A Nearly Normal Family

A Nearly Normal Family

TV-MA

netflix

A gripping Swedish crime thriller seen through the perspectives of the murder suspect and her parents

7.3

TV Show

Sweden
Swedish
Crime, Drama
2023
Alexandra Karlsson Tyrefors, Björn Bengtsson, Christian Fandango Sundgren

TLDR

What’s happening in the Scandinavian region that makes them make excellent crime thrillers?

What it's about

The idea of the seemingly perfect Sandell family shatters when their 19-year-old daughter Stella ends up in police custody, accused of murder.

The take

Any parent would defend their kid in court, though, sometimes it depends on the case. A Nearly Normal Family brings one such Swedish family through a case, as their nineteen year old daughter is accused of murdering a man, four years after the family decides not to prosecute their daughter’s rapist without evidence. The thriller series unfolds into a compelling murder mystery, as the show plays with the family members’ different perspectives that expands and continues the show’s intrigue, even if you think you have it all figured out. And as the investigation continues, the family’s secrets slowly get unveiled, threatening to break the Sandells apart, with their conflicting morals and unresolved trauma. While some viewers might not appreciate the slow burn, it’s an interesting crime thriller-family drama mix that questions how far we’re willing to go for our loved ones.

What stands out

With the synopsis of A Nearly Normal Family, viewers might consider it a genderbent version of the Apple TV+ show Defending Jacob. After all, both shows are adaptations of a crime novel with a child suspected of murder, an attorney parent looking to win the case, and a parent more concerned with doing what’s right. However, there are a few key differences that make the series distinct. The six part series has three points of view, one from each of the family. This multi-person perspective makes sense, since past trauma shapes our perception of the case. And because of that trauma, it isn’t just a question about who the real murderer is, but also whether or not the family would fight for the daughter the way they haven’t done previously. These differences make it easier to root for the family, but it’s no less compelling, and it recognizes the consequences of letting trauma fester, for the sake of peace.

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