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Ängelby (2015)

TV series review: Ängelby (SVT, 2015)

ÄngelbyDivorced and fed up with pretty much everything, Vera Fors (Mia Skäringer) decides to up sticks with her two children and move to the little town of Ängelby (somwhere in Sweden), which kind of feels like it’s stuck in the 1980s in its aesthetics.

Arriving to Ängelby by car late one night she runs over a boy on the road, sparking a police investigation. Local police officers Amos (Joel Spira) and Viveka (Michaela Thorsén) fail to find a body. What actually happened? Things are certainly not the way they seem …

Also starring Göran Ragnerstam as Torsten Huzell, Anna Bjelkerud as Eva Lindgren, Amanda Ooms as Britt-Louise Vogel, Mikael Fjelldal as the unsettling Atlas, and Ylva Gallon as Yvette Poe.

Another ITV Encore find, and again, a Swedish supernatural drama … from 2015 … with Göran Ragnerstam. It’s impossible to not compare Ängelby to Jordskott for those reasons, and sad to say, this Swedish Twin Peaks isn’t as good. (Ängelby is a seemingly quaint little town out in the middle of nowhere, but weird stuff is happening below the surface and it starts with a teenager dying. There’s pie and coffee. It’s Twin Peaks, except it has a rock troll lady instead of a log lady.)

I loved Viveka as a character because of her very, ah, straight-forward attitude, and Mia Skäringer because she feels very natural and relatable. The rest of the show, however, goes from sort of a bit odd to what the actual fuck? It takes a weird turn to magic rocks in the woods that make you great at ice hockey, ancient Egyptian prophecies, saviours and Chosen Ones and the time it takes to get there is too slow to really be that interesting. The characters aren’t half as fascinating as they think they are, and it’s just not that emotionally engaging.

The ending was really disappointing as well, so while Ängelby could have been redeemed in the end, it just fizzled out into the same sort of beigeness favoured by the set designers.

It’s set up to potentially have a second series, but I’m not sure I’m all that bothered. It was a show that tried very hard (and taking itself much too seriously – just listen to the spoken intro of every episode), but in the end failed to deliver. It’s a shame, because it could have been a lot better.

2.5 out of 5 homemade rock trolls.

Traxy Thornfield

A Swedish introvert in Robin Hood Country (Nottingham, UK) where she lives with a husband and two cats. She's an eager participant in tabletop and play-by-post roleplaying, woodworking, photography and European travel. Will get a novel out one of these days, if she doesn't get too distracted on the way.

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