- “Quicksand” is a Netflix original series – and the streaming service released it simultaneously in 190 countries on Friday.
- The show centres on Maja, an 18-year-old student at an elite prep school outside of Stockholm who is arrested for her involvement in a deadly school shooting.
- It’s based on the bestselling novel of the same name by Malin Persson Giolito.
- Although it’s a very Swedish setting and show, the stars believe that the very human themes of the show are universal.
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Netflix is no stranger to either suspenseful crime thrillers or edgy teen dramas and its new show “Quicksand” seems to be the latest in combining those genres.
On Friday, Netflix added another thriller to its catalogue, releasing “Quicksand,” and the internet already can’t stop talking about it. Here’s what you need to know before you watch.
‘Quicksand’ is based on a book of the same name
The novel was written by Malin Persson Giolito, and published in 2016 – when it also won Nordic Crime Novel of the Year. It is primarily a courtroom drama that tells the story through the eyes of its main character, Maria Norberg – who also goes by the nickname of “Maja,” which is how her character is known in the Netflix series.
Giolito, who used to work for a prestigious law firm before becoming a bestselling author, is primarily known for courtroom dramas. According to the New York Times, this is the first of her works to be told from the point of view of the defendant rather than attorneys working a case.
Netflix commissioned this Swedish-language thriller TV series in 2017 following the immense popularity of the novel
At the time of this announcement, Erik Barmack, VP of International Original Series at Netflix told Deadline,
“Sweden has a tradition of great crime literature and series and we’ve been looking for something special in this area. We are excited to bring Malin’s great novel to life and to work with Camilla [Ahlgren], one of the best TV writers globally.”
Netflix simultaneously released the series in 190 countries globally on Monday. It can be dubbed or have subtitles for those who don’t speak Swedish.
The series revolves around a school shooting at an elite Swedish prep school
The show – like the novel – is told from the POV of main character Maja. At the age of 18, present-day Maja is arrested for her part in a deadly school shooting in an exclusive Stockholm suburb. The story flashes back and forth between the present day and her memories of events that led up to the shooting.
Given how disturbingly commonplace mass shootings have become in real life, especially in America, pop culture can have an important role in helping we as a society process how we deal with such horrific events – but it remains to be seen how this topic is treated within the context of this series.
Although the story has a specific setting, its stars say the show – like the book before it – tells a more universally relatable story of economic and racial friction
In an interview with Swedish publication Moviezine, William Spetz – who plays Samir Said in the series – said,
“Malin’s book is not just a story about this school shooting, in which everything starts. It is also a story of class and segregation, which is everywhere. Although it is a very Swedish story, it is also a depiction of the society that is everywhere.”
The head writer for the TV series is Camilla Ahlgren, who is also known for her work on ‘The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo’ film trilogy
Ahlgren served as script editor on the film series that first brought the acting talents of Noomi Rapace to an international audience. “Quicksand” is the second series on which she has been in the head writer’s chair; she’s also well-known for the TV series “The Bridge.”
‘Quicksand’ stars Hanna Ardéhn and Felix Sandman as its two main characters
Ardéhn plays Maja, while Sandman plays her boyfriend Sebastian – son of the richest man in Sweden.
But if you’re not a regular viewer of Swedish TV and you recognise the actress who plays Camilla Norberg, it’s because she’s none other than Anna Björk – who played a younger version of Isabella in “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.”
For those wondering what the show will sound like, the soundtrack is already streaming on Spotify
Featuring music from Dean Lewis, Ellie Goulding, Sam Smith, Billie Eilish, Halsey, and others – not to mention a collab between Drake and Peter, Bjorn and John – this playlist should give you a good idea of what to expect if you still have work to do before you open Netflix and binge all six episodes of the series.
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