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Reading this article reveals key points of this program! How about watching it first?
stop looney tunes giphy downsized

SPOILER ALERT! Reading this article reveals key points of this program! How about watching it first?


EDITOR’S NOTE: We happily discovered Dr. Pearl Brandwein while reviewing MHz Choice subscriber feedback on our programs and, after reading a half dozen or so of Dr. Brandwein’s insightful reviews, all of us here at MHz Choice had the same thought: We need to get the good doctor to write for us! Enjoy! -MHz Choice

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Gåsmamman on MHz Choice

WARNING: spoilers for Seasons 1-3 follow!

Gåsmamman (Banijay Rights) weaves together the strands of the Old Norse revenge Saga with rules into a modern crime-family thriller where members and associates disregard the rules only to end up dead.

The saga begins with Fredrik Ek (Magnus Roosmann), Sonja Nordin’s (Alexandra Rapaport) husband, who is a trusted lieutenant in his father-in-law Anders’ drug business until Anders (Tommy Korberg) has him killed because Fredrik planned to provide detailed information about his father-in-law’s drug operation to narcotics investigator Emil Svensson (Shelby Niaravani). However, prior to his murder, Fredrik and his greedy, idiotic brother-in-law Niklas (Ivan Mathias Petersson) and the incompetent addict Stein (Andreas Kundler) heist a rival gang’s cocaine shipment – further complicated by Niklas, who shoots a rival gang member. The rival gang leader wants the shipment returned along with the monetary value plus interest as compensation. Since Sonja’s father has already whacked her husband, which she discovers only later, she must now repay her late husband’s debt to save her family – eldest son Gustav (Joel Lutzow), youngest son Linus (Edvin Ryding) and daughter Nina (Clara Christiansson). This debt is the MacGuffin. The show’s creators, Pieter Bart Korthuis and Diederik van Rooijen, use this popular cinematic and literary device as a catalyst for everything that follows.

In the first three seasons, Sonja’s well-intentioned plans always go awry consistently, accruing more and more debt due to unforeseen variables and unexpected actions of a parade of characters entering and exiting her life. Aside from her children and mother, Lukas (Ulf Friberg), her father’s “fixer,” identified by Linus as Fredrik’s murderer, becomes her “guardian angel” — always saving her and her family through acts of murder, arson, torture and corpse disposal. As a witness to his father’s death, a distraught Linus requires psychiatric help. Sonja confronts her father – who, as the puppet master, pulls everyone’s strings.

Niklas, who is now serving time, asks Sonja to manage the business which she initially refuses; then, she consents and does a better job, thereby worrying Niklas – who puts out a hit on her. Unfortunately, Magdalena (Susanne Thorsson), Anders’ youngest and favorite child gets blown up instead of Sonja. Anders retaliates by having Niklas killed in prison to save Sonja’s life, evoking themes of Shakespeare’s Richard III (1592-94) and King Lear (1606) as well as Euripides’ Greek Tragedy, Medea (431 BC). Obviously, the Corleone and Soprano Families have nothing to fear. Rather than incriminate her “family,” Sonja recants her testimony and goes to prison for perjury. Eventually, she is willing to name names, gets released and goes into witness protection with her family to Australia.

They return a year later and resume their old lives because the children are tired of constantly moving. As Sonja re-emerges in the open — against Inspector Emil Svensson’s pleas — she becomes the target of the Colombian drug cartel again. As Season 4 opens, many loose ends and loose cannons are tied up. Sonja must again pay off a new debt and avoid the contract on her life. She appeals once more to the Major, who can provide unlimited money and cocaine. When all is done, Sonja makes a fatal mistake by revealing the Major’s true identity to Barry (Christian Svensson), her partner in the deal, thereby releasing a torrent of actions leading to a stunning denouement, which I had expected (and even hoped for) – with Lukas reprising his role as “fixer.”  THE KING IS DEAD! LONG LIVE THE . . .

The fans will be on edge as this new season unfolds – and long after.

Creators and producers Korthuis and van Rooijen based this very dark and riveting comedy of errors on their own 48-episode Dutch drama Penoza (2010-2017). Their follow-up film to the series, Penoza: The Final Chapter, was released in 2019. The eight-episode American limited series Red Widow, created by Melissa Rosenberg in 2013, is also based on the Dutch series.

About the author:
A lover of Romance languages and cultures, Dr. Pearl Brandwein has a Certificate in French Culture and Civilization from the Sorbonne. She then earned both her Masters’ degree in French Language/Literature and Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from New York University. Dr. Brandwein’s areas of academic expertise include the Renaissance and the Faust Figure in European Literature in addition to 19th and 20th Century Drama. Her other interests include writing about Holocaust Literature.

Dr. Brandwein began her teaching career at Princeton University followed by faculty positions at other academic institutions. In addition to French, she has also taught German, Latin, English Composition and ESL to corporate executives. After academia, she held numerous positions in the public and private sectors working as an Editor/Instructor/Administrator and as a PR professional and business communications executive directing editorial and marketing initiatives for EU clients.

She is a cineaste and a lover of Film Noir, Westerns and foreign films as well as a theatre and opera buff; she also attends concerts, lectures, ballet performances, museum and gallery exhibitions. In her rare spare time, she reads voraciously.


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