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An Almost Normal Family, the Review: Stella’s Courage



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The six-episode Netflix miniseries entitled ‘An Almost Normal Family’ is a fabulous criminal investigation thriller that should be watched in one sitting. And I assure you it’s worth it…

The Netflix series, titled “An Almost Normal Family” is indeed a captivating story from the first minute. It only has six episodes, but none of its chapters last more than an hour. And in fact it is a great example of saving resources, as they are more than enough to tell this fabulous story of a crime of passion or sexual assault — without lifting the veil too much — which has consequences, but which apparently goes unharmed by the justice. Based on the book of the same name by Mattias Edvardsson — published in Portugal by Sum of Letters, January 2020 — the Swedish production premiered a few days ago on Netflix, and like almost all audiovisual works not spoken in English, it went a little unnoticed. This is a beautiful essay about the exploration of guilt — as a predominant feeling — that manages to mix the darkest depths of human nature, love, pain, sexual aggression, betrayal, in a very distressing setting of a small university town in Sweden. current affairs.

An Almost Normal Family
‘An Almost Normal Family’ begins with a very painful event. ©Netflix

In “An Almost Normal Family”Stella (Alexandra Karisson) is a 19 year old girl, who lives in an ordinary family. Her father, Adam (Bjorn Bengtsson), is a pastor of the Church of Sweden, respected in the community and with impeccable morals, he is married to Ulrika (Lo Kauppi), a lawyer and university professor, but a little distant from her husband and daughter. The Sandells are an (almost) perfect family, until Stella is accused of the brutal murder of Christopher Olsen (Christian Fandango Sundgren), an older man, good-looking, but apparently involved in somewhat shady business. What led Stella to have a relationship with this individual who was more mature than her? Why would she have stabbed him to death? To what extent are we facing a terrible error in the investigation, which led to the girl’s arrest, something that becomes a huge heartbreak and disappointment for the parents?


An Almost Normal Family“, begins with a very painful event for this small family nucleus, which they try at all costs to overcome, not without some trauma. And this is what ends up setting the tone for the rest of the story, which is also not just a common case of revenge or a crime of passion. Although this feeling is implicit, the argument is much more ambitious and demanding, in fact like the realization, which each of the family members first presents, until the truth is reconstituted with successive flashback, which enter at the right moment in the narrative. Equally faithful to the cold and amoral style of Swedish television and cinematographic (literary, too) productions — as cold as their landscapes — the true interest of the story lies in deepening the characters, showing their individual particularities, to make its point of view as realistic as possible.

An Almost Normal Family
‘An Almost Normal Family’ is a captivating story from the first minute, thanks to its protagonist. ©Netflix

Stella’s story is first analyzed based on her suffering and the wounds left by a traumatic event that will lead her, as an adult, to several hasty decisions. And for this, the narrative of “An Almost Normal Family” not always linear, it shows us the traumatic experience from the perspective of the victim, but also that of their closest family members. After recounting the crime that Stella survived, the story explores the personalities of her parents, showing how the two, each in their own way, try to protect their daughter from the worst. Or at least, avoid an immediate scandal, which could complicate her recovery and her role in the community. This is, in fact, what insists her mother Ulrika, an experienced lawyer, who coldly analyzes the legal scenario of a teenager who was unable to avoid being sexually assaulted and the difficulties in proving it.

An Almost Normal Family
Stella’s story is analyzed based on her suffering and past wounds.©Netflix

At the end of the first chapter of “An Almost Normal Family”, many things seem clarified, but from then on everything is analyzed, from multiple perspectives: How does a family react under pressure, because of an emotional wound, which is difficult to heal? From there, the series asks questions about guilt, silence, and the emotional and psychological wounds that everyone will carry. There is a twist that allows us to understand the decisions of each of the family members, as Stella tries to overcome what she experienced. At the same time, the responsibility that the parents, Adam and Ulrika had in their daughter’s subsequent suffering, is questioned. But it also opens another, more controversial front, by analyzing the possibility that, due to the silence and shared secret, a greater tragedy could occur. Which is actually what happens: four years after the rape, Stella is accused of murdering her boyfriend, Christoffer.

En home with family
Stella is accused of murdering her boyfriend, Christoffer. ©Netflix

A crime that seems to be closely related to what happened in her past and developing a story, which becomes increasingly complicated as elements are added to understand Stella. It is then that a specific narration about a rape begins, later becoming a journey between guilt and fear and the exploration of sexist culture, which allows sexual abuse and its consequences to be hidden in a similar circumstance, which ends up being the reason of crime. Rape and sexual assault have become the center of several film and television series storylines. In fact, it is also the theme of “Unbelievable“, another of the series now available on Netflix, which I hope to watch soon. However, unlike other films or television series about sexual abuse and its consequences, this “An Almost Normal Family” It has enough quality to make it worth the investment of time and interest.

‘An Almost Normal Family’, the Review | The Most Addictive Series on Netflix

An Almost Normal Family

Name: En home with family

Description: In ‘An Almost Perfect Family’, the world of a seemingly perfect family falls apart when a shocking crime reveals the lengths to which its members will go to protect each other.


‘An Almost Perfect Family’ tells us a tragic story in a very intelligent way, above all making it very close and touching for the viewer. This platform series Netflix, without a doubt manages to achieve the quality of a competent cinematographic thriller, to be seen on a cinema screen; in addition to effectively taking advantage of up to the last minute of each of its episodes, to create a painful atmosphere, which becomes increasingly pressing and disturbing, until the end. This is not a domestic melodrama, which uses the terrible event it narrates to generate a specific atmosphere of a crime, not without first having a family and personal perspective of each of the main actors. ‘An Almost Perfect Family’ in addition to the ability to meticulously tell this family tragedy that is based on a murder, in addition to a very nihilistic message about contemporary life and society, it really manages to make us want to watch until the end and all of it afterwards. There are no shortage thrillers international in Netflixhowever this series is undoubtedly one of the most exciting currently on the platform.



The three main performances are very solid, as are the electrifying editing, the icy photography and the engaging music, in a story narrated with skill and that never loses interest.


Given the constant similarities with other works of the genre, for some viewers it will not be difficult to guess the ending. Despite this, it is an accessible and very interesting series for those who like this type of police genre.

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