No one pays me to watch Scandinavian TV.

With more than 400 scripted shows a year to watch in the U.S., I'm goofing off every time I click on a series with subtitles and Nordic accents.

But I can't help myself.

It's not just fear of missing out, although I hated waiting for the U.S. remake of Forbrydelsen, which here became AMC's The Killing, only to be told the Danish original was better.

What we don't get in a remake are the differences in the way societies view everything from marriage to murder. Even armchair travel makes me see the world from another angle.

Looking for something from a cooler climate to help you through the latest heat wave? Here are 10 shows to consider:

1. Borgen. How do you say "spin doctor" in Danish?

Spindoktor, of course.

That's one thing I learned from Borgen, a Danish series that became a craze among American TV critics when only KCET, a non-PBS public station in Los Angeles, and the satellite network Link TV were carrying it in the U.S.

After catching a few episodes that streamed on Link TV's website and some more on screeners it sent to critics, I bought the rest on DVD, something I almost never do. It's that good.

Sidse Babett Knudsen (A Hologram for the King) stars as Birgitte Nyborg Christensen, who becomes the fictional first female prime minister of Denmark after an election in which refugees are a pivotal issue.

Don't worry: Borgen, which premiered in Denmark in 2010, isn't remotely like the real-life drama playing here now.

Borgen, whose title comes from the nickname for the palace that houses Denmark's government, chronicles a public figure's loss of innocence and some soap-worthy private shenanigans while offering a college-level course in parliamentary politics.

Recommended for: Fans of The West Wing.

Where to find it: Apple iTunes (first episode is free), DVD.

2. Occupied. When TV depicts an invasion of the U.S., it's usually by extraterrestrials (Falling Skies, Colony).

This taut drama from Norway, which turns on a takeover of that nation by neighboring Russia in a near-future scenario involving oil, may be speculative fiction (the idea's credited to novelist Jo Nesbø), but it's hardly sci-fi.

Henrik Mestad stars as Prime Minister Jesper Berg, whose plan to fight climate change by abandoning oil production in favor of an alternative form of energy meets with major pushback, triggering a coercive but ostensibly peaceful occupation as Russia moves to keep the oil flowing.

Recommended for: John le Carré fans.

Where to find it: Netflix.

3. Dicte. No one's more critical of shows about journalism than journalists, but this Danish show about a newspaper crime reporter named Dicte Svendsen (Iben Hjejle) gets a lot right.

Dicte, a divorced single mother, is more Nancy Drew than most news people I know. But the pressure to do more, more, more, with less, less, less?

That rings a bell.

Hjejle's Dicte channels many great reporters, the kind who drive their editors - and the people they cover - crazy, and without whom we'd know far less about the world we live in.

Recommended for: News junkies, anyone who loved the reporters in Spotlight.

Where to find it: Netflix.

4. Fortitude. British-made, filmed in Iceland, and set in a fictional community in Arctic Norway called Fortitude, this eerie mystery runs hot and very, very cold.

In the first season, Stanley Tucci (The Hunger Games) plays a London police inspector whose arrival coincides with the discovery of a murder. What's he doing in Fortitude? Are the people more or less dangerous than the polar bears? And what's up with the mammoth carcass? The scenery is spectacular, the storytelling stomach-churning.

Recommended for: Viewers who can't wait for winter.

Where to find it: Amazon Prime.

5. The Lava Field. I'm only halfway through this four-episode Icelandic mystery, but the strange, potentially deadly landscape of its title fascinates me.

More familiar is the Reykjavik police detective played by Björn Hlynur Haraldsson who's sent to a remote area to help investigate what's at first thought to be a suicide. Divorced, bearded, and with a sad, sad past, he's a type we've seen before.

Recommended for: Fans of Britain's Hinterland, which is also on Netflix.

Where to find it: Netflix.

6. Wallander. I'm a fan of Kenneth Branagh's take on Kurt Wallander, but I can't argue with purists who insist Swedish actor Krister Henriksson is closer to the late novelist Henning Mankell's vision of his dour detective.

Recommended for: Mankell fans and anyone who wants to compare and contrast.

Where to find it: Netflix has two seasons of the Swedish Wallander and three seasons of the British one, which recently ended its run on PBS's Masterpiece.

7. The Bridge. Sofia Helin and Kim Bodnia star as a Swedish and a Danish detective who must work together when a body is found lying across the border on a bridge between their two countries. Originally titled Bron/Broen, it was remade for FX in the U.S., set at the U.S.-Mexican border. A U.K. version, The Tunnel, airs its PBS finale Sunday (10:30 p.m., WHYY12).

Recommended for: Completists, anyone who hasn't seen the remakes.

Where to find it: Hulu.

8. Lilyhammer. More comedy than Nordic noir, this series stars actor-musician Steven Van Zandt as a mobster in witness protection who chooses Norway as his new home. Smarter than that sounds, particularly about an American's reaction to a social welfare system very different from our own.

Recommended for: Fans of The Sopranos or Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band.

Where to find it: Netflix.

9. Welcome to Sweden. Amy Poehler's brother, Greg Poehler, stars in a Swedish fish-out-of-water sitcom loosely based on his life as an expatriate. It aired here on NBC, which canceled it four episodes into its second season.

Recommended for: Anyone who's longed to see Lena Olin (The Unbearable Lightness of Being) in a sitcom.

Where to find it: Hulu has the first season.

10. Rita. Mille Dinesen stars as a schoolteacher and single mother who doesn't play by the rules in a Danish dramedy.

Recommended for: Teachers with a sense of humor and anyone who likes to see authority figures acting out.

Where to find it: Netflix.