“Nooooo, not the lesbian!!”
I had no idea what to expect from Norwegian series and films in terms of LGBTQ+ representation. I’ll be honest: I had never watched a Norwegian series or film before planning to move to Norway. I guess I figured Norway may be a little more progressive, but I wasn’t sure how that would translate into the content.
There’s no way I can cover all of this topic, but I’ll give my first impressions on the content available on Netflix now. This article is the 2nd part in our series, so if you missed the first check here.
After a not so good start, let’s see a solid series which is worth binge-watching.
This series is a modern take on Norse mythology. The title, “Ragnarok” refers to the end times in Norse mythology which culminates in a big battle. So, it’s in the super hero genre. The series takes place in a small town in Norway, which is suffering from climate change and industrial pollution. It starts with just exploring the town and introducing to us the various characters. The protagonist is a high school boy named Magne who is the new kid in town. Like many series in the superhero genre, the plot starts to get interesting once Magne has a strange encounter with an old lady in town and then slowly begins to realize he has superpowers.
But he can’t quite figure out his purpose.
Cue Isolde with her blue hair, nose ring, and piercing blue eyes. She’s a rebel with a cause fighting for the environment. The more he spends time with Isolde, the more he learns that this is his cause too. Spoiler alert! Although at first, we think Isolde is Magne’s love interest, we quickly find out they play for the same team. In fact, later on we find out maybe they share the same taste in women too.
Besides Isolde, the show also presents Magne’s brother, Laurits, as a very gender-fluid, perhaps even trans, character. We know that he is at least gay because he keeps trying to hook up with a guy who works at the burger restaurant in town.
If you’re into the superhero genre but don’t like a lot of flash and bang, then this is an enjoyable show to watch. The characters and relationships develop quite naturally. One small exception is the fact that like while watching Twilight you will often ask yourself who believes these models in their 20s and 30s are high school students?!
-Isolde is associated with a good cause (environmentalism), rather than just being a token lesbian
-Isolde is an important character to help Magne discover his purpose
-Magne is actually able to react normally to Isolde’s coming out and their friendship continues (unlike a lot of times in real-life when men with crushes on lesbians just can’t get over it and the friendship is ruined)
-Laurits who presents as a gender-fluid, perhaps even trans, character is pretty well-accepted in the series
-She plays a small role in the story
-Spoiler: She doesn’t get a happy ending
Overall, I think this show is well-made. The story line is strong and the characters are relatable. It also gives you a great picture of the natural beauty of Norway.