has something to tell her, and she must meet him immediately.

As I’ve concluded watching the entire second season, I can easily state that this was just as enjoyable as the first season, and despite a few aspects/events that deserved some serious eye-rolls, as they bordered on incredible – the series still worked for me.

Rather than me doing ten posts about the 10 episodes, I’m only going to do this one. I am fairly certain that Netflix will likely roll out Season Two of Dicte later this year, as they have already made it available in Canada.

So let’s have a look, or rather an overview of the 10 episodes –

1) Dreams and Diamonds – Part 1 and Part 2 – in Danish – Dromme ag Diamanter. After no contact with her parents for more than twenty years, Dicte’s father contacts her. On the crime front, a young black woman is found murdered. We are quickly involved with a case of murder and diamond smuggling.

 Lars Brygmann as John Wagner

Lars Brygmann as John Wagner

Dicte, working with Detective John Wagner and following the leads, find themselves involved with a prostitution ring. Dicte and Bo are becoming more involved and Dicte’s daughter Rose has a new boyfriend – a professional soccer player.

2) Passion and Handcuffs – Part 1 and Part 2 – in Danish – Lidenskab og Lænker. The crime is a murder involving a wellness queen who had a dark side involving kinky sex. The suspect is a retarded young man.

On the home front, Rose wants to move out and live with her professional soccer player (against Dicte’s wishes). Dicte’s ex-husband and her best girl friend, Anne, have been seeing each other and are living as a couple. Somehow, Dicte, makes a few bad choices and comes between Torsten and Anne.

Bendtsen and Wagner at work

Bendtsen and Wagner at work

3) Closeness and Distance – Part 1 and Part 2 – in Danish – Nærvær of Fravær. Here we begin with a little sister of one of Rose’s friends (yes she’s underage) is taken by Rose and her friend to a club. She manages to go missing. Svendsen visits her father in a hospital, and she has to convince Wagner to take up the case of the missing girl.

Yes, the case of the missing girl has a dark side, and we are immersed in the hunt for a pedophile as well as a look into parental abuse.

4) Means and Ends – Part I and Part 2 – in Danish – Mal og Midler. A professional soccer match ends in a bitter defeat. Shortly afterward, one of the team members is found murdered. Dicte, in her investigations discovers that the soccer players are put into compromising positions (drugs and sex), and are then blackmailed into match-fixing. There’s a second side of this – hooligans amongst the fans attending the games ( a somewhat common occurrence in European soccer.

Svendsen has a falling out with Rose whose boyfriend may be involved with the fixing of matches, and Rose has taken the time to get to know her grandmother, Dicte’s Mom who had thrown her out so many years ago.

5) Right and Responsibility – Part 1 and Part 2 – in Danish – Ret og Pligt. Wagner has been involved with a woman from the diamond smuggling case all along. He’s kept it from Bendtsen, as well as lied to her about it.

Bendtsen at play and at work

Bendtsen at play and at work

Things go south as the multiple case threads cross and create difficult situations for Dicte, Wagner, Bendtsen, Torsten and Anne, Rose, Kaiser the editor at Dicte’s newspaper, and Bo.

I found that the series is still worthwhile, still exciting, and filled with excellent actors. The scripts marvelously blend the social, personal and criminal issues. I believe that while the series main character is a woman and we have many of her personal issues at the forefront, the series is more than reachable to male viewers.

You’ll find that the scripts have a way of tugging on your heartstrings, presenting sad as well as happy moments, and there’s enough action connected to the criminal activities to more than satisfy. There’s at least a few car chase scenes, and there’s at least one or more bodies that turn up dead in each episode.

The crimes of diamond smuggling, drugs, blackmail, fixing of soccer games, pedophiles, a sex murder, and more are on the dance card. Dicte has to face the difficulties of her own ambitions, her problems in raising her own teen-aged daughter, as well as facing the problems that her own parents had with her.

Besides those, there’s the universal problem of romance and sexual dynamics within the work place, loyalties to friends and family, parental rights and decisions that are made, as well as the stress of editorial decisions made from near and far.

I hope there’s a 3rd season in the works. As I stated up top, it is quite likely that Netflix in the US will make Dicte 2 available. Currently the show is airing on Netflix in Canada.

Here is the trailer for Dicte: Season 2 on Vimeo: When the image appears, click where it says Watch on Vimeo

2 thoughts on “Dicte: The Second Season of the Popular Danish TV Series

  1. Hmm. A good review, but a bit patronising about male viewers. Men don’t only watch a TV series for the car chases and dead bodies.

    We’re not all that shallow…


    • You are at least partially right. The sentence I wrote (that sparked your comment about male viewers bring patronized) is clearly a bit of a generalization. Certainly all men are not alike. Nor should they all be lumped into such a broad characterization.

      Thanks for reading the post and stopping by to comment.

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