The person who got me through 2021: Sofie Gråbøl as Sarah Lund felt like a brilliant old friend

In The Killing, Lund’s incredible brain inspired me when mine felt like mushroom soup. She was a solace and an inspiration

Throughout 2021, I have accepted some important truths: I sometimes feel loneliness like an anvil on my chest; exercising really does, annoyingly, make me feel better; I am lost without a murder drama series on the go. This has been the year of the re-watch – Happy Valley, The Bridge, Unforgotten and The Killing. These shows are richly different and should not be reduced to basic tropes, but they do all share a strong-but-flawed female detective in whom you can invest emotionally. And do I.

In a year stained by uncertainty, loss, health issues and boredom, spending my evenings absorbing the lives of fictional female police officers has been medicinal. That murder is a balm is perhaps something for a therapy session, but the determination and bruised souls of Sarah Lancashire’s Catherine Cawood, Nicola Walker’s Cassie Stuart , Sofia Helin’s Saga Norén and Sofie Gråbøl’s Sarah Lund have held my attention like nothing else – even the second or third time around.

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