Netflix’s “A Nearly Normal Family” is a nearly normal crime story these days.
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“A Nearly Normal Family” General Information
|Alexandra Karlsson Tyrefors
|Christian Fandango Sundgren
“A Nearly Normal Family” Plot Summary
Based on the novel by M.T. Evardsson, Netflix’s “A Nearly Normal Family” is a crime thriller that shows how far one family will go to protect their daughter. The Swedish miniseries is draped in muted colors and captures the grim atmosphere of murder and prison hanging over everyone’s heads. Unfortunately, the lack of mystery and slow pace make “A Nearly Normal Family” a chore to watch.
When 19-year-old Stella (Alexandra Karlsson Tyrefors) is accused of murdering her boyfriend (Christian Fandango Sundgren), Stella’s father and mother are left shocked. Despite commonly seeing their daughter, they have very little insight into her life, but the parents try to prove their daughter’s innocence. The father (Björn Bengtsson) and mother (Lo Kauppi) start to conduct their own investigation and hide evidence that might implicate their daughter. While they are afraid of what they will learn about their daughter, the parents are also afraid of what they’ll learn about themselves.
The Swedish series unfolds with flashbacks of Stella with her new lover and the present, when Stella’s parents must deal with the aftermath of their daughter’s charge. Questions about guilt, law, and justice all arise in “A Nearly Normal Family” as the family learns more and more about each other and the secrets they keep. The episodes range from 30 to 50 minutes as we learn a little more about what happened that fateful night between Stella and Chris. The problem is that “A Nearly Normal Family” plays out exactly how we expect it to, and in a market of murder stories that come out every day, “A Nearly Normal Family” has nothing new to say.
Other Noteworthy Information
- “A Nearly Normal Family” is TV-MA and depicts and discusses sexual assault. A content warning for all.
Let us know your thoughts in the comments:
- What were your thoughts on “A Nearly Normal Family?” What did it do well, or could have done better?
“A Nearly Normal Family” Review
Our Rating: Mixed (Stick Around)
Notable Performances, Moments, or Episodes
Episodes To Anticipate
“Chapter 5” and “Chapter 6” are the strongest, as all secrets are revealed and they show each character at their highest and lowest moments.
A Sincere Depiction of SA Survivors
“A Nearly Normal Family” understands and takes careful measures to show that when someone is sexually assaulted, the crime impacts one’s entire family. Worse yet, the law is rarely on the survivor’s side, and the burden of proof is difficult to overcome. The behavior and reasoning behind each character’s reaction to sexual assault are realistic and tragic.
Who is the Sandell Family?
Stella and her parents spend most of the series separated, each off on their own mini-adventure. The problem with showing the family separated and dealing with Stella’s accused murder is that we never get a sense of why this family cares about each other or any happy moments between them. Because of the grim atmosphere and the lack of union, the Sandell family and their relationship are distant, lacking, and awkward to watch.
On The Fence
The Drawing Out of the Predictable
The six episodes of “A Nearly Normal Family” play out mostly as you would expect. There’s no tremendous twist, epiphany, or redemption arc in the story. Stella is accused of murder; we faintly understand why, and that’s what’s confirmed by the final episode. It’s a straightforward depiction of murder and assault, but it doesn’t offer any new insight or message in a media market oversaturated with crime stories.
Also Worth Mentioning
- Renewal Status: “A Nearly Normal Family” is a 1-season deal. The story ends with episode 6.
Who Is This For?
Fans of murder mysteries and family crime stories might enjoy “A Nearly Normal Family.”
If you like this show, we recommend:
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