Aber Bergen: Complete Series DVD Review: Divorce Norwegian Style

When married partners of a law firm divorce, their office is left in flux as they try to continue working together. Aside from being produced in Norway, this legal drama is strikingly similar to U.S. law shows such as Suits, The Good Fight, and Boston Legal. If you’re a fan of any of those series and you’re missing your regular dose of law in their absence, you’ll be right at home in the world of Aber Bergen.

The episodes follow the time-worn path of introducing a new case each show while also slowly doling out developments in the running narrative about the ex-spouses. The weekly cases are conventional and unsurprising, offering little but reduced run time for the stuff viewers actually care about, the relationships of the law partners. In that respect, it’s probably most similar to Suits, where the actual law work is uninvolving and totally secondary to the interpersonal relationships of the leads.

The show’s title refers to the name of the law firm, a combination of the names of the ex-spouses. When they aren’t bickering about their legal work, they’re both invested in parenting their son, a young man in his late teens who has scattered misadventures of his own that serve as C stories to the principal and secondary plotlines.

Odd-Magnus Williamson nails the rakish, unconventional lead character of Erik Aber, complete with prominent tattoos and a devil-may-care attitude that tell us he’s not to be messed with in the courts or the streets. Ellen Dorrit Petersen’s Elea Bergen is conversely icy cool, generally tightly buttoned, and barely emotive. She’s able to turn on the charm to win over targets at times, but her stoic persona marks her as an odd couple match for the effusive Williamson.

The law office is rounded out with a small core of supporting players, initially with just two other veteran attorneys, a junior associate, and a receptionist. Interestingly, one of the attorneys is blind, giving him a bit of a Daredevil side career vibe without the enhanced sensory powers. Actor Torgny Gerhard Aanderaa plays the role so convincingly that I assumed he was truly blind. 

The DVD box set contains all three seasons of the show, roughly 21 hours total spread across nine discs. Each season has 10 episodes in standard U.S. “hour-long” length, so about 42 minutes per episode. While the set is lacking bonus features, it is housed in a thick case that doesn’t sacrifice sturdiness for a small footprint.

Although the show doesn’t blaze any memorable pathways in its legal cases, it is a cozy and involving series thanks to the relationships of the lead characters. 

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Steve Geise

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