A Nearly Normal Family
Created by: Hans Jörnlind and Anna Platt
Starring: Alexandra Karlsson Tyrefors, Lo Kauppi, Björn Bengtsson, Christian Fandango Sundgren, and Melisa Ferhatovic
Writers Hans Jörnlind and Anna Platt developed this Netflix adaptation of M.T. Edvardsson’s book of the same name. Set across six episodes, A Nearly Normal Family tells the story of a teenage girl accused of murdering her boyfriend. The titular “family” of the show consists of the accused 19-year-old Stella Sandell; her mother, the successful attorney Ulrika; and Stella’s father, a genial pastor named Adam.
Imagine getting to know someone after meeting at a bar and later finding yourself on trial for his murder. Did Stella actually kill Christoffer “Chris” Olsen? How far are her parents willing to go to prove her innocence? A Nearly Normal Family follows the expected beats of this type of dark, Scandinavian drama, but it diverges in that it’s more of an introspective psychodrama focused on its character arcs rather than a scandalous mystery.
Stella’s story is a tragic one full of unresolved trauma and A Nearly Normal Family can be hard to watch at times. It’s a well-crafted saga suitable for a weekend binge and doesn’t try to be anything more than that, therefore succeeding in what it sets out to accomplish.