I recently (and by ‘recently’ I mean within the past 2 days) rewatched all of season 1 of Fortitude so that I can watch the rest (?) on Amazon and I have to give a little mini-review of season 1 for the uninitiated before I start working on season 2!
Season 1 of Fortitude is a very strange beast. Shown on a channel that no longer exists and based around basically ‘global warming will kill us all’ as a general idea, Fortitude tells the story of a mining colony (territory?) in the Arctic that I assume exists on Svalbard? Never quite sure. But anyways, that’s unimportant, it’s an ice town of 700ish people in the Arctic Ocean and, one horrible day, a horrible thing takes place: the town’s first ever murder.
I won’t try to explain the plot of Fortitude season 1, because it’s crazy, but I will say it involves global warming melting the glacier and exposing stuff that has caused some weird environmental issues with the animals in the area, such as reindeer having miscarriages en masse and polar bears turning cannibal, and the man researching this phenomenon gets hacked apart in his house by an unknown assailant.
It ends up being WAAAAAYYYY weirder and more ‘oh fuck’ than just reindeer miscarriages and polar bear cannibalism.
Fortitude is a show that’s pretty boring right up until it’s really not. There’s a fair amount of this show that, for a few episodes, is just a bunch of people living in a frozen hellscape and acting out because of it. There are 700 people in this town and yet somehow everybody’s able to fuck around on their spouses and nobody ever gets caught or found out through the gossip mill. There might not be any crime, but there’s a hell of a lot of banging folks you shouldn’t be banging, that’s for sure. For a while, that’s about all the excitement there is. Even when Mr. Dude gets murdered, you don’t really get anywhere in the investigation for quite a while. Because of that, it’s pretty difficult to stick with it until it gets good, but once it gets good, it gets good!
The characters are all pretty easy to follow, which is different for me, because often shows with a wide variety of characters we go between means I can’t remember who is who. However, with Fortitude I never have that problem. It does a great job making the characters very individual and all important enough for you to remember them. Some shows don’t even do that with their main characters. It’s a good show if you like suspense, science fiction, and great character work. The acting is all pretty great, too.
And if you’re like me and loooove the cold, bleak, snowy setting for dramas, you’re gonna be sooo happy with how intensely atmospheric this one is.
I’m going to begin my season 2 reviews hopefully on a per-episode basis, so you have that to look forward to! I’m trying my best to put more content on this site since I’ve really neglected it, so stay tuned and let’s see what happens!