In the US, we don’t see many TV shows from Finland, though the Finnish Easy Living is one of our favorite shows from the past year. Now we have the Hooked TV series to add to that list. It’s a bleak crime drama on AcornTV, but there is a lot to like about it. The story moves slowly, adding characters and plot complications until you realize you are…hooked.
Oskari Autio (Tommi Eronen) is a cop on the drug squad in Kerava, Finland, just north of Helsinki. He’s a single dad to 16-year old Niko, has an attractive, outgoing girlfriend Juulia, and lives in a suburban, modernist home that belonged to his parents. Life should be good, but as the series begins, Krista (Matleena Kuusniemi), his former girlfriend and mother of Niko, shows up after a 16 year absence. It throws everything off balance.
Without money or a career path, Krista gravitates toward her former lifestyle and an old friend who is a small time dealer. Oskari tries to keep Krista at arm’s length, but her potential connection to an expanding drug ring offers him the chance to place an informant on the inside. He can’t resist the opportunity, but begins a series of lies to try and protect himself, Krista, and their past association.
While the Hooked TV series remains a crime drama and police procedural throughout, the personal relationships play an expanding role as the story moves along. When the series drags a bit in the middle of its 10 episodes, our growing interest in what will happen to the individuals keeps us going. Most of all, we wonder if Oskari can maintain his coverup or if it fall apart and destroy them all.
Along with Oskari, Krista, Niko, and Juulia, are the characters of two dealers, Julius and Kode. Julius is trying to keep up his own charade as a music publisher while running a medium level drug gang. He isn’t quite cut out for it. His main dealer, Kode (Eero Milonoff), is hot tempered, violent, and careless, essentially a train wreck waiting to happen.
Eronen, Kuusniemi, and Milonoff give particularly strong performances. All of their characters are multi-layered, and it’s what we see below the surface that is most interesting. Eronen’s Oskari is tense and troubled, with a clenched jaw and darting eyes. Krista’s face is often on the verge of a smirk, but her discontent is apparent when she’s alone.
As the story of Hooked goes deeper, the season turns to winter. There is snow and ice for the second half of the series; the Finland we see is gray and somber. There is not much color or brightness in Hooked.
Hooked (Koukussa) was directed by Marja Pykkoo with Roope Lehtinen and Laura Suhonen as creator and head writer. It won several national awards after its 2015 debut. You can stream all 10 episodes – each about 50 minutes – of the Hooked TV series on AcornTV. While the end of the series leaves room for a season 2, we have not heard whether it will happen. If you like intense European crime dramas, it’s recommended – and another reason to subscribe to AcornTV.
Hooked TV series trailer
The trailer below is in Finnish, without subtitles, but it gives you a feel for the series and a taste of what will happen.