Crime Europe Sweden Television

An American “Detective” in Stockholm – We Got This – Sweden – TV Review

English Title: We Got This

Swedish Title: We Got This

Language: Swedish / English

Year: 2020

Rating: 8.9/10

On the night of February 28th 1986, the prime minister of Sweden, Olaf Palme, was walking home from the movies with wife Lisbeth. As the two strolled down Sveavägen, a street in central Stockholm, a gunman shot Palme in the back, fired another round that grazed Lisbeth and then escaped down a side street. The assassin and any accomplices he may or may not have had were never caught and remained unknown for nearly 35 years.  This real life backdrop is what gives the 2020 Swedish television conspiracy comedy We Got This enough steam to push through what could be a fairly ridiculous premise. 

The show starts with George English, an American expat living in Sweden, he’s unemployed and just got a very large bill from the Swedish tax authority. This is right when George learns about the assassination of Olof Palme, and more importantly that there is a reward of 50 million Swedish Crowns ($5 million) for anyone that that can solve the mystery of who killed Olof Palme. George sees the reward money as the answer to all of his problems and though he’s a television commercial director by trade, sets out to do what professionals have failed at for 35 years, solve Sweden’s biggest mystery. 

Again, it’s a bit of a ridiculous premise, but the show’s creators do a good job of balancing the wackiness of the plot and characters, with drama and a real life mystery that it works most of the time.  George assembles a group of equally eccentric sleuths to help him crack the case, Jonas a long time friend and disillusioned journalist,  Björn a hardcore conspiracy theorist, and Eva an older librarian with a shadowy past. It becomes one of those stories where you’d think these four wouldn’t be able to solve the mystery of what to have for lunch, but somehow manage to get closer to the truth than anybody before them. As with any good mystery, there are also insidious forces working against them, that don’t want the mystery solved, and a police force that doesn’t quite know what to do with them. 

If you do even a little bit of reading about the Palme assassination it quickly becomes clear that it’s a fairly sensitive subject in Sweden. Not only was their prime minister gunned down in the middle of the city, but they also were never able to figure out who did it. It’s that undercurrent of raw emotion that ultimately makes We Got this very watchable. On the surface four hapless amateur detectives solving a mystery is a story we’ve seen before, but adding the aspect of not only a true crime, but one of the great unsolved mysteries of the 20th century, gives the story real stakes and real conspiracies to dig into. It is worth noting that a few months after We Got This was released Swedish prosecutors named a suspect in the Palme killing and closed the case. For some that might put a damper on their enjoyment of We Got This, but if you take into account the suspect has been dead for two decades so there’s no chance for a trial, that’s more than enough to keep any good conspiracy nut digging. In the US they actually caught JFK’s killer and that hasn’t stopped people from theorizing about that for 50 years, maybe George and his friends can tackle that one next? 

Subs & Dubs: The show is of course subtitled, but one interesting aspect is that the main character speaks in English 95% of the time, so while everybody else is speaking Swedish there’s a large chunk of the dialog that is spoken in English.

Where to watch: Unfortunately the only place to watch it in the US in the Sundance channel, but if you’ve got that you’re golden. You can also get a free trial of their on demand service through Amazon Prime, and while you’re there check out the amazing New Zealand show Rosehaven


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