Review: Ragnarok (TV Show) Available on Netflix
This short saga is a brilliant example of the “don’t judge a book by its cover” adage. Others might compare it to Breaking Bad, in that you have to watch beyond the first episode to get into it. Firstly, I would like to make it perfectly clear that Breaking Bad is an indisputable masterpiece, (more than worthy of its 16 Emmies, 12 Saturns, 8 Satellite Awards, 2 Golden Globes and the other 23 various awards it received, but who’s counting?) which had millions of viewers hooked within 7 minutes, and to anyone who dares oppose this obvious fact of life, I will gladly meet you to settle the matter, at dawn, with pistols ready. Anyway, moving on!
Ragnarok is a 6-episode Netflix own series, and Netflix’s second Norwegian language series after Home for Christmas. Written by Danish-man Adam Price, Ragnarok is set in the fictional Norwegian town of Edda, which is being afflicted by both climate change and industrial pollution, caused by the local factory owned by town’s most elite family, the Jotuls, who we quickly learn are in fact Jotunn, or frost giants, who as far as the rest of the world is concerned, exist only as legends within ancient Norse mythology. The members of this family range in their degrees of antagonism to the star of the show, Magne (below left).
The protagonist is an introverted teenager with ADD who is granted the power of Thor in the first episode, when he and his family arrive in the town that is to become thier new home, giving them a chance to build a new life for themselves.What were they fleeing from in their old lives you might ask? Unclear, but we just assume it was something unpleasant. Moving on, Magne gains his powers almsot immediately after the opening credits, but he only becomes aware of his newfound abilities at an excruciatingly slow rate throughout the season.
Despite the infuriatingly slow progression in the super-power awareness front, you can’t help but find yourself rooting for the God-in-training (despite his lack of personality), as he is a classic underdog in all aspects, from his awkwardness around the fairer sex, to the thinly-veiled abuse he receives from his younger brother, Laurits (below right), who is a not-so-subtle poor-man’s impersonation of Tom Hiddleston’s Loki from Marvel’s Thor and Avengers movies, the major difference between Hiddleston and Laurits, is that with Hiddleston, you are not constantly fighting the urge to grab him, beat him with a leather belt and push him off a perilously high glacier.
As I really want to avoid serious spoiler at all costs, let me just say that the general plot of the show loosely mirrors that told of what occurred during the legendary event of Ragnarok in Norse Mythology, where the Giants battled the Gods, the Gods were defeated and the entire cosmos was destroyed. I will tell you that a season 2 has been confirmed, which obviously means the cosmos was in fact, not destroyed by the season 1 finale!
Would I recommend this show to a friend? YES. Assuming you do not mind reading subtitles, unless you can speak Norwegian, in which case you will be well catered for.
My rating: 8.5/10