Three women from three shows all stereotypical inhabit that mythical land where they are not too crazy to function but are crazy enough to utilize their manic abilities that their disorders give them. On the left is Carrie Mathison from Homeland. A CIA agent she is able to tap her bipolar disorder in an order to obsess about whatever case she is working on. In the center is Sarah Linden from The Killing who the show tries to imply that she has something like obsessive compulsive disorder and gets too wrapped up in her cases. To the right is detective Sonya Cross from The Bridge. Detective Cross has some form of Autism and uses her rainman like focus to attack a case while ignoring every social convention around her.
TV Tropes calls this type of cliche No Social Skills with an Ambiguous Disorder. Whatever they are, the quirks make the characters the perfect detectives. It’s not a new concept and I’m sure real police officers get tired of the comparisons and the implication might have mental disorders themselves. Yet all three shows are gripping and easy to binge as each episode ends with cliff hanger. Why are the stories so good? Well a big part is that they’re tried and true hits from other countries. Homeland is based on the Israeli thriller Kidnapped or “Hatufim”. The Killing is based on the Danish Forbrydelsen, while The Bridge is based on Swedish/Danish drama Bron/Broen. All three were transferred to a western setting without upsetting what makes them great.
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