Finnish drama Bordertown starts on Netflix: will you be watching?

The proliferation of foreign-language crime drama is widespread these days – it seems not a day goes by without a new series starting on either Walter Presents, Channel 4 or the BBC. And, in this case, Netflix. The global, streaming behemoth springs these little surprises on us from time to time, and Bordertown is one such surprise. A Finnish drama, I wondered when it would make its way to these shores. Finally, the day is here.

Bordertown is an 11-part series, which tells the story of Detective Inspector Kari Sorjonen, who is one of the most respected officers at the National Bureau of Investigation in Finland. When his wife barely survives brain cancer, Sorjonen decides to take his family to an idyllic small town near the border of Russia, to live a quiet peaceful life. Lappeenranta is an area of Finland called Karelia, which was hotly contested during the Winter War of 1939, when the Russians came steaming in. There’s a lot of simmering, historical bad blood in this region, still.

Anyway… the fact that this is a crime drama means that Sarjonen does not get the quiet life he was looking for. The crimes Sorjonen is now thrust into the middle of in this idyllic border region have a greater emotional and personal impact than anything he has encountered before. The related threats soon turn up on Kari’s doorstep.

It stars Ville Virtanen, Matleena Kuusniemi, Olivia Ainali, Anu Sinisalo and Lenita Susi.

Here’s a Finnish-language trailer, which at least gives us a flavour:

 

Bordertown: 31st March, Netflix

36 Comments Add yours

  1. Maxine says:

    Can I get in english

    Like

    1. Paul Hirons says:

      Just subtitles, it’s a Finnish series

      Like

      1. Patricia Peckham says:

        Too bad. I don’t like subtitles. Would have preferred the series in English.

        Like

      2. I am SOOOOOO disappointed that Netflix dubbing the 2nd season of Border Town! Gross! I can not even watch it. To disconcerting not hearing the actor’s own voices. BRING BACK the subtitles! WHY?! first season was in Finnish with sub titles so even more frustrating.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Paul Hirons says:

        Lora, you can choose the original version with subtitles

        Like

    2. Junie says:

      This series does have subtitles but I think they are very well done. The sentences are not terribly long and they keep up with the action. Also, the subtitles remain on the screen with plenty of time to read. I’m really enjoying this series. The characters are interesting and the acting is great. I only have 2 episodes left and already wishing there were more!

      Like

      1. Seija says:

        Nice to hear that you like the series, Junie :). Series 2 is under development I read, and according to some sources filming starts in Lappeenranta in August 2017? So maybe we will see series 2 some time in 2018 here in Finland, but when on Netflix I have no clue.

        Like

  2. Pat Ginocchio says:

    I like the series and to the other guy the not all the world speaks English .Could it be dubbed in with English ? I don t mind reading along but my husband is lazy ….. I love detective and police drama s from other Countries they are more than ready to give you more of a harder story line than we get in the States . Wishing for more of the same !

    Like

  3. Razzi says:

    I like this series. It’s dark and unique, I also like the song at the beginning. I have yet to find out who she is.

    Like

    1. Seija says:

      Here you are, Razzi. Theme song for Sorjonen/Bordertown by Kaae & Batz feat. Maria Holm-Mortensen – “Closer”

      Like

  4. Marco says:

    Looks good but I rather watch a show in English than reading and watching. Netflix should know better to put it in English especially if they’re playing it in Canada….

    Like

    1. Paul Hirons says:

      That’s fair enough Marco, but plenty of people enjoy the subtitles and would rather watch a series in its original language.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. ron dourian says:

        I totally agree. Love this show just as it is. Oh yes, I am 70 years and live in the American Rockies. Hopefully there will be another season.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Harvey says:

    How remarkably pathetic to be focusing on and quibbling about subtitles versus commenting on the remarkable quality of this series and its actors. Im on the last of the 11 episodes and Im hoping for more seasons.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Sharon Howard says:

    Guess I’m high maintenance … I didn’t watch because it was not in English.

    Like

  7. martin fennell says:

    Wheras to me “high maintenance” would be deciding not to watch it, because it was dubbed in english.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. shirsee says:

    Just finished watching the first season. I’m very glad it is captioned or I wouldn’t be watching it. I’m hearing impaired and need captions no matter what the language. Actually, the captions are very well done here and I find I have plenty of time to read them and look at what is going on also.

