If you've seen the trailer for the Swedish limited series Anxious People, you can be forgiven for thinking it's a bit of slapstick comedy about a botched hostage situation and a couple of slightly dim local police officers who try to work out what happened.
However, you would be wrong! Anxious People (Folk med ånges) is actually a very clever whodunnit told over six half-hour episodes. And it is very good.
In the first episode, we meet Jack as a teenager on a bridge when he comes across a man about to jump to his death. Before the man goes he hands Jack a letter to deliver to the bank.
Fast forward to the present day and Jack (Alfred Svensson) is all grown up and a local police officer. Working with his father Jim, the duo stumble across an attempted bank robbery (but it's a cashless bank!) and end up chasing the suspect who disappears into an apartment building.
However, what the robber doesn't know is that there is an open house for one of the apartments and there are quite a few people inside.
And this is where Anxious People gets interesting. The suspect, who is clearly desperate, ends up accidentally taking them hostage and so the father son team of Jack and Jim must now negotiate for their release.
Despite a few bumbling mishaps along the way, the hostages are ultimately returned unharmed and so the process of finding the bank robber begins. The problem is despite interviewing everybody, the police are left clueless as to what happened and where the suspect disappeared to.
With each episode the police focus on one of the victims and their recollection of how the whole bizarre hostage situation unfolded.
They include Anna Lena and Roger, a retired couple who flip homes as a hobby, the very pregnant Julia and her wife Ro, bank manager Zarah, the house saboteur Lennart, elderly lady Estelle and the estate agent.
Contrary to how they are portrayed, Jack and Jim are actually excellent police officers with Jack methodically piecing the whole picture together until the truth is finally revealed.
Is Anxious People Worth Watching?
Given that the entire story is told over just six episodes, Anxious People is perfect for a binge.
It also does an excellent job of wrong-footing the viewer because even as you think you've spotted the open house hostage taker, and know who they are well before the police, it turns out you're probably wrong.
And that's the fun bit because so many shows treat their audience like idiots it is refreshing to find one that ups the ante and makes things interesting.
It is also more than a tv series about a bank robbery gone wrong. It is about relationships that people have with each other and how lives can change for the better even in the most unexpected situations.
Anxious People is quirky, heartfelt and engaging. Packed with wrong turns, it will keep you guessing until the very end.
Where Is Anxious People Filmed?
Anxious People is a novel of the same name by Swedish writer Fredrik Backman published in 2019. The novel was published in English in 2021 and by December of the same year, the limited series was already on our tv screens.
Set in a very pretty Swedish town, the show was filmed in Södertälje in Stockholm County.
The apartment that is the focus of the entire plot is located on Järnagatan street with additional scenes filmed in Marenplan, a neighbourhood in the middle of Södertälje.
Where To Watch Anxious People?
You can watch Anxious People on Netflix. It is in Swedish but subtitles and dubbing are available.
One small criticism is that the subtitles in English are closed captioning (CC) which means it also includes all the background noise and sounds, rather than just the translation of what is being said.
The Cast Of Anxious People
The cast of Anxious People Netflix is limited but the characters are well rounded and all come with their own interesting stories.
It quickly becomes apparent that they are all hiding something about the bank robbery and the hostage situation but what it is and how will Jack and Jim uncover the truth?
Alfred Svensson as Jack, the young police officer searching for the truth
Dan Ekborg as Jim, Jack's father and also a police officer
Leif Andrée as Roger, a retired man who loves Ikea
Marika Lagercrantz as Anna-Lena, Roger's wife
Per Andersson as Lennart, an out of work actor
Lottie Ejebrant as Estelle, an elderly lady viewing the open house
Anna Granath as Zarah, the local bank manager
Sascha Zacharias as Liv, a young mother looking for a new place to live
Carla Sehn as Julia, a pregnant house hunter
Petrina Solange as Ro, Julia' wife