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Four addictive Swedish TV series to binge-watch that aren't Nordic noir

Catherine Edwards
Catherine Edwards - [email protected]
Four addictive Swedish TV series to binge-watch that aren't Nordic noir
The cast of historical drama Vår tid är nu. Photo: Carl-Henrik/SVT

Swedish TV has become almost synonymous with Nordic noir, but there are plenty more Swedish series out there that are well worth discovering.


Scandinavian crime dramas like Bron (The Bridge), Innan vi dör (Before we die) and Wallander have achieved huge global success, and the trend doesn't seem to be dying away any time soon. In 2017 Netflix commissioned its first ever Swedish language original series, Störst av allt (Quicksand), based on a bestselling detective novel.

But for evenings when you want something other than a moody murder mystery, Swedish television still has a lot to offer, from comedy to family drama. The best thing is that you can binge on these shows guilt-free in the knowledge that your Swedish is bound to improve.

Here are a few of The Local's top picks, and tips on where you can watch them even if you're not in Sweden.

Bonusfamiljen | Bonus Family

We're big fans of this show which follows the lives of a new couple, their exes, and three children navigating life as a modern family. The programme captures the messiness and awkward moments of family life while keeping things light and unpredictable and without becoming too didactic.

Where to watch it: Netflix or SVT Play.

Welcome to Sweden

This bilingual English-Swedish series follows an American who quits his job to move with his Swedish wife to her home country, and features plenty of relatable moments for anyone who else who's made the move. Nude sauna visit with the in-laws, anyone? It's totally charming, easy-watching, and a good way to improve your Swedish -- and, if applicable, show your Swedish friends and family that you're not the only foreigner perplexed by the quirks of the Swedes. Read The Local's interview with the show's writer and star, Greg Poehler, here.

Where to watch it: On SF Anytime in Sweden or on Apple TV or Prime Video abroad.


Vår tid är nu | The Restaurant

Set in post-war Sweden, this drama tells the story of an affluent Stockholm family and the kitchen staff who work in their restaurant. Daughter Nina has dreams of opening up a jazz club and embarks on a secret romance with one of the cooks, while her brothers are in a tug-of-war over who gets control of the family business.

It's a great way of getting a sense of Swedish history; the trailer features historical footage of Stockholm and the series touches on issues from abortion to unionization. It's been a huge hit in Sweden, and you can read more about the series here.

Where to watch: Viewers in Sweden can catch up on the first series on SVT Play. Access to Vår tid är nu abroad varies, but it's available on some streaming services.

Tjockare än vatten | Thicker than water

An innkeeper on a Finnish archipelago island invites her grown-up children to visit, but while the scenery might be dreamy, it's a dark storyline. After the mother's sudden death, the siblings are left to run the inn together and work through buried family secrets, otherwise they'll lose their inheritance.

Where to watch: Netflix or SF Anytime.


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