A Nearly Normal Family is a drama miniseries directed by Per Hanefjord starring Alexandra Karlsson. With Lo Kauppi, Björn Bengtsson, and Christian Fandango Sundgren. It is based on the bestselling novel by Mattias Edvardsson.
A Swedish suspense series that, well-executed, manages to entertain and remain faithful, with plot twists, surprises, and above all, with careful script treatment and well-developed characters who evolve with the story.
The story offers enough elements to please the audience, at least on a narrative level, in a miniseries that boasts good production and script but never goes beyond the stylistic territory.
It simply remains a good thriller and, if that’s what you want to see, you will have six gratifying episodes.
A girl is supposedly raped when she is fifteen, and her parents decide not to report the incident. Years later, the girl is accused of murder. The family takes measures to prevent her from being acquitted of the charges.
A series that has a lot to tell and does so in a very European way: deliberate, almost reflective, showing how the legal system functions, how the family functions, and ultimately, how society functions.
“A Nearly Normal Family” is an almost analytical series that pauses in each scene and explains each element of the plot carefully so that the viewer doesn’t miss anything and can easily follow the process.
It does so without giving too many lessons, without going the Hollywood route of action-packed thrillers. There are no big jumps, fight scenes, or fast-paced sequences here: everything unfolds through dialogue and the stories of the three main characters, each with their own personal history that emerges as the judicial process evolves and we get to know the story.
It’s not a social drama, it’s a suspense series where the resolution matters more than the social context that surrounds it, although it is very present throughout the film. Religion, sexual education, and social behavior are everywhere, and above all, there is a focus on the family environment that, faced with tragedy, insists on defending itself.
Cinematographically, it is almost a made-for-TV movie in terms of pacing, but elevated to a series, it develops a family story that is much more complicated than any TV film, managing to avoid family clichés and delving deeper in this sense.
It’s entertaining, but it fades away without leaving a lasting impression, in a blend of thriller and European social reality that leaves a good taste in your mouth but is quickly forgotten.
November 24, 2023
Where to Watch “A Nearly Normal Family”
Cast & Crew
Original title: En helt vanlig familjaka
Director: Per Hanefjord
Screenwriter: Hans Jörnlind, Anna Platt
Companies: Jarowskij AB. Netflix
Genre: Drama, mystery