Netflix Offers Up the Wonderful ‘Rita’

by Lisa Waugh

If Linda Hamilton were Danish, smoked and was a slutty private school teacher, she’d be Rita. Or if Fergie were really skinny. This well made TV series is currently lighting up Netflix and is worth a watch. All 8 episodes are fresh, fun and full of terrific acting.

Mille Dinesen as Rita

Big distractions are the language… I’m a jerk who only speaks English so Danish makes me chortle. It’s just a wacky language. Like everyone is trying to spit out the Os in the alphabet soup. Plus, all that Ikea furniture.

Mille Dinesen makes acting look easy as she maneuvers through all the sea changes of her character. Her run in Rita could have been over the top but ends up being satisfying with each revealed layer.

Rita’s children are played by Morten Vang Simonsen, Sara Hjort Ditlevsen and Nikolaj Groth. All great turns as her nearly grown children who have learned to accept their non-conformist mother.

As Rita smokes openly on the playground of the school where she teaches, she doesn’t ponder her ongoing fuck buddy affair with the school’s principle, Rasmus, or her lack of tact. Rita’s mind tends to wander in the direction of whether her youngest son, Jeppe, is a top or a bottom after his recent coming out.

Her sidekick is the delightful Hjørdis, played by Lise Baastrup. We see education in the private sector of Denmark through her wide-eyed enthusiasm. And the only real grownup is Helle, Ellen Hillingsø, who is sometimes quite right but she’s such a spoil sport about it all, you wonder how many cats she has at home perched on her karlstad.

Rita is the teacher I would have loved. Anarchist at heart, whip smart and a bit of a whore. She gets an A+.

Get ready to snicker at the Danish. Cause I’m like 10.