‘It takes on complex themes through a multi-layered character’

Distributor Viaplay Content Sales
Producers Monster Scripted
Length 6 x 25 minutes
Broadcasters Viaplay (Nordics and various territories)

Below is a Norwegian comedy drama about a young woman called Fanny whose life is turned upside down when she is involved in a serious traffic collision.

Her best friend Kurt is killed in the accident and she is left paralysed from the waist down. Traumatised, she is forced to live with her estranged sister.

Below_Still_05_Håvard Byrkjeland

Ordered by streaming platform Viaplay, the show “challenges your expectations at every turn”, according to group chief content officer Filippa Wallestam.

“It takes on complex themes through a multi-layered character – and the more Fanny pushes away everything around her, the closer you’re drawn to her. It has the makings of a huge hit, locally and internationally,” she says.

The series was created and written by rising star Tina Rygh (Sigurd Can’t Get Laid; Basic Bitch). “I started by wanting to explore how we react to people who are grieving,” Rygh says. “I was interested in the way people find it difficult to know what to say and how to act around someone who is suffering.”

Below_Still_03_Håvard Byrkjeland

Rygh says making a series about people in crisis is “a fruitful starting point for painful, intimate and embarrassing encounters”. Because Fanny is paralysed, she is forced to engage with people against her will.

“She wants to be left alone – even by people who love her,” Rygh says. “But because of what has happened, she is stuck in a situation where she is reliant on other people and forced to interact.

“Comedy is a great way of tricking audiences. They think they are in a safe space then suddenly the mood becomes serious. Humour pushes people to challenge themselves.”

Below_Still_01_Håvard Byrkjeland

The show, which stars Maria Austgulen (Made In Oslo) as Fanny, debuted in Viaplay territories in August. “Buyers around the world are already showing interest,” says Alexandra Aldred, vice-president and head of content distribution at Viaplay Content Sales.

The series “is yet another prime example of why the Nordic approach to storytelling is getting more and more attention from viewers worldwide: realistic, deglamourised and authentic characters that are under-represented on screen,” she adds.