Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The Bridge


This summer, H. and I have watched the first three episodes of The Bridge.  We watch it on Hulu, continuing the trend of not watching most television on "live" TV.

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The Bridge is a detective/cop story about crime along the US/Mexico border.  The specific locales are El Paso and Juarez.  It's based on a show about the Denmark/Sweden border which I gather got rave critical reviews.

So far, I am a big fan of this show.  Like Homeland, it has a male and female in dichotomous lead roles. In fact, Episode 3 includes a dialogue about the meaning of the word "dialectics" in which Sonya Cross (the female lead) explains that it refers to poles: wealthy/poor; safe/dangerous; etc. -- she could also have referenced the polar perspectives of herself and her partner, Marco Ruiz.

The theme of poles creates considerable dramatic tension, and Sonya and Marco have some interesting quirks.  Sonya is extremely literal and socially awkward.  Marco seems to walk the fine line between working alongside a shady drug lord while pursuing justice. 

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The identity of the perpetrator/criminal is completely unclear so far, but he is motivated at least in part by a desire to highlight the different levels of attention that are paid to crime victims in the US and immediately across the border. 

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A couple of years ago I resolved to learn about / think about Mexico in more ways than just via the lens of the drug trade, and this show is probably not moving that resolution forward.  Nevertheless, it's well-done.  I particularly like thinking about life on the border between the two countries: it seems like a politically and culturally vibrant and uncertain place in ways both good and bad.

583. Enrique Pena Nieto became the President of Mexico on December 1 of last year. Has he had any success so far in combating the drug trade?  I think that a major cartel leader may have been either arrested or killed over the winter.

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