New Swedish TV crime series targets global appetite for Nordic Noir

Mon Dec 7, 2015 12:32pm EST
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By Alistair Scrutton and Violette Goarant

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - A new Swedish crime saga, dubbed a Scandinavian version of the U.S. drama series "Breaking Bad", hopes to emulate the success of other Nordic TV exports such as "The Bridge" with a dark tale of marijuana, mafias and motherhood in suburban Stockholm.

"Gasmamman", or "Mother Goose", stars Alexandra Rapaport as a mother of three and accountant at a boat marina who takes over the family's illegal marijuana business after her husband is shot in a drug deal gone wrong.

The producers of Gasmamman hope the series will receive the kind of reception won by "The Bridge" and "The Killing", which led to millions of people around the world becoming fans of what is known as 'Nordic Noir' detective and crime stories.

Rapaport, who starred in the Oscar-nominated Danish film "The Hunt" and appeared in other crime series such as "The Sandhamn Murders", is also co-producer.

Like many Scandinavian series, it has a strong female lead reflecting a Nordic emphasis on gender equality.

"When we pitched this we talked about it being a kind of "Erin Brockovich" meets "Breaking Bad"," Rapaport told Reuters in an interview, referring respectively to a 2000 film starring Julia Roberts who fights against a powerful energy corporation and to the long-running TV crime series about a teacher who turns to selling crystal meth.

Gasmamman mixes light-heartedness - including some hippy-like gardeners who guard the hidden marijuana plantation - with scenes of water-boarding in a kitchen sink and the daily drudge of a mother dealing with children's school, and drug, issues.

The title "Mother Goose" refers both to the geese farm used to hide the marijuana plantation as well as the sense of a protective mother and her children, Rapaport said. Goose is also slang in Swedish for marijuana.   Continued...

Actress Alexandra Rapaport, star and coproducer of a new Swedish crime thriller 'Gasmamman', is interviewed in Stockholm, December 4, 2015. REUTERS/Violette Goarant