Too astringent, Don? I thought noir is a bitter little world. I find much of Nordic noir perfectly astringent.
Compelling central characters in new surroundings and unfamiliar (for the most part) actors is what, for me, makes these series eminently watchable. I just finished watching The Valhalla Murders from Iceland which was a fine study in widespread depravity. See, not just in the US, but the Scandinavian countries also have a well-developed rancid underbelly.
For the dough we pay for Xfinity cable, internet and phone service I canít believe that they donít offer The Killing. I guess Iíll have to be satisfied with watching Borgen next. As good as these Nordic shows are, I still find The Break (Belgium) to have a central character that is a totally noir protagonist. What is somewhat ironic is that with all of the great old French noir films, the few French series Iíve seen donít compare to their northern neighbors.
As for The Bridge, I believe itís back on Amazon Prime. This is also a great series, with two unique finely drawn detectives Ė one a gruff Danish one who resembles a Nordic James Gandolfini teamed with a Swedish female detective who has a well-developed case of Aspergerís Syndrome.