Follow the Money 1, Tess 0

After my somewhat critical review of Follow the Money season three in Punk Noir magazine the other day, I’m left eating my rather stylish hat.

Because no sooner was the ink dry on my blog post than I came across this little piece on the BBC News website, which could have been lifted word for word from the Follow the Money script.

In this case, the Metropolitan Police, HM Revenue & Customs, and the Financial Conduct Authority are joining forces to investigate Bureaux de Change and currency transfer businesses in London that are suspected of laundering money made through the illegal drugs trade. Almost exactly the model young punk Nicky was aiming to set up in Copenhagen in Follow the Money.

It’s probably pure coincidence, but I can’t help wondering if someone high up in one of those organisations watched the series and said ‘hey, guys, what if that’s happening here?’. Either that, or the writers at Follow the Money use the occasional crystal ball.

Either way, the storyline was obviously hugely well-researched and relevant to today’s criminal enterprises. I’m impressed with the authenticity, but I still think it would have made even better drama if the series had focussed on the crime rather than the various characters’ personal lives. But then I would say that, wouldn’t I? Anything to save having to eat that hat…

When Follow the Money stops following the money…

ftm3-credit-drWhat happens when Scandi-noir TV drama Follow the Money stops doing what it does best?

That’s a question I asked myself throughout the third season, shown recently here in the UK on BBC4. It took me a while to sort through my reactions, but I scribbled down a few thoughts and Paul Brazill has kindly published them at Punk Noir magazine.

Have a shuftie and see whether you agree with me – or not! I’ll be interested to find out.

Edited to add: for some reason that official poster makes the three leads look like vampires! But I can assure you it didn’t go that far off-piste…

Follow the Money

followthemoneyWe finally caught up on our recorded episodes of this latest Danish ‘scandi-drama’ last night and I have to say we really enjoyed it.  The writing was sharp, the characters thoroughly believable and it was great to watch a crime drama that wasn’t completely hung up on murder for a change.

Yes, there were deaths during the 10-episode run, but they were almost incidental to the main storyline of corporate fraud and personal greed.  The two main detectives, Mads and Alf, used their very different approaches (paper trail and rather more ‘hands on’) to chase down the CEO of a green energy company whose wealth was based on little more than air.  Needless to say, because this was close to real life, they didn’t manage to tie up every loose end, but the perpetrators seemed to get their comeuppance in other, sometimes fateful ways.  One killed himself, one was arrested, one was shot by the very fixer he thought he employed himself.  Presumably on the orders of someone further, higher up the chain.

Mads and Alf were engaging characters, just maverick enough to be interesting without being unemployable, and it was also surprisingly nice to see Nicky and Bimse, the two bungling wannabe criminals, coming out of things relatively unscathed.

I’m not sure if there’s potential for further series in due course but I hope so.  ‘Follow the Money’ has been one of the standout new programmes on telly, even amongst a rich selection of other great series for crime and drama fans.