Posted in Fiction, Watching

Love and Anarchy: feelgood with a bite

I have writer’s block. A diagnosis I have managed to postpone, because I did, in fact, write this year. I edited, I did a short story, I finished a novella length story…

What I did not have, was a story idea that gave me butterflies. A pity, since it’s about the best feeling in the world, to have that. Fortunately, many parts of writing are just work, and I’m good at doing the work. I’ll even manage some ideas. I haven’t found a trick to falling in love with those ideas yet, though.

I imagine it will be okay, one day.

And in the meantime, I have at least found a series that gave me butterflies.

Kärlek & Anarki

Love and Anarchy

By now, the Swedish series has two seasons on Netflix. Head writers Lisa Langseth and Alex Haridi entranced me enough to look up their other work. Lisa Langseth also wrote and directed the 2017 movie Euphoria, in which she cast Eva Green as a lead actress. I mention this for the sole reason that Eva Green brings me joy.

It’s a joy to hear Swedish in a series too. I think it’s been since I watched The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (which, horrifyingly, got a US remake, watch the original, I beg of you). Nordic literature is of course famous for the thriller, dark crime genre. Well-deserved, but not my to go to genre in times of need. So one tends to miss out.

Lack of bloodshed be damned, I can vouch that Kärlek & Anarki is fascinating. If you enjoy watching with housemates, I recommended you test the first episodes together. B and I did not, but he still ended up watching several episodes with me.

Kärlek & Anarki is an office romance. The particular office being a publishing house and you can trust fiction writers to do a marvellous job when jabbing at their own industry. At their authors, and at their own audience. They play a home game, and it shows.

Some reviews describe the main character Sofie (don’t come at me, it’s a coincidence) as a middle-aged woman who masturbates. Which is very painful, because her actress Ida Engvoll is … exactly my age. But yes, she plays a woman in her forties, and yes, fiction tends to not picture them as sexual creatures. A void that can stand to be filled a thousand times more often.

A flirting game ensues, with a touch of bizarre that keeps you on your toes. Love and Anarchy manages to both be hilarious and, at times, deeply moving.

“I’m not crazy, but I will be, if I’m not allowed to feel what I feel.”

Sofie, apart from playing footsie with her IT guy and trying to save a business, also supports her family through mental health issues. Featuring the blunt force of that in a romcom might not be for everyone, but damn, it worked for me.

You can’t run a business on emotion. And yet, people can’t run without emotion. A balance needs to be found. Love and Anarchy doesn’t solve that for you. It throws the issue out there for its audience to chew on, while serving an enticing romance to sweeten the deal.

Feelgood with a bite. It’s out there. And I want more.