An overlooked Icelandic crime show.
Cover Story (original title: Pressa) is an Icelandic crime drama narrating the investigations and adventures of Lara, a tabloid journalist who often gets involved in cases that put her life and those around her in danger. After a successful first season, aired in 2007, the show was renewed for a second cycle with a revived cast featuring some of the hottest names in the Icelandic cinema and television world such as Jóhannes Haukur Jóhannesson, Gísli Örn Garðarsson, and Jóel Sæmundsson while Bjarne Henriksen, the veteran Danish actor known for his involvement in the notorious first season of The Killing, holds a small role as the biker from Denmark who travels to Iceland in order to take care of loose ends. Sara Dögg Ásgeirsdóttir once again incarnates the protagonist, Lara, and her engaging performance elevates the overall quality level of the series.
When the body of a young woman is found hanged in a park in Reykjavik, the suspicions fall upon a wealthy entrepreneur, Krummi, who vehemently denies that he had anything to do with the murder. Lara is on maternity leave and she observes the case from the sidelines until Krummi asks to meet her and employ her as a personal investigator to help him shake off the accusations. Lara is conflicted as it is unethical for a journalist to sell their services to whoever can pay the most. Nevertheless, she is forced to accept due to an enormous debt of 800.000 Icelandic krona that she owes, a grim consequence of a previous case that she investigated for Posten. Lara and Krummi will develop a close relationship and soon she becomes entangled in a dangerous situation where nothing and no one is what it seems.
Lara is a firm protagonist and the audience witnesses the challenges that she has to face in both her professional and personal life that begins to crumble as she digs deeper into Krummi's case. Apart from the baby, Lara also mothers a teenage girl, Alda, who also gets caught in the vortex of the season's dense plot as she becomes a victim of a group of biker thugs, seeking revenge on her mother. Lara is a strong headed as well as highly competent journalist, always the first to unearth the juicy scoop which will feature at the front page of her newspaper and her dubious tactics often put her into a collision course with her boss, Nökkvi. On the other hand, her good-heartedness and natural benevolence make her highly likable to her colleagues who are always there to help her with whatever she needs.
The story is compelling enough to make you binge-watch the entire season in one sitting and it features several subplots that are equally fascinating to the main plotline. There is a clear distinction between the heroes and the villains in this tale of violence and corruption and the ending revelation, even though easy to foretell, makes total sense and concludes the story in an appropriate manner. In my opinion, the second season of Cover Story is more complete than the first one, the plot is better structured, the performances are terrific, and the suspense is kept alive throughout the duration of the six episodes mainly due to the well realized script. The setting is the picturesque Reykjavik and we get to see some peaks of the city's singular beauty. This is a relatively overlooked, unfairly so, production originating from the Nordic countries and it is certainly worthy of your time.