Rita: The Idealist
December 19, 2015 12:45 PM - Season 1, Episode 1 - Subscribe

Rita is a 40-something single mother of three and a teacher. She rents an old caretaker's house adjacent to the low-stakes school where she has worked for the last 14 years. Rita is unconventional, headstrong, fiercly protective of her charges, and somewhat in need of help herself.

Rita is a three seaon Danish comedy-drama on Netflix featuring Mille Dinesen in her award winning role as the fallible Rita.

In episode one, we meet Rita; some school staff members and students; Rita's children, Ricco, Molly and Jeppe, and Ricco's girlfriend Bitten. We also meet Bitten's parents, Jette and Tom when they come to dinner to meet Ricco's family, but for Rita and Tom it was not their first meeting.
posted by Thella (7 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I have been enjoying this show immensely. Mille Dinesen's facial expressions cover a lot of the dialogue and her exploits, and her reflections on them are... interesting

Other main characters at the school include Rufus the principal, Helle, the school counsellor, Hjørdis, a new teacher with a love of Nordic history, and Rosa a committed student.

If you like listening to 40-something women making life on the own terms, and if you like watching a sassy woman walking down corridors and across sports fields looking like she owned the place, then this series might just be for you.
posted by Thella at 1:56 PM on December 19, 2015

It's a great show, just to add my endorsement. Viewers are also highly likely to learn how to say "thank you" in Danish.[1]

There were rumors going around at one point that there was going to be a U.S. adaptation with Anna Gunn (Breaking Bad) in the title role, but that seems to have begun and ended with a single TV movie that I cannot locate and consequently have not seen. (Not sure how well it would have worked anyway, as it seems to me like the Danish sensibility is often critical to the story. But I like Anna Gunn and would probably really like her in something like this so I still want this to happen.)

There's also a spinoff (available on Netflix at one time; I haven't checked lately), called Hjørdis, which is less good and doesn't involve Mille Dinesen at all.


[1] (Tak. But it's all about the way it's said.)
posted by Spathe Cadet at 8:35 AM on December 21, 2015 [1 favorite]

Adding my endorsement too. (I've seen every episode and also Hjørdis and then several shows that used the same actors)
posted by Obscure Reference at 5:25 PM on December 24, 2015 [1 favorite]

Late to the party, but wanted to add links to the theme songs of both series, because they're so singable.

(Lise Baastrup, who plays Hjørdis, sings her theme. Chock full of spoilers, only one whinny, no flint.)

Rita with lyrics, and the original video.
posted by merelyglib at 2:59 PM on February 28, 2016

Just getting around to watching this now--it's very enjoyable. Mille Dinesen really is the reason it succeeds though Hjordis is quite delightful too!
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 11:03 AM on February 11, 2017

Rita was uncancelled for a fourth season in 2017 (available on netflix), and a fifth season is currently being broadcast.

I've forgotten all the convolutions the relationships on this series went through (I made many droppings), so it's time for a rewatch!
posted by polytope subirb enby-of-piano-dice at 3:20 AM on July 9, 2020

I've been watching this as a brain/palate cleanser. It's kind of simple but fun.
posted by fleacircus at 11:19 PM on October 11, 2020

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