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First season of Swedish drama Love and anarchy started an interesting flirtation between a married woman and a much younger man, but also considered the workplace of a publishing house, hopelessly stuck in the twentieth century and teetering on the brink of collapse. Now, in Season 2, the flirting has turned into a relationship, and the publishing house is even more desperate. Can the series take a new direction in storytelling?

LOVE AND ANARCHY SEASON 2: STAGE OR MISS?

Initial shot: Sophie (Ida Engvoll) and Max (Bjorn Mosten) have hot and hard sex in a public restroom.

Essence: While their relationship isn’t exactly out in the open – in fact, it’s pretty much still a secret – Sophie and Max at least enjoy the fact that they can do things like have sex in the mall bathroom while people wait. Max is trying to find a new place to live, and after divorcing her husband Johan (Johannes Kunke), Sophie has found a small apartment that barely has enough space for her children, Isabelle (Elsa Agemalm Reiland) and Frank (Benjamin Schaps).

She also quit her consulting job at Lund & Lagerstedt, which continues to struggle to be a publisher in the digital world. When Sophie stops at L&L to have lunch with Max (secretly), Deniz (Gizem Erdogan) asks her to meet up with Ronnie (Bjorn Kjellman) and Friedrich (Rein Brynolfsson) to get more into audiobooks and podcasts. Old-fashioned Friedrich offers a personal reading of Proust. Sophie thinks they need a new investor anyway.

She manages to find that investor who is a friend of her and Johan. But in a meeting with L&L, this investor wants Sophie to be the CEO of the company, not Ronnie. It’s okay with Ronnie; he can’t even bring himself to fire Friedrich, despite Denise’s insistence that the dinosaur needs to go. Instead, Friedrich gets his own imprint and Ronnie takes his place as literary director where people won’t be so mad at him all the time.

Max comes to Sophie’s apartment to congratulate her, not knowing her kids are there, but she invites him to stay for dinner as a “colleague”. During dinner, she receives bad news about her constantly depressed father Lars (Lars Wehringer), news she is unable to tell Max about. In fact, not only is she cold towards him, but she breaks up with him the next day.

Love and Anarchy S2
Photo: Ulrika Malm/Netflix

What series does this remind you of? In this moment, Love and anarchy the same workplace comedy as Office than it’s a dramatic relationship in the spirit And just like that.

Our opinion: For the first season Love and anarchy, writers Alex Haridi and Lisa Langseth determined what the show was really about; what began as a flirtation between Sophie and Max, consisting of various issues, began to focus on the workplace at L&L and Sophie’s general dissatisfaction with the way her life was going. The second season continues in the same direction, although the death of Sophie’s father, Lars, shakes up that equation.

When we watched the first episodes of the first season, we weren’t sure which direction the show would take. However, the second season certainly seems more confident in this regard, and it goes even further in that direction, making Sophie the new CEO. She seems to be pointing her career in the right direction, but at what cost? It will be fun to explore.

It also seems reasonable to steer Sophie and Max in a different direction; once they had completed their flirting, where was he going to go? How long could they keep it a secret? And has the age difference been explored in a way that is any insightful? They may get back together at some point, but having Sophie work through her anger and grief over how he died sounds like a much more fruitful direction for the story. It’s also pretty clear that L&L administrator Caroline Dahl (Karla Sen) has something for Max; for example, she finds accommodation for him. Perhaps this will be studied during the season.

Sex and skin: Nothing but that first bathroom scene.

Parting Shot: “Nothing would work between us. We both know it deep down,” Sophie tells Max. She leaves and he is left stunned by the turn of events.

Sleeping Star: We’ll give it to Carla Sen as Caroline because her crush on Max will have more meaning in Season 2.

Most pilot line: Johan tells Sophie: “It’s terrible for the development of children when you have to share a damn closet.” Who is speaking? It’s the ex’s bitter line, if there ever was one.

Our call: AFTER. Love and anarchy takes the formula established in the first season and shakes it up, taking the series in an interesting new direction that keeps the spirit of the first season intact.

Joel Keller (ur.@joelkeller) writes about food, entertainment, parenting and technology, but he doesn’t kid himself: he’s a TV junkie. His articles have appeared in the New York Times, Slate, Salon, Rolling Stone.com, VanityFair.comFast Company, etc.

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