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best scandinavian tv series to watch now

Want to binge a great tv show this winter when staying home? If you need inspiration for the best Scandinavian series to watch right now, I have collated my top tips with new releases that will take you on a virtual trip to Scandinavia. The list includes light-hearted romances, comedies and thrilling dramas – so there should be something for everyone. Time to enjoy some Netflix & hygge.

Home for Christmas (Hjem til Jul)

Let’s start with a cozy show for those who want to get into the Christmas spirit. This Norwegian drama came out last year (and I binged the whole first season on my way home to Norway for Christmas so it was very fitting), but season two comes out on December 18th 2020 so there is even more to watch. Season 1 left on quite a cliff-hangar last year, so at least if you start this year you do not have to wait a whole year like I did to find out what happens. Home for Christmas brings a hygge feeling and shows idyllic festive scenes from Norway along with lots of humour and love related drama. A light hearted and feel-good holiday rom-com created by Per-Olav Sørensen.

Summary: The constant comments on single life of 30 year old Johanne and society’s expectations of the perfect family Christmas finally gets to her. Johanne starts a 24 day hunt for a partner to bring home for Christmas.

Starring: Ida Elise Broch, Gabrielle Susanne Solheim Leithaug, Oddgeir Thune & more.
Filming Location: Røros, Norway
Language: Norwegian (also available dubbed in English).

Watch it on Netflix.

Love & Anarchy (Kärlek och Anarki)

I just finished binge-watching this new tv dramedy last week and loved it. It is a spicy drama which can be a bit out there at times, starring an adult woman who finds herself in game of seduction at the mercy of a younger boy. (Be warned, it has a bit of nudity and raunchy scenes). It is full of laugh out loud moments but also a great show to watch if you want to get fashion inspiration because the lead actress is wearing a lot of cool Scandi outfits. It also made me want to travel to Stockholm as soon as this pandemic is over…but for now it is nice to watch these kind of shows and dream away a bit.

Summary: When Sofie, a career driven consultant and married mother of two, gets an assignment to modernise an old publishing house she meets young IT tech Max – and an unexpected flirting game begins. Their game challenges societal norms and leads them to re-evaluate their entire lives.

Starring: Ida Engvoll, Björn Mosten, Carla Sehn & more.
Filming Location: Stockholm, Sweden.
Language: Swedish (also available dubbed in English).

Watch it on Netflix.

The Valhalla Murders (Brot)

This is a new show that came out in March 2020 which is on my ‘to watch list’ after seeing the gripping trailer and reading great reviews. Said to be a must-see for Nordic noir and crime fans, this thriller plays on Norse mythology if you are curious about learning more as well as seeing beautiful imagery from Iceland. This is Netflix’s first Icelandic series, created by Thordur Palsson. Note: the crime drama is not based on a true story, but it was inspired by a real-life case.

Summary: A police investigator named Arnar travels from Oslo, Norway to assist in the investigation surrounding Iceland’s first serial killer. He works with Icelandic Kata, the officer in charge of the case, and together they must race against the clock to find the murderer before it’s too late. While the victims initially seem unrelated, the trail leads them to an abandoned boys’ home named Valhalla, where some horrifying events occurred 35 years earlier.

Starring: Nína Dögg Filippusdóttir, Björn Thors, Bergur Ebbi & more.
Filming Location: Borgarnesi, Iceland
Language: Icelandic (also available dubbed in English).

Watch it on Netflix or BBC 4 (UK).

Norsemen (Vikingane)

Up for something lighter to make you laugh? Then Norsemen might be just what you need. This is a funny and underrated series full of dark humour made as a parody on the hugely popular show the Vikings (which I also recommend to watch if you haven’t seen it yet!) The comedy shows the daily challenges of people living in a small Viking village but made as it would be from our time. It has been said to be ‘Monty Python meets Game of Thrones’ – which I think is a great way to put it. Norsemen was actually filmed simultaneously in both Norwegian and English language, so you can watch it without dubbing. Season 3 came out in July 2020, so you have lots to laugh about.

Summary: In 790 AD, the Vikings of Norheim have a hectic schedule that includes pillaging, plundering, enslaving others and solving problems with violence. “They were brutal, but especially smart, they were not.”

Starring: Kåre Conradi, Silje Torp, Nils Jørgen Kaalstad & more.
Filming Locations: Avaldsnes & Karmøy in Rogaland county, Norway.
Language: Norwegian (also available in English).

Watch it on Netflix or NRK (Norway).


Another one I just discovered and have put on my ‘to watch list’ whenever I get time. This Danish comedy drama looks like a funny yet real show where you meet unique characters. I like the fact that there is a strong female lead role. Season 5 of Rita came out in July 2020, and I read other saying that once you start it is difficult to stop. So I would advice starting to watch this series when you know you have plenty of time to binge-watch (and what better time than during the holidays while in a pandemic to get hooked on a feel-good show like this…)

Summary: Following the life of a very outspoken and rebellious woman, Rita is a school teacher who is competent in the classroom, but seems to need a teacher of her own, when it comes to her personal life.

Starring: Mille Dinesen, Lise Baastrup, Carsten Bjørnlund & more.
Filming Locations: Rødovre, Sjælland, Denmark
Language: Danish.

Watch it on Netflix or TV2 (Danish).


And lastly, something a bit different: a Scandinavian superhero series! Ragnarok is a fantasy drama series about teenagers and Nordic mythology. The main character Magne is a teenage boy who is surprised when he finds out that he is the embodiment of Thor (the god of thunder), so it is like a modern day twist on the old Norse tales. Big plus for the scenic Norwegian backdrop and the beautiful filming. The series came out January 2020, and they have just revealed that there will be another season next year – so stay tuned for more.

Summary: In the small fictional Norwegian town of Edda people are forced to respond to climate changes. The ice caps are melting at a rate no one had anticipated. People go through long periods of drought. The winters are too warm. More and more frequently, people experience extreme cold bursts. In all ways extreme weather conditions. The world is changing, and some might claim that we’re heading towards a new Ragnarok. Unless someone intervenes in time.

Starring: David Stakston, Herman Tømmeraas, Theresa Frostad Eggesbø & more.
Filming Locations: Odda, Norway.
Language: Norwegian (also available dubbed in English).

Watch it on Netflix.

Have you watched any of these Scandinavian tv series or do you have other new ones to recommend? Leave a comment and let us know.


9 responses

  1. Hi PAT
    Where can I downlod or watch Rita for free, please :-)

    Many thanks in advance!

    Kind regards and greetings :)


  2. I have not yet give a try to Valhalla Murders nor Ragnarok but the rest is so so cool. 100% recommend ! I would also add Occupied and Borderliner which are part of my top 3 with Home for Christmas ❤

  3. Hi, thank you for the list. Rita is my favourite. When I feel down, I turn on Tv and choose an episode of Rita. First listen its soundtrack.
    But what do you think about another show Fortittute? it is an hidden good tv show. I like it too much with its sountrack as well.

    1. Hi Ali. You are right, Rita is such a great feel-good show! I haven’t watched Fortittute yet but I’ll check it out, thank you.

  4. I can also recommend “The Rain” on Netflix, it’s a Danish post-apocalyptic SciFi series and really good!

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