editor’s opinion on season 2! – Just about TV

SPOILER ALERT:
This article contains major plot elements.

  • One step forward, two back

© Netflix / Love & Anarchy

Season 1 of Love and Anarchy had more than conquered us. At the newsroom, we were more than happy when season 2 was announced after this open ending! However, this new opus has a strange flavor that tarnishes our memory of the first season a little.

We find there the special touch of Lisa Langseth (Euphoria) and that unsettling feeling that sometimes twists our stomachs. Sanity remains a central pillar of the series and one of the highlights of this season. Unfortunately, the development of the relationship between Max (Björn Mosten) and Sophie (Ida Engvoll) leaves much to be desired, as does the ultimately rubbish development of other members of the publishing house, such as Friedrich (Reine Brynolfsson) and Ronny (Bjorn) Kjellman) . Other characters disappear completely, as do Sophie’s children.

If Lund & Lagerstedt’s employees had sloppy behavior in season 1, in Season 2, some become caricatures, archetypes that we come to hate rather than try to understand. Yes, the show wants us to feel embarrassed, to question society’s norms, but the line is sometimes too rough. For example, the presence of a white, cisgender-hetero male sensitive reader might raise a smile, because it is written to condemn the demonstrative activism of companies that don’t really want change. Yet, as with many characters, his presence is more weighty than anything else.

Love & anarchy season 2 sophie her father

© Netflix / Love & Anarchy

The central concept of this new season of Love and Anarchyis authenticity. What exactly is authenticity? Not lie ? to itself? To others ? Do we all have a subjective or philosophical definition? What also comes back is the importance of grief and guilt – and the taboo – surrounding mental illness and suicide.

The criticism (first underlying and then directly sharp) of the cult of personal development becomes necessary in 2022, in an era where social networks are kings and where we forget patience and benevolence. With himself first, between self-persuasion and denial of the loss of a loved one. Also with others where companies and other gurus pervert grief, guilt and exploit it for profit. The relationship between Sophie and her late father (Lars Väringer) unfolds this painful path, between acceptance and helplessness.

In the end, it’s a very powerful message offered to the public: it’s hard to get rid of old demons, addictions can return. You have to hang on, it takes time, but all is not lost. The most important (and hardest) thing is to befriend yourself.

sophie max love & anarchy season 2 elevator 2

© Netflix / Love & Anarchy

If this season struggles to renew itself: Sophie is insufferable with Max, we tell ourselves he deserves better, but in return he is not honest and makes Caroline (Carla Sehn) suffer… we end up get caught in the game. Because under his moralizing air and outside the social framework, Love and Anarchy remains a love story. We see characters project their own desires and their own fears onto others. There’s also a representation of sexuality and love that goes off the beaten path, far from Hollywood’s usual aesthetic (and old age).

A valued element is an even sharper critique of the art environment and literary circles. Is it moral to write about others? What is success if you forget to be human? Can we write everything or do we have to censor ourselves? The allusions to film and the culture industry are numerous thanks to dark humor, between the #metoo movement and the members of the Academy.

Touching on a certain “sanctity” of literature and the Nobel Prizes, the screenwriters question the path of the artist: do we lose ourselves by sacrificing part of his work for the general public? To see his baby escape us for a publication or an adaptation, wouldn’t that also be lost?

In conclusion, until the end, we wonder if the relationship between Max and Sophie will end well. The anti-capitalist critique has lessened this season, but the question of self-discovery is all the greater for it. Should we let go of the loved one if we become toxic, or hang on? The ending, a little classic, would be a nice end to the series. Rose, seed or forest, we will remember the adventures of Sophie and the gardener Max for a long time.

Our evaluation: