It’s amazing how a particular painting can evoke strong feelings of despair, fear, admiration or even happiness. It’s hard to describe what an incredible experience it is to walk through the Vatican surrounded by beautiful paintings on every side; or wander the Louvre and admire the craftsmanship on display.
Series Season 1 Review
Of course, these classic pieces overlap and challenge the idea of modern art. Whether it’s a few curls on a piece of paper or just a blank canvas, there are those who see them as masterpieces, with the promise that what’s there is done with “invisible ink.” But there is still more to disagree with. So what does this have to do with the Copenhagen Cowboy? Well, everything, as it seems.
Netflix’s latest surreal noir series will be a divisive watch. It is a show designed entirely to challenge art and sit among other “contemporary works of art” as a display of aesthetic grandeur. The problem is that Copenhagen Cowboy isn’t an art show, it’s a TV show, and as an actual story with a coherent narrative and strong characters, it fails—big time.
The show is undeniably amazing, and there’s plenty of great footage to look at. There’s a lot of symbolism (swords are masculinity, flowers are innocence, etc.) In fact, you’d be hard-pressed to find another show like it. Unless you count the filmography of creator Nicolas Winding Refn, of course, a man who has made a career out of repeating this style throughout his previous works. The problem is, if you look past the aesthetics, there’s not much else here.
Like Refn, Esmail has a very distinct visual style with lots of zoom shots and interesting visual motifs. However, it also has the creative chops to deliver a truly compelling story, as shown by series like Homecoming and Mr. Robot. There is no Copenhagen Cowboy.
The show opens with a look at Miu, a quiet, brooding and mysterious heroine who speaks very little. Apart from some revealing dialogue in episode 5, not much else is known about him, and for most of the runtime he finds himself operating alone in Copenhagen’s crime scene, moving from place to place with emotional expression, either helping or hindering it. different individuals. It all builds up to a finale with a big showdown… and then it’s over.
There’s very little to the story, and worse, none of the characters are that well defined. Miu has the depth of a pancake, and she’s basically a Mary Sue without flaws. The one antagonist we get here is the menacing Nicklas, and after 3 episodes, after a nice build-up, the confrontation ends, and then Copenhagen Cowboy returns to a slow and laborious structure without much payoff, continuing two stories in parallel. each other, but we do very little to ensure that we truly invest and care about these people and their struggles.
The build and labored pace are both tiresome and it’s definitely not recommended for many hours. Artistically, it’s impressive and features some interesting ideas, but it all feels like a facade; a blanket to hide the fact that there is very little here to distract you and sink your teeth into.
Ultimately, Copenhagen Cowboy is an interesting experience that will be considered a masterwork by a few, but written off as laborious and forgettable by the masses. It’s nowhere near as deep as it sounds, with very little character development and a pretty lame story that feels like it’s just there to work in the background of the art style. It’s certainly a shame, but this is one Danish show best avoided.