How It All Began
Episode 1 of Love & Anarchy begins with Sofie starting her new job at the Lund Publishing House. Before she turns up however, Sofie heads upstairs and self-pleasures to steady her nerves. Juggling two kids and husband Johan, she says goodbye and heads out to the publishing house.
The Director greets her at the door and shows her the office she’ll be working in. She’s a former president at her previous job and joining this publishing house for 6 months to help get them digitalized. There’s mixed reactions to her appointment though, accentuated by a young man named Max showing up late and spilling his drink everywhere.
As the day continues, Sofie continues to lay ground rules including emptying her room of a large statue, telling an engineer called Max to “drill quietly” and sitting in a meeting about social media strategies.
Along with modernizing the company, the big issue in this meeting comes from a provocative new novel about gay sex and drugs, written by an author whose had run-ins with this company already. That unfortunately comes in the form of a worker there sending a sexually explicit picture to this influencer.
With tensions high, Sofie comes up with an idea of using an app to gauge interest rather than leaving it up to them to pick and choose the right author and manuscripts.
Sofie’s constant masturbation sees her in a tricky position when Max spots her in her office after-hours doing just this. He keeps quiet but brings it up the following day at work. Cheekily grinning, he asks if she had fun and contemplates whether to show Ronny or not. This gives him leverage to continue drilling during the day.
Meanwhile, Sofie is called away by an incident with her Father. Lars has been shoplifting, refusing to be part of this digital age and seemingly doing this as a protest about the wave of change sweeping the globe.
Back at work the next day, Sofie confronts Max and asks him how much he wants, believing the boy is blackmailing him. Instead, he simply asks to go out and have lunch together, promising to delete the picture afterwards.
She’s reluctant to begin with but eventually joins him. There, Sofie runs into Johan’s best friend, Elin. Their meeting is awkward, to say the least, but Max doesn’t seem too bothered that she’s married. Max hands his phone over, allowing Sofie to delete the picture.
With the balance of power shifted, she holds onto his phone and tells him he’s not having it back unless he does something “f*cked up”. Stashing the phone in her drawer, she smirks back at her desk. That smirk soon disappears though when Sofie learns that more pictures have leaked online.
Tove-Lee, the publisher, has leaked those explicit pictures online and in retaliation someone (Max jokingly mentions it’s ISIS or the Russians) has posted an equally explicit picture onto their company Instagram account.
With the office in a tailspin, Sofie heads back to Max and hands over her favourite lipstick, asking what she needs to do in order to get it back.
The Episode Review
The first episode sets the scene for the series to follow, with Sofie conflicted over her feelings and torn between her husband and Max. This scandalous affair looks like it’s about to begin while the entire series sets up some interesting but obvious divides between both gender and digitalization.
The camera work feels like it’s been ripped right from The Office, with little stylistic zooms and office shenanigans bleeding into this one. Right now this is a far cry from that comedic gem, but there’s enough in this Swedish drama to make it worth sticking with.