The highly-anticipated stateside premiere of Swedish drama Beartown is two weeks away, and HBO released today the limited series’ trailer and episode synopses.
Based on New York Times bestselling author Fredrik Backman‘s (A Man Called Ove) novel of the same name, Beartown (Björnstad) centers on a floundering community in Sweden that places its dreams of revitalization on the shoulders of the town’s junior ice hockey team. Boosted by their new professional athlete-turned-coach and a rising young hockey star, the team finally has a shot at winning a national title. But the heavy burden on the boys becomes the catalyst for a violent act that will leave a young girl traumatized and a town in turmoil.
Chilling and honest, the series explores family trauma, teenage romance, truths and lies, actions and consequences, and ultimately, the courage it takes to go against the group and stand up for justice.
The five-episode limited series from HBO Europe stars Ulf Stenberg (Before We Die), Aliette Opheim (Thicker Than Water, Tobias Zilliacus (Gåsmamman), Miriam Ingrid (Day Trip), and newcomer Oliver Dufåker. Additional cast members includes Otto Fahlgren, Alfons Nordberg, Erik Lundqvist, Rasmus Karlsson, Najdat Rustom, Jacob Nordenson (Beck), Charlotta Jonsson (Wallander), Sanna Niemi, Lukas Wetterberg, Frida Sandberg, Mikael Odhag (The Threat), Anna Azcárate (The Hunters), Tomas Bergström (Red Dot), Einar Bredefeldt (White Wall), and Gustav Lindh (Love Me).
Episode 1 — Monday, February 22, 9-10 PM ET/PT
On a mission to rejuvenate the struggling community’s ice hockey program, recently retired pro player Peter Andersson (Ulf Stenberg) relocates his family to Beartown for a fresh start. But when the elite squad he was promised proves to be anything but, Peter switches his focus to the junior team, aggravating local tensions and reigniting his troubled past with star player Kevin Erdahl’s (Oliver Dufåker) father, Mats (Tobias Zilliacus).
Episode 2 — Monday, March 1, 9-10 PM ET/PT
With the financial future of the arena at stake, Peter does everything he can to coach his juniors to a semi-final win. Facing pressure from everyone in town to perform, Kevin turns to the only person who expects nothing from him: Maya (Miriam Ingrid). Later, a celebratory evening goes awry after a horrific act of violence occurs.
Episode 3 — Monday, March 8, 9-10 PM ET/PT
With the finals rapidly approaching, Peter pushes his team and coaching staff to their limits. Meanwhile, as Maya attempts to work through the assault, Kevin does everything he can to forget. Later, Peter must choose between his family and the big game.
Episode 4 — Monday, March 15, 9-10 PM ET/PT
While Maya and Kevin provide their statements to the police, the junior team is forced to take on the final without their coach and star player. Meanwhile, news of the allegation threatens to tear Beartown apart, and later, Amat (Najdat Rustom) grapples with a loaded offer.
Episode 5 — Monday, March 22, 9-10 PM ET/PT
The entire hockey community gathers for an emergency meeting to decide Peter’s future with the program. Facing increased hostility from the town and harassment at school, Maya reaches her breaking point. Later, after the police close their investigation, Maya and Kevin square off in a chilling confrontation.
A production of Filmlance for HBO Europe, Beartown is directed by Peter Grönlund (Goliath, Drifters), and adapted by Emmy®-winning writer Anders Weidemann (30 Degrees in February, Interrogation), Antonia Pyk (Beck, Blue Eyes), and Linn Gottfridsson (The Simple Heist, Arne Dahl). Filmlance’s Bonnie Skoog Feeney and Mattias Arehn are producers. The executive producers are Fredrik Backman, and Hanne Palmquist, Steve Matthews, and Antony Root for HBO Europe.
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