In the first day of July, 2021, a new Swedish Netflix drama came out, and within a couple of hours the show already had fans all over the world.
“Young Royals” follows Prince Wilhelm of Sweden, played by Edvin Ryding, as he is sent to Hillerksa, an elite boarding school his older brother, Erik (Ivar Forsling), also attended. There, he has to learn to navigate both royal duties and “normal” teenage life, but the focus of the story is not only on Wilhelm, it also introduces us to other characters: such as August (Malte Gårdinger), his second cousin, old childhood friend Felice (Nikita Uggla), non-resident siblings Simon (Omar Rudberg) and Sara (Frida Argento), just to name a few.
Due to its realism, attention to details, representation, fantastic acting, among many other things, the series has been praised by multiple people online, including singer Troye Sivan and actor Kevin McHale.
It has been compared to “SKAM“, a Norwegian series that has 7 different remakes around the world, and “Red, White & Royal Blue“, a book by author Casey McQuiston, so if you enjoyed any of these, you should maybe add “Young Royals” to your watchlist.
But, if the show hasn’t caught your attention just yet, here are more reasons of why you should watch it in case you haven’t already:
Don’t worry, there are no spoilers ahead!
1) Real Characters
One of the greatest things about this series is the portrayal of the characters. Since it focuses, mostly, on teenagers, the creators and directors wanted the younger part of the cast to actually look and act like teenagers, and viewed this as a necessity when casting. And this fact shouldn’t be that big of a deal, but considering that most shows that revolve around high school don’t really show individuals that people this age can relate to, this is considered a big win.
Plus, all characters, not only the teens, are shaped with such depth that viewers get to know them for who they are, and not just in relation to the main character. They all have their own backgrounds explored, and this allows for a better understanding of each one of them. And whether it involves friends, love, or family, the way relationships between the characters are constructed is very accurate as well. Keep an eye out for the dynamics between Simon, Sara and Linda; Wilhelm and Erik; Felice and Madison; and Ayub, Rosh and Simon, to see examples of this.
2) Important Themes
The show has as some of its main plots the relationship between Wilhelm and Simon, which is portrayed beautifully, and the friendships and different dynamics happening around them. And not only does the show nail complexity and humanity with its characters, while having nobility and richness as a big part of the background, it talks about real life themes as well.
The Swedish series addresses hierarchy, social and economic status, prejudice, addiction, self-identity and acceptance, female empowerment and sisterhood, body diversity, social and family pressure, among many other topics, in a natural way that fits within the narrative and isn’t forced. It also shows a realistic and relatable – to a lot of people – portrayal of anxiety, Asperger’s, ADHD, and just growing up in general.
Another reason to watch the show is the representation, something that appears in different ways and through different people.
Beri Gerwise, who plays Rosh, is Kurdish Iranian, Xiao-Long Zhao, who plays Alexander, has Asian origins, and they are members of the LGBTQIAP+ community. Frida Argento, like her character Sara, has Asperger’s and Latin roots – Argento’s dad is from Argentina; and Nikita Uggla, who plays Felice, has African origins. Both Carmen Gloria Pérez and the character she plays, Linda, Simon and Sara’s mom, are Latinas that immigrated to Scandinavia, while Omar Rudberg, who plays Simon, was born in Venezuela and moved to Sweden with his mom when he was 6. And these are just a few examples, to avoid spoilers.
Also, “Young Royals” is a Swedish show, so that is the predominant language spoken in it, but Simon, Sara and Linda sometimes speak in Spanish with each other, especially at home, and Madison, Felice’s roommate and friend played by Nathalie Varli, only speaks in English. And here’s a fun fact for you: if you watch the series with English dubs, you’ll notice that they’re mostly done by the actual cast!
4) Soundtrack And Cinematography
The show is beautiful in many different ways. When it comes to aesthetics, the cinematography is brilliant and allows the emotions – of the characters, and the ones intended by the writers and directors – to go through the screen and reach the viewer, something that also happens with the soundtrack, with each song fitting perfectly with each moment.
Also, Simon may be Omar Rudberg’s first acting role, but the actor had already established himself as a singer way before “Young Royals”, mostly for being a member of the boyband FO&O between 2013 and 2017, and now for his solo career. And his musical abilities were used during the show, in a couple of different scenes – which can also be considered a reason to watch it.
Since the scenario for most of the show is a school, a uniform is worn during certain moments, but it’s mostly in formal instances. In “normal” day-to-day, all the characters have pretty distinct styles outside the burgundy blazers, and this includes the ones that don’t frequent Hillerska as well. Here, we have to cite Felice’s friend group, Madison, Fredrika (Mimmi Cyon), and Stella (Felicia Truedsson), and Simon’s purple hoodie, which has become an iconic piece among fans.
6) Crew Behind The Cameras
Everyone involved with “Young Royals” – cast and crew – is very talented and deserves the recognition. But one of the best things about the show created by Lisa Ambjörn, Camilla Holter, and Lars Beckung, according to fans, is that it’s led, almost entirely, by women.
As directors, we have Rojda Sekersöz and Erika Calmeyer, and in addition to being one of the creators, Lisa Ambjörn is also the head writer. Pia Gradvall and sisters Sofie and Tove Forsman are the writers, and Sara Arrhusius is the intimacy coordinator, a very important role in any show, but especially ones with intimate and romantic scenes.
7) Season 2 Is Coming
The only bad thing according to most fans? It’s too short! The show only has 6 episodes with around 40-50 minutes each, but thankfully, it has already been renewed, and even though we have to wait a while for it, we are officially getting more “Young Royals”!
So, has this made you want to watch the show? We hope the answer is yes. And if it is, enjoy the time you have while season 2 doesn’t come out to watch it as many times as you want!
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