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Young Wallander: The Swedish Crime Drama on Netflix You Should be Watching Now

The complicated origins of a jaded detective.

young wallander
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  • Photo Credit: Yellow Bird

Late Swedish author Henning Mankell published the first book in his acclaimed Kurt Wallander series in 1991, translating it into English six years later. The thriller/mystery novels center around the Swedish police investigator in the city of Ystad. As he faces the grim crimes of his locale, Inspector Wallander often struggles with his police career throughout the novels. He once dreamed of leaving the force to pursue a life of opera, acting as an impresario for his tenor friend. Though he stayed working in the law, he grows more and more disillusioned as time passes.

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Inspector Wallander is a man of sharp intellect, though many are off-put by his brusque nature. The tactics he employs can be aggressive, and he harbors guilt for the brutality he's inflicted and the lives he's taken on the job. As his emotional state suffers in the novels, so too do his personal relationships.

Over the years, Inspector Wallander has come to life in several iterations in TV and film, portrayed by the likes of Rolf Lassgård, Krister Henriksson, and Sir Kenneth Branagh. But in 2020, Netflix premiered a "pre-imagining" of the character, setting a series in modern day Sweden as viewers followed Wallander on his first case. Adam Pålsson portrays a version of Kurt Wallander straight out of the academy, crafting a role that gives insight into the character's formative experiences on the force.

Despite several people bemoaning the fact that the series isn't set in the original timeline of the 1970s, the first season pulled in mostly positive reviews, establishing this modernized drama as the show to keep an eye out for. A second season premiered this February, bringing the total episode count to 12.

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While there hasn't been any announcements on a renewal for season three, the latest episodes brought in even more praise. Nothing is certain in this time of big change within the inner workings of Netflix, but you'll want to add this show to your list of favorites and add your voice to the many clamoring for more.

Watch the series now on Netflix, and as we all await the fate of this great series, check out the trailer for Young Wallander below.

For more about beloved Swedish inspector Kurt Wallander, take a deep dive into the source material below.