Last watched early 2016
Rita Madsen is a teacher with more than a little rebellious streak. She’s fucking the principal and she is rather antagonistic towards structure and authority. She has a mean streak but she also takes a shine to the totally socially nerdy teacher, Hjordis. They make an odd (but cute) pair. She’s also a single mother of three who live in the caretakers property next to the school building. She’s brilliant, she’s sharp and she has a deep empathetic streak for the students in the school who are misunderstood or ratbags.
Normally when I watch a show, I’m doing something else. I’m painting or I’m sewing or something else with my hands that doesn’t take up too much brain power. Rita, being Danish with English subtitles, I had to watch straight but I still marathoned it. That’s pretty high praise. I think that the Nords are particularly good at crafting really powerful female characters in ways that the rest of us lag behind.
Pros: well rounded characters, well written, strong anti-establishment themes, a really lovely fat woman character (Hjordis)
Cons: could be more people of colour
Genre: Danish drama
Approach carefully if: you have difficulty with mentions of child abuse, family bullying around being gay (it’s depicted in a loving way, all the family ask the gay son when he’s coming out before he’s come out but I still found it fraught), inappropriate workplace relations
Can be found: Netflix
Accessibility: subtitled 🙂