Hjørdis (TV Mini-Series, 2015)
Comedy | International
Lead Cast: Lise Baastrup (Hjørdis), Martin Brygmann (Gert), Ellen Hillingsø (Helle)
This is a Danish television mini-series about a school teacher named Hjørdis who, for the end of the school’s anti-bullying week, is putting together a performance with the students but then when the crown Princess Mary suddenly pops up on the guest list her plans go awry.
This show popped up recently on my Netflix recommended page. I thought it was an utterly random and odd suggestion but I decided to give it a go anyway (huzzah. Netflix 1 Chores 0). I must say that I’m quite glad that I did. Hjørdis is a spin-off series from the television show Rita. It is comprised of four 25-minute episodes all quite well done. It is delightful, charming, funny, and truthful. It shows real children, real situations, and real problems. The only irritant was having to be multi-tasking between watching the show and reading the English subtitles. No one really enjoys reading subtitles but every once in a while it does seem quite worth it and this was one of those cases. Danish but totally relatable to most western civilizations and on a deeper level to, well, all of humankind seeing as bullying is quite the ancient issue. The issues and displays of bullying were generally realistic rather than overly dramatized and the “weird” kids covered an array of different but recognizable backgrounds. (I’d also like to point out that they were all actual kids. WHAT???? Yes. Unlike many American- excuse me, USA shows and movies that try to substitute kid roles with youthful young adults which really just leads into a whole other issue related to false body image etcetera etcetera off topic etcetera).
The acting was quite well done with starring actress Lise Baastrup portraying the perfect balance of quirky, insecure, big-hearted, and realistic. She was funny and fit the genre but was not over-the-top nor unbelievable. The children were even quite good with their performances ringing with the truth of childhood experiences (I mean compared to real kids not movie kids). The cinematography was rather well executed and the music delightful (I think many of us wish we could get a full track of the intro song sung by Ms. Baastrup; The credits song “Do What You Want” by Lily Frost was quite perfect a fit and beneath its lovely light melody holds a weighted truth we all should embrace). Actually now that I think about it I feel that this show would be similar to if they made a spin-off of the show New Girl (starring Zooey Deschanel) focusing just on Jess’ life as a teacher.
Regardless of what language you speak or how much you detest subtitles I’d still recommend that you stick it out for at least the first episode which will hopefully hook you ’til the end (come on ol’ boy, it’s just four episodes and it might even make you smile).