Netflix's Most Underrated Mini Series is a Must-Watch for Fargo Fans

Netflix's Most Underrated Mini Series is a Must-Watch for Fargo Fans
Image credit: FX, Netflix

Folks should definitely watch more European produced TV series!


  • The Swedish comedy-drama Anxious People, based on the book by Fredrik Backman, was released in 2019.
  • Unfortunately, the series went virtually unnoticed.
  • Nevertheless, it has received positive reviews and will certainly appeal to all fans of Fargo.

Why do we love the Coen brothers' movies so much? Certainly because, despite the melancholy atmosphere and all the criminal madness the characters get into, the focus of their stories is always on the human condition. Greed, cynicism, and exclusive reliance on ourselves are the results of a system we have created rather than our natural traits.

At the same time, kindness, compassion, and understanding are the aspects of human nature that provide a ray of light even in seemingly hopeless situations.

A great example of this narrative is Fargo, both the original movie by Joel and Ethan Coen and the first season of the series they produced. They contrast the simplicity and openness of ordinary small-town folk with the complex cynicism of big-city dwellers. But combine such a narrative with a critique of the unfair distribution of economic benefits, and you get Swedish writer Fredrik Backman's novel Anxious People.

And it's the one that got a terrific live-action adaptation on Netflix in 2021, which has unfortunately received undeservedly little media attention.

What Is This TV Series About?

The plot of Anxious People revolves around two not bad, but sometimes not too competent cops from a small Swedish town, Jim and Jack, who are father and son. Even though both love each other, there are enough misunderstandings in their lives to create a problem that ends with a touching happy ending.

At the same time, a crime unfolds in which both cops will be involved. During an apartment tour, everyone present is taken hostage by a person who escaped after a failed bank robbery (which turned out to be cashless). However, this is by no means a suspenseful thriller, as it is not only the criminal who gets the blood pumping: each of the hostages is a deeply anxious person, who is far more troubled by their relationships with loved ones than by the situation in which they find themselves.

Through empathy and heartwarming conversations, Anxious People humorously tells the story of how people can find common ground and mutual understanding even when the situation seems hopeless.

It is noteworthy that the series went virtually unnoticed: more than 2 years after its release, it has only two (positive) reviews from critics on Rotten Tomatoes. At the same time, its audience score is 85%.

Why Is It Definitely Worth Watching for Fargo Fans?

Usually, when a comedy series comes out, the events of which are connected with elements of crime, it is very difficult for the creators to maintain the necessary balance between comedy and crime drama.

This applies to Fargo itself, as the humor of the Coen brothers (as well as Noah Hawley, who tried to stylistically resemble the filmmakers while writing the show, in order to provide an excellent spiritual successor) is very subtle, and often exists more as an artistic device to convey the "humanity" of the characters, rather than as an engine of the plot as such.

Anxious People, on the other hand, maintains this balance perfectly - there is almost detective-like intrigue, there is a lot of drama involving the fates of both the cops, the hostages, and the bank robbers, and of course there is a lot of good-natured laughter, which suggests that the plot of both the series and the original book use "crime" only as an artistic device. But what it really tells us is that mutual help and compassion will always make our lives better.

Yes, the very themes that the Coens themselves touch on in their work, but seasoned with a kinder denouement of events, as well as excellent Scandinavian humor.