Season 1 of Trapped is a unique, intriguing, attention-riveting show. It is dark film at its best, from the cold, wintery Icelandic landscape, to the deep, complicated relationships among the citizens of the small coastal village (Seyðisfjörður), to the building tension and confusion as more bodies drop, to the minimalist dialog. Most of it is in Icelandic with subtitles, but because these Icelanders are not particularly talkative people, it is easy to follow (I was knitting the whole time I watched the series over the course of a few evenings and did not miss a word, or a stitch!). In addition, there's quite a bit of dialog in English. So if you're not a fan of foreign language films, you should still enjoy this one. I forgot I was reading subtitles: the plot was so intriguing, with the dialog just enough to keep me on track with the story.
The characters drive the story. They are complex, human, none is all "good" or all "bad", and played by fabulous actors I'd not seen before: each is remarkable in his or her ability to portray deep emotions merely through facial expressions. Body language is subtle (everyone is bundled up in bulky hand-knit sweaters and parkas most of the time). There are moments of wry humor, contributed especially by the smart, fearless female police officer Hinrika (Ilmur Kristjánsdóttir). But the lead character, police chief Andri Olafsson, played by Ólafur Darri Ólafsson, is riveting. He is a 6'5", probably 300+ lb, bear of a man--a deeply sad character due to estrangement from his wife (he still wears his wedding ring) and a traumatic experience as a city police officer before he arrived in Seyðisfjörður. He is repressed, terse, determined to do his job well, yet nevertheless wears his heart on his sleeve. Ólafsson is an actor to watch--I will be looking for other films he's been in.
A couple of responses to complaints by other reviewers: exposed breasts in the opening scenes, and an alleged similarity to the series Fortitude. RE nudity, it's a matter of sensibility. I don't mind it, and in this case it's very short (maybe 15 seconds) and simply there, I believe, to demonstrate the happy-go-lucky love of a couple of teenagers escaping their parents' watchful eyes. There is nothing salacious or even particularly erotic. These scenes are directly linked to the series' plot lines; they provide the foundation for all that comes after.
RE if you've seen Fortitude, you've seen Trapped: no, you haven't. Both shows have a lot of cold weather and snow in them, a minor plotline of tourism development, and a mystery. Otherwise, they are completely different: very different mysteries, different kinds of characters, different development of characters and plot, somewhat sci-fi (Fortitude) vs. gritty real life (Trapped), and the list of differences goes on. And there are no polar bears in Trapped. I liked Fortitude a lot, but it's a shallower, not as tightly conceived or as richly developed show. Trapped captured my attention like Fortitude did not.
I've read that there will be a Season 2 even darker and more complicated than Season 1. It's hard to imagine a second season as good as the first, but I'll be watching to find out.