Episode 1 -| Review Score – 3/5
Episode 2 -| Review Score – 3/5
Episode 3 -| Review Score – 3/5
Episode 4 -| Review Score – 3/5
Episode 5 -| Review Score – 3/5
Episode 6 -| Review Score – 3/5
Episode 7 -| Review Score – 3/5
Episode 8 -| Review Score – 3/5
Love & Anarchy is a series that could be great. On paper at least, this Swedish drama has some decent ideas and a story that lends itself nicely to a few laughs and chuckles. Unfortunately all of this is undermined by weak character work, some disappointing plotting and a lack of memorable segments across the season.
The story revolves around career-driven Sofie, a woman who arrives at Lund Publishing with big plans to modernize the company. Married with two kids, she juggles her time at home with trying to push this company forward. However, she winds up flirtatiously involved with IT engineer Max who encourages her to unleash the anarchist side of her in a game of Dare that spreads across the season.
With good chemistry between the pair, the show then deep dives into their growing romance while Sofie tries to pretend like everything is okay at home, doing her best to keep her marriage intact. All of this builds up to the finale which leaves everything wide open and question marks over the direction of the show if it is renewed.
Love & Anarchy doesn’t really do anything particularly original or new that we haven’t seen before in this genre. The characters are pretty archetypal, sporting all the usual suspects including clueless boss Ronny, bumbling Friedrich and the severely under-utilized lesbian Denise. All of these characters essentially rely on Sofie to save their business, propping her up as the savior of this company.
The self-titled Love & Anarchy refers to Sofie’s previous book she was working on until she went to business school. This past life is something that’s touched on a little but never really grows into anything interesting to work with in the script.
After all, the idea of an aspiring writer working at a publishing house has a sense of poetic irony about it. The show could have shown her reading various manuscripts and growing a passion for writing, eventually evolving and saving the company through her own literary pieces.
Alas, that’s not the case and instead the show focuses on its characters; in particular the bubbling affair between Max and Sofie. The only problem is none of the characters really grow or evolve across the season.
In fact, that’s a problem almost every character is plagued with across the show. With the exception of Friedrich, no one else has a consistent or meaningful arc. This is a particular problem when you look at the supporting characters and for all the promise of empowering females early on, it’s disappointing not to see very much of it in action here.
Stylistically, the series plays out like a typical office drama, with minimal sets and relying heavily on the dialogue to drive the narrative forward. To be fair, there’s one compelling scene involving surrealist imagery but beyond that the show is pretty simplistic in the way it’s presented.
The camera work too really leans into those zoom shots you’d expect to see in The Office or French mockumentary/drama Fais Pas Ci, Fais Pas Ca. Here though, it doesn’t really do the show any favours and gives it more of an amateurish vibe than it perhaps should.
Overall though, Love & Anarchy is an enjoyable but utterly forgettable Swedish drama. It’s a show that struggles to evolve its characters in a meaningful way and spends most of its time running in circles.
With an open ending and a relatively breezy watch-time, this is is an easy series to watch but one that struggles to stand out next to so many better options. In the end, Love & Anarchy should perhaps be renamed to Mediocre & Forgettable.
Verdict - 5/10