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Misantropolis: A New Hope for Scandinavian Youth Drama

According to the Danish newspaper ‘Information’ the young people are more unhappy about life than ever before, more stressed than older generations – and that’s despite the fact that we never have had so many opportunities for ourselves. So welcome the competitive state, in which you are your own fortune and it’s exclusively your own responsibility to have success, love and personal balance. The competitive state, fear of being insignificant and general boy-trouble are all themes that are being touched in the new TV-series Misantropolis.

Sebastian (Leading character), Christopher Krøyer Magelund (Director) and Mads Schnoor (Producer) had vision and drive. A drive to tell a new story about the miserable life’s of young people. A life which is not always fun and games, but where you are taking real issues in consideration, but still with a sense of humor – namely the bittersweetness of life. A show made by young people for young people. Finally, some credibility from the consignor. The name ‘Misantropolis’ is a contraction between ‘Misanthrope’ and ‘Polis’ it stands for the city that hates people. But it is also a state of mind, where you feel like everything is against you – especially the city. A state of mind where your surroundings are so big, that you and your self-esteem feel small. Although the series is produced in Aarhus, it is not a direct reference to Aarhus but to bigger cities in general and how they make you feel. About the urban life and how it can effect you in a self destructing and negative way.

The story takes Sebastian and his issues (Sebastian Gerdes) in consideration. Sebastian’s want’s to be significant and interesting as human, but like all human-beings who aims to be unique – he thinks he is just another regular, boring and stereotyped youngster with an ambition. Lena Dunham (Girls) thinks that she is a voice of her generation, or at least a voice of some generation – Sebastian is actually a voice of a generation. An important voice of a generation that proclaims to be the happiest people in the world, though it’s a fact that the younger generation is the most unhappy of all times. The absurdity about the contrast is too high – and life for the young generation and for Sebastian, both on television and in real life is indeed bittersweet.

In the beginning of the first episode, Sebastian looses his girlfriend because she finds him too boring. A nightmare for a teenager who thinks he is unique. He lies to himself and his friend and tells that he is different than other guys. He thinks that the other guys do a lot of activities with their girlfriends constantly, to compensate for the fact that they are boring at home. Still, he is heartbroken but with a chance to shine. He gets the opportunity to play as a DJ at a local club. Obviously nervous, but still with some confidence he get’s on the stage to rock the house, only to find out that the sound is only is his headphones and not in the speakers. A symbol that his own self-destructing thoughts are constantly awake, and the real audience neither understand nor hear him. Suddenly on the middle of the stage he is overexposed and naked, and his ex-girlfriend is there to scream in an evil tone that he is boring. Luckily it is just a dream, but feeling overexposed and embarrassed is a constant state of his minds. Without spoiling too much of the plot for the first episode, Sebastian will chock the audience again later on and he will eventually get out of his boring comfort-zone but without loosing his character.

The series are created by young enthusiast filmmakers, who are all willing to work free in order to create a project they believe in. They believe in it so much, that they have been publishing it for free on Vimeo so everybody can enjoy it. Though they aim to sell it at some point, it so far has been an expensive gift to the people from the crew to create the series. They believe so much in the project, that they keep on producing more to the people . From the 1st December, the first two episodes will be online on their Misantropolis Vimeo account with English subtitles for foreigners to enjoy.

I enjoy spotting new potential dramas and comedy, especially when it’s a combination between those two genres, namely a Dramady. A genre that intends to portrait the real life and drama of the people with a sense of absurd and trustworthy humor to it. The actor Sebastian is called Sebastian in real life and both Director, Producer and Sebastian himself sees resemblance of the real Sebastian and the fictionalized Sebastian. Both the same person, but with different views on life and the environment that surrounds them. I like when you can see the actor’s personality within the portrayed character, it makes the series authentic and realistic. I’m impressed with the series, and I think it’s a strong portrayal of the weak and unique generation of our time.

CategoriesFeatures Issue 7
Sandra Fijn van Draat

Sandra Fijn van Draat is pursuing her passion for film making by studying Multiplatform- Storytelling and Production in Århus, Denmark.