Netflix produced a Norwegian-language fantasy drama that apparently ticked off Norwegian people.
Teenager Magne (David Stakston), his brother Laurits (Jonas Strand Gravli), and their mother Turid (Henriette Steenstrup) move to the Norwegian town of Edda, where Turid lived until her husband died when the boys were small. When they arrive, Magne encounters an old man with one eye (Bjørn Sundquist) and an old woman (Eli Anne Linnestad), who touches him and awakens something inside of him. He starts to grow inhumanly strong and fast. Magne soon meets Isolde (Yiva Bjorkaas Thedin), an environmental activist who informs him that, in Edda, the wealthy Jutul family essentially reigns unchallenged, despite the fact that their factories keep poisoning the local water and increasing glacial retreat through climate change. The four Jutuls are: Fjor the cocky eldest son (Herman Tømmeraas), Saxa the smart eldest daughter (Theresa Frostad Eggesbø), Vidar the ruthless father and tycoon (Gísli Örn Garðarsson), and Ran the local principal and mother (Synnøve Macody Lund). Soon, Magne finds himself embroiled in a war between the Jutuls and himself that is older than humanity.
So, in case you didn’t get it from the title, Ragnarok is derived from Norse Mythology, primarily from the Prose Edda (hence the town). In Norse Mythology, Ragnarok is the fall of the gods as they do war with the giants, but it’s generally seen as being part of a cycle that repeats throughout history, signalling the changing of the ages. This show is implied to be just another one of those cycles, with Magne taking the role of Thor and the Jutuls taking on the roles of the giants. It would have been interesting if they had done it without superpowers, with the Jutuls being giants only through their power and influence, but that’s not how they ended up playing it.
The show’s main problem appears to be that its creators weren’t quite sure what it wanted to be throughout the process. There are elements of high-school drama, superhero shows, family dramas, and even crime shows, but they never quite mesh organically. The dialogue, or the translation thereof, is pretty generic and a lot of the characters aren’t well-defined. It doesn’t help that, apparently, Norwegian people didn’t like the show because it felt “too Danish.” It was made by a Danish company and apparently the characters don’t speak in the correct dialect, to the point that it would be like a show set in Georgia featuring mostly Wisconsin voices.
Overall, I think this show could have been good, but it just never really felt like anyone was really passionate or focused in making it.
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