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‘Love and Anarchy’ season 2: Netflix has a world-class romantic comedy

Filmed in Stockholm, Lisa Langseth’s Netflix series about a married book executive who turns her life upside down with a younger colleague is an unpredictable TV adrenaline rush.

It’s hard to describe what Ida Engwall does in “Love & Anarchy” except as a focal point. There’s a moment at the start of the second season of Lisa Langseth’s Netflix series where a cup of coffee feels wilder, funnier, and more believable than it has any right to be. Part of the thrill of Love and Anarchy is that the characters at its core often seem surprised in the same way. Whether it’s a secret kiss, a colleague walking to a meeting in slippers, or a transformative weekend getaway, watching these people constantly pinch themselves to remind them that what’s happening in front of them is really happening, that’s what helps make this show top-notch. Netflix experience.

Sophie (Engvoll) finds herself in many such moments at the start of Love and Anarchy as a powerful new consultant at Stockholm-based Lund & Lagerstedt, a self-contained universe of book neuroses and insecurities. Soon she is also actively engaged in what begins as a harmless office flirtation with the company’s new young temp Max (Bjorn Mosten). After a compromising off-hours moment, the pair use a sense of mutually assured destruction as fuel for an ongoing series of challenges that gradually bring them closer together. Every time you think they’ve reached a breaking point in this endless game of interoffice calls relayed via secret notes – whether it’s instructions to go backwards or make special wardrobe choices – Love and Anarchy keeps its foot on the gas. pedal.

Langseth’s great merit is that he delivered these characters from point A to point Q and to point √26, and all intermediate steps make sense. What she’s especially good at capturing is what’s at the heart of the best romantic comedies: moments when a character must make the decision to act or back down. This is the basis for the first season of the dance, when Sophie and Max take turns tiptoeing to a certain line, carefully hiding their antics from the rest of their colleagues.

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“Love and Anarchy”

Ulrika Malm

That being said, the show doesn’t force Sophie and Max to do anything with a specific label, all without artificially prolonging the defining moment. They always seem to be one step away from a choice they can’t undo, no matter which direction they lean further. Love & Anarchy is also aware of the imbalance in the game. Not only is Sophie the boss (an important complication in itself), there is a big gulf between what each of them can lose if something goes wrong. Each new escalation of their feelings for each other goes hand in hand with a real sense of danger, even if the show doesn’t always pause to make those potential consequences clear.

One of the great parts about Love and Anarchy is that it doesn’t make it easy for Sophie to back off from her job. Not only is Max always present at his desk by the elevator, shrugging off even basic managerial duties, Sophie’s creative motives aren’t always the purest. As possible, the most famous publisher in the history of pop culture, her instincts are a bit corporate and ruthless. After all, if her marriage breaks down, her family relationships deteriorate, and the fling fades away, Love and Anarchy doesn’t even give her a chance to return to her righteousness. It’s something that adds an extra layer of risk to every new Max Post-It and keeps the show going.

As for the rest of the Lund & Lagerstedt management team, Sophie and Max’s colleagues are broadly outlined in season 2, but even more shaded. Friedrich (Rein Brynolfsson), who starts the series as the house’s heavy-handed legacy of the old guard has softened around the edges. The fatally optimistic, failing Ronnie (Björn Kjellman) has a slight vulnerability associated with a certain detail in his background that has become one of the show’s best jokes. And Deniz (Gizem Erdogan), who for a long time competently saved the company from itself, tells her own story away from the office. Throw in a few cameos and names on the show, and it could stand on its own as Call My Agent for the book world, even if Sophie and Max have never set foot in an office elevator.

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“Love and Anarchy”

Ulrika Malm

Nine out of 10 shows of this kind have chosen Caroline (Carla Sen)—an impatient secretary who casts her goggles around the office—as the lead character to follow here. One of the ways Love and Anarchy will have both in Season 2 is to keep all the energy generated during those first episodes and still tell Caroline that story, just in the background. completely different circumstances.

It’s a rare show that can oscillate between genuine chaotic playfulness and sincere, tearful emotion as quickly as Love and Anarchy. Season 2 tests that ability even more as it becomes less of a thing to do with navigating one particular relationship and more of a shift towards two different family types. Here is Sophie trying to figure out how the various decisions in her life are either made or completely independent of people from different generations of her own family. There is also the larger Lund & Lagerstedt, a dysfunctional group prone to strife, frustration and distrust, but still held together by the same indescribable glue that binds colleagues in times of industry-wide upheaval.

All of this requires a certain amount of unspoken chemistry. While Langseth enjoys giving all of these characters flirtatious or pithy one-liners to layer them amidst all the suspense, she also knows when to let two people just look at each other. Whether or not you end up rooting for Sophie and Max to “work,” Love and Anarchy makes it undeniable that there’s something to it. Angwall and Mosten present two characters who have both a shared history and a common presence: put the two of them in the same room, and after two seasons they hardly need to say anything.

The second season of Love & Anarchy is now available to watch on Netflix.

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