" lang="en-US"> Foreign TV Alert: The Legacy | vermicious

Foreign TV Alert: The Legacy

This family drama from Denmark is the best thing out of the country since Borgen, taking the idea of familial dysfunction and adding multiple layers to it. When a world famous artist dies suddenly, she leaves her children to deal with the mess she has wrought.

Part of this mess includes the inadequate tools to get through life that she passed onto her kids — these are not bad people, just hopeless in their understanding of how to interact with other — but also the revelation of a daughter thought lost to the family, and who sends their expected inheritances spinning.

What follows is a parade of back-stabbing and clinginess, of self-preservation and victimhood, with particularly excellent performances from Carsten Bjørnlund as Frederick, the son who’s about to collapse under the weight of years of suppression of anger, Trine Dyrholm as Gro, the daughter who was raised as her mother’s personal assistant and has little sense of her own identity, and Jesper Christensen as Thomas, Gro’s father, an experimental musician who has little sense of what responsibility entails.

The tag line could easily be “Her sculptures were perfect, but her family was a mess.”

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