In Denmark, there is a hospital utterly committed to science. Eagerly, they press on with their scientific goals and steadfastly deny the presence of the supernatural or unaccountable. When Mrs. Drusse, a patient and spiritualist, hears a girl crying in the elevator, she begins to investigate. Meanwhile, the hospital is alive with the high-jinks of the doctors and researchers. But things are going to change: there are cracks in the modern edifice, and the door to the Kingdom is opening.
I loved the first installment of Lars Von Trier’s The Kingdom (Riget in Danish). It has a nice blend of humor and darkness that makes the show a lot of fun to watch. I thought it was well-paced; Von Trier slowly adds the weirdness to the story until the last episode when he dumps a whole bottle of weird in. I don’t mean that in a bad way–it is done quite beautifully, and I think the second season’s going to be wacky and awesome. I also liked the exploration of good and evil. Most of the characters are somewhat dubious–mostly because they are driven to commit to their goals, and so they might be argued to cross that line into evil. Despite the dubious nature of some of the character, I think there is a clear line, and a reminder of that very deed haunts the hospital. I think that the second season will give a stronger portrayal of the evil, as things will get darker.
I also loved most of the characters, partially because the actors do a beautiful job of portraying them. Memorable characters include Swedish doctor Helmer, who is a magnificently horrible person.
No, really, he is–he’s a horribly incompetent surgeon, and his biting tongue and arrogance know no bounds. He is beautifully portrayed, and I love to hate him. I am also a huge a fan of the eccentric and elderly Mrs. Drusse because of her undiminished committment to spiritualism and her grim determination. I also really like most of the other doctors because they all have such delightful quirks.
Needless to say, I am really looking forward to the second season.