'Ragnarok' Season 1 - TV Series

"Ragnarok" is a Norwegian TV series made for Netflix that became available in January of 2020. It sees a family - sons Magne (David Stakston) and Laurits (Jonas Strand Gravli) and mother Turid (Henriette Steenstrup) returning to their family home in the small town of Edda. Magne slowly discovers that he's somehow become incredibly strong. Of course, he's still awkward at school. But we also find out that the local factory that employs half the town is A) polluting horribly (although they deny it and get away with it) and B) run by giants (who look like people but are very old). We see the two brothers try to settle into a school where neither of them fits terribly well, and whose principal is the wife of the town's industrialist (ie. one of the giants). Accusations fly over a death in the first episode, and much is made of the state of the environment.

The basic concept of a dyslexic and socially awkward teen re-incarnation of Thor is intriguing, but the execution is uneven and problematic. The series is six episodes of roughly an hour each. The problem is that the pace is too slow for what's achieved, and the inclusion of environmental concerns seems like an awkward add-on that just ... doesn't quite fit. I don't like that this is blaming an external entity for environmental harm: we did this to ourselves and will have to get ourselves out of it. I also don't agree with the conflation of pollution and climate change: some pollution causes climate change, but not heavy metals in the environment as is the focus here. They imply that climate change is a local phenomena. The end of the season finally sees a fight (which doesn't even manage to be conclusive) that we should have seen around episode three if the pacing hadn't been so slow.

My first preference in TV when it comes to the re-incarnation of the Norse gods is the impressively goofy but very entertaining "The Almighty Johnsons." They're not in quite the same category as the latter is more of a comedy, but ... this one could have used more comedy, taking itself far too seriously.