Based on the Danish/Swedish drama Broen, the Americanized version of The Bridge reimagines the setting using the U.S. and Mexican border. After a murdered body is discovered on the bridge between El Paso and Juarez – a body that is more than it first appears to be – El Paso detective Sonya Cross (Diane Kruger) and Chihuahua State Police detective Marco Ruiz (Demián Bichir) are thrown together in a joint effort to solve the case, which has implications on both sides of the border.
The Bridge is part of the new crop of television series coming from FX, adding to veterans like Sons of Anarchy, and it bodes well for a long run on the network. The series integrates smaller stories throughout the season to keep the proceedings from lagging, as the main crime runs throughout almost the entire first season run. The mystery behind the body involves the murky waters of the political dealings in Juarez and other parts of Mexico, where detectives are frequently asked not to investigate cases due to lack of manpower, with their superiors often being bought off. It’s a system where honest detectives frequently need to hide their identities in order to do their jobs without fear of reprisals from the heavily populated drug cartels.
The series is served very well by the strong casting that the show has been able to attract. Bichir and Kruger are both excellent as the two leads, Bichir playing the charmer while Kruger’s Sonya is definitely designed as a homage to Tony Shaloub’s classic Monk character, as she is grapples with her obsessive compulsive disorder throughout most of the season. But the real standouts come from the excellent supporting cast that includes the criminally underrated Ted Levine, a surprisingly strong Matthew Lillard, Annabeth Gish, Emily Rios and playing Marco’s loving wife the always excellent Catalina Sandino Moreno. This excellent cast raises the standard of the show with their performances, and rarely do they make a misstep.
The Bridge Season 1 starts of strong and keeps building the suspense as the plot develops. The story may not finish where you expect it to, or when you expect it to, but the performances will keep you coming back for more. The Bridge seems to be another winner for FX and Fox Home Entertainment.