Heads up: A new Netflix obsession just dropped.
The Swedish thriller "A Nearly Normal Family," based on M. T. Edvardsson's critically acclaimed novel of the same name, is leading to binge-watches.
The six-episode miniseries follows what happens when a 19-year-old girl, Stella Sandell (Alexandra Karlsson Tyrefors), is accused of murdering her 32-year-old boyfriend Chris Olsen (Christian Fandango) — and there's evidence she really did. The accusation fractures her family, comprised of a priest dad Adam (Björn Bengtsson) and lawyer mom Ulrika (Lo Kauppi).
But this isn't the first time Stella's family faced a difficult crossroads. Here's all you need to know about the exciting new series sweeping Netflix.
What is 'A Nearly Normal Family' about?
The Sandells are, as the title suggests, a seemingly normal family.
But an event from their daughter Stella's past caused a divide — one that reverberates to the present day, when she has been accused of murder.
Episode One sets up the turning point in Stella's life. Stella, then 15, attends handball camp (it's a church camp in the novel). There, she is sexually assaulted by an older counselor.
Stella tells her parents about the event, but they choose not to call the police because her mom thinks she would suffer additional trauma and the case against the counselor would ultimately fall through without sufficient evidence.
Throughout the remainder of the series, Stella's relationship with her parents, men and herself are all profoundly impacted by this tragic decision.
Flash forward four years in the future, the show cuts to Stella's 19th birthday, the night she first meets Christoffer Olsen (Christian Fandango Sundgren) and starts dating him. In that time, he's stabbed to death and Stella is accused of murder.
Her parents are left reeling as they attempt to protect their daughter while also acknowledging their own shortcomings and secrets.
What is it based on?
The series is based on the bestselling book of the same name by Swedish author M.T. Edvardsson, which was originally published in 2019. The adaptation was announced in 2022.
The book first published in Sweden has since been distributed in 35 countries worldwide, and sold in 550,000 copies, according to Netflix.
Like in the show, every character’s loyalty and morality is tested in the multi-layered novel.
A key difference between the two works is perspective. The show switches between the family members' perspectives, whereas the book is separated into Adam, Stella, and Ulrika's narratives — all of whom are unreliable narrators in their own right.
Like in the show, the book shows Stella's pastor father maintaining his belief that his daughter can only be innocent, despite growing evidence against her case. Her mother, a defense lawyer, thinks that nobody is being truly honest, and Stella feels that no one can truly comprehend the extent she will go to, to protect her future.
What are people saying?
Fans appear to be racing through the miniseries, posting their reactions and praise on social media.
One X user said the show captured truths around the lead-up to sexual assault, writing, "Would recommend everyone to watch nearly a normal family on netflix as a refresher on consent".
Another X user said the show would be fodder for a "discussion group or a seminar course."
The consensus is: Once you start, you won't want to stop. An X user wrote, "I’m binging A Nearly Normal Family, still in my pajamas and back in bed, while my husband occasionally dumps clean clothes on my lap for me to fold. This is teamwork."