Reviews of movies and TV focused on women

Love and Anarchy, S2, still funny and darker than ever

Ida Engvoll in Love & Anarchy

Season 2 of Love and Anarchy (Kärlek & Anarki) from Sweden is technically a comedy, but it’s dark and full of pain. The main character, Sofie (Ida Engvoll), goes through a deep and dark time.

Love and Anarchy (Kärlek & Anarki) puts a group of funny characters together in a publishing house. Business is failing and Sofie, who was hired to make it profitable, makes rash decisions that don’t improve things. Here’s a review of season 1.

The Funny Bits

Björn Kjellman in Love and Anarchy

Ronny (Björn Kjellman) is supposed to be the boss but he doesn’t have the courage to do any bossing. By the end of the season he’s in charge of choosing new books to publish, but he doesn’t read books.

Björn Mosten in Love and Anarchy

Max (Björn Mosten), the IT guy, is still Sophie’s secret love interest. She breaks up with him when she’s made boss. Then she’s jealous when he takes up with the receptionist Caroline (Carla Sehn). The will they or won’t they struggle between Sophie and Max makes up a whole season of crazy situations. Even when they are broken up they continue their game of giving each other “assignments” that must be done.

Gizem Erdogan in Love and Anarchy

Denise (Gizem Erdogan) is probably the most competent person in the office, but nobody listens to her. She has a much bigger story arc to herself in this season.

Reine Brynolfsson in Love and Anarchy

The snobby literature lover Friedrich (Reine Brynolfsson) gets his own label. He manages to bring in a respected author named Vivianne Ivarsen (Marina Bouras). When Vivianne’s old publisher hands her over she says, “Don’t sleep with Vivianne.”

So of course both Friedrich and Denise sleep with Vivianne.

The Dark Bits

Ida Engvoll in Love & Anarchy

Sophie goes through a hard time in season 2. In episode one her father (Lars Väringer) commits suicide. She really struggles with it. She sees him everywhere. She struggles with her own mental health and does everything wrong.

Her divorce is final and she has her kids every other week in a tiny apartment. She’s conflicted about the much younger Max and has sex with random men at inappropriate times.

Her behavior at work is self-sabotaging. Even when she tries to get help, it ends up in disaster. Sophie has a lot of work to do to survive season 2, but you can have confidence in her ability to come out better in the end. The comedy bones of this series won’t let you down.

The mix of humor and pain in Love and Anarchy is the work of writer and director Lisa Langseth. She hands the viewer absurdity and seriousness with equal grace. The cast is excellent. All 8 episodes of season 2 are available on Netflix.

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