    Like

    1. Seija says:

      You make a good point there, Shirsee! Even as a person without a hearing impairment I often find myself wishing for subtitles in some of the Finnish film or tv series, because the sound recording is bad or the actors talk too quietly or unclearly. And the same goes for some English speaking tv/films even if I think my understanding of the language is above the average foreign language learner. In case of the English speaking programmes/films it is also often a question of dialects and slangwords, though.

      Like

  9. Sara Latham says:

    I gave up on this after the second episode, somehow it just didn’t grab me although I thought it should as it is my kind of thing.

    I searched around for something else and came across this http://www.channel4.com/programmes/lanester. I am partial to French stuff and it’s on location in Paris. It’s not earth shatteringly original, but I really liked the characters and I’d recommend it :)

    Like

  10. Neil says:

    They do a good job of keeping the sub titles in sync withthe
    Dialog. Listening to the cadence and inflection of the dialogue with the sub titles adds to the enjoyment of watching the series. I am so engrossed in the subtitles that I almost miss the spoken english that sometimes occurs.

    Like

  11. Seija says:

    Sorjonen/Bordertown 2 starts on YLE1 (Finnish pubcaster) on 14 October. Kari Sorjonen and his colleagues in special unit NBI Finland will have five new crimes to solve (1. Five-finger exercise, 2. Spring sacrifice, 3. Cat’s cradle, 4. Bloodmaid, and 5. Shadowless – my own translations). All five stories are 2-parters.
    If the airdate schedule is about the same as with the first series, it would seem reasonable to presume that the second series will be available on Netflix at the end of March 2019?

    Like

    1. Seija says:

      Correction: Sorjonen/Bordertown 2 has been bumped to start on 7 October in Finland.

      Like

  12. Seija says:

    Sorjonen/Bordertown 2 started in Finland today with a bang, the script writers seem to have a firm grip of the stories/the whole show. Excellent. A trailer with English subs https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fnCjhSTf5Qw

    Like

  13. Cheryl Bach says:

    Good series! Great plot and characters.

    Like

  14. Paula Thompson says:

    I can NOT stand dubbing. It looks and sounds ridiculous. ERGGG. I don’t think I can stand watching more of this if dubbed in english. The main character doesn’t even sound the same as he sounded in the 1st season. I wish sites like Netflix would offer it up both ways at least.

    Like

    1. Seija says:

      What!? Has Netflix really dubbed Bordertown/Sorjonen 2?

      Like

      1. Paul Hirons says:

        They have, but it’s only an option – you can watch in Suomi (thankfully). Two eps in, review coming soon!

        Like

      2. Seija says:

        Phew, good that there’s an option. From what I’ve seen of dubbed television, I’d say it sounds mostly ridiculous, cf Idris Elba’s ‘Luther’ in German or Italian *lol*

        Like

  15. Lora says:

    Why on Earth would Netflix dub this? I am really disappointed. I like hearing Finnsh and reading subtitles. I would much rather hear the Actor’s voice then some voiceover from a boring American.

    Like

    1. Paul Hirons says:

      It’s just an option, you can change it to the original language and subtitles

      Like

  16. Dawn says:

    I enjoyed the first season, and was happy to see that Netflix is offering the second season, which I’m in the middle of viewing now. At first I was upset with the English dubbing, which took me out of the story with voices that simply don’t match the characters, and for which the voice actors’ delivery is quite poor. I happily changed my Netflix settings so that I could hear the characters speaking in Finnish with English subtitles that I can read–SO much better. It might seem at first like reading subtitles will be a bother, but you quickly forget that you are doing so when you get involved in the story. Anyway, it’s a great series, and I’ll welcome a third season.

    Like

    1. Paul Hirons says:

      Dawn, you do you know you could turn off the dubbing and revert to English subtitles?

      Like

  17. Sheila says:

    The second season is dubbed in English which has ruined the entire series. The dubbing is awful. I preferred the subtitles with Finnish dialogue. It’s unpleasant to watch and hear the dubbing. It’s like people are reading.

    Like

    1. Paul Hirons says:

      Sheila, you can turn off the dubbed version and revert to the subtitled version

      Like

  18. Sony Kapple says:

    Best Netflix Show! I’ll be watching always, if they don’t do season 4 will be a mistake! I finished season 3 in one week!
    I can’t wait to see my fav detective back, he’s like no other, unique style! 👏🏼

    Like

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