We fell in love with Danish drama after 'The Killing' hit our TV's in 2011, it made channels in the UK sit up and take notice of the high quality programmes that are being made in main land Europe. Therefore we got an influx of captivating non-English subtitled shows. There had been predecessors to 'The Killing' but it was certainly a game changer.
The newest show to the pack is 'The Legacy' ('Arvingerne' in Danish) which will begin airing on Sky Arts 1 HD tonight at 10pm. The show tells the story of a modern Danish family and how they cope with their mother's death.
In the first episode we are introduced to each of the family members and their colourful characters. The first family member that we are introduced to is Veronika, the mother and figure head. A sculpture by trade and lived an eccentric life since the mid-sixties, this has had an important impact on her children in different ways. We are slowly introduced to her children; Frederik, Gro and Emil. There is another child though, Signe who she gave up for adoption, who soon learns of this as Veronika comes clean because of her failing health.
When Veronika first entered the flower shop and was adamant about ordering directly from Signe, I knew there would be more than meets the eye. Veronika was solely concentrated on her. You could deduce that the story would revolve around them. Again, when Signe delivered the flowers to Grønnegaard, Veronika drew a rough portrait of her, it seemed Veronika was smitten with her.
When Signe showed her parents the portrait from Veronika the mystery behind the odd attachment she had to Signe seemed to slap us in the face. The look of bewilderment both of them had, there was only one reason that came to my mind why they would act so suspicious; Veronika must be her mother.
The makers of 'The Legacy' cite 'Downton Abbey' and 'The Ice Storm', Ang Lee's 1997 film about a dysfunctional American family, as influences. When keeping this in mind and viewing 'The Legacy' the contrast between Signe's family and Veronika's is most apperant when they are both having, separate, Christmas Eve meals. Singe and her mother are the epitome of the stereotypical family; building a gingerbread house together and enjoying Christmas. We then cut to Grønnegaard, after Signe's parents leave because of Veronika being mentioned, Solveig and Frederik's daughter along with Veronika is shooting a model house with a paintball gun. I thought that image was cleverly dropped in, Veronika is literally shooting down the house, destroying it and by weaving her way into Signe's life is doing the same to her family.
Veronika ends up leaving Grønnegaard to Signe, on a handwritten note she gives her just before having a stroke and eventually passing away. Thomas and Gro are aware of Signe aka Sunshine's existence, Thomas tells Gro that she was the one to hand Gro the keys when she turned up at the house. I wonder how the children will take the news that the house has been left to Signe, Frederik tells his wife that Grønnegaard will be his. There is going to be some drama!
'The Legacy' is slow moving and story feels a little clunky at times, a message will hit you in the face and I found the story a little bit predictable. Maybe because it was just the first episode? I found it was shot beautifully and at times stark like the disjointed family. I do want to keep watching to find out what will happen with this family.
'The Legacy' is on tonight at 10pm, on SKY Arts 1