Shows Like ‘A Nearly Normal Family’ To Watch If You Liked The Netflix Swedish Series

Netflix’s latest miniseries, A Nearly Normal Family, based on M.T. Edvardsson’s best-selling novel, starts with a bang but ends up stumbling. It revolves around Stella Sandell (Alexandra Karlsson Tyrefors), a girl accused of killing her boyfriend, Chris, with all the evidence pointing towards her. Despite the prosecution pushing for maximum jail time, she’s released on a technicality. The series sets up high expectations for Stella’s parents, Adam (Björn Bengtsson) and Ulrika (Lo Kauppi), hinting that they’ve got some big shoes to fill. Sadly, both ended up as just a bickering couple with limited impact. Despite this, A Nearly Normal Family manages to be a decent watch, keeping you entertained. If you’re in the mood for something similar, here’s a list to try your luck with.


Broadchurch (2013)

Broadchurch made headlines when it premiered, breaking records and winning hearts. It had everything that was expected of a top-notch series, from a convincing story to stellar writing and acting. David Tennant and Olivia Colman, leading the cast, delivered outstanding performances. The show’s impressive cinematography could easily have you questioning whether you’re watching a British drama or a high-budget Fincher film. I know this, as I found myself asking that very question.

Across its three seasons, Broadchurch isn’t your average, run-of-the-mill whodunit but a rollercoaster of twists and turns. Set in the town of Broadchurch, the first season follows detectives Alec Hardy and Ellie Miller as they investigate the murder of a boy named Danny Latimer. The detectives thought it was an open-and-shut case, but it quickly transformed into a complex investigation. As the series goes on, the detectives start poking into the lives of everyone in town because they’ve got secrets.

Broadchurch and A Nearly Normal Family might seem different, but they’re on the same wavelength. The entire premise is that a case that looks clear-cut is actually much more complicated. Both shows dig into what happens to people when someone they know gets slapped with a murder charge. Like A Nearly Normal Family, Broadchurch doesn’t just try to solve the murder mystery. It also shows us how crime messes with the people who are caught up in it.


Sharp Objects (2018)

The next one on our list is Sharp Objects, which introduces us to an equally flawed protagonist as Stella Sandell. The film revolves around Camille Preaker (Amy Adams), a journalist who, like Stella, is haunted by a troubled memory. These memories are so haunting that she sometimes ends up hurting herself willingly. Parker is hurled to Wind Gap, a place where she grew up, to write an article on the girls that’ve been murdered. She starts her probe and soon realizes that this town hides secrets of its own. Sharp Objects and A Nearly Normal Family are both based on best-selling novels. Also, if you look at it from the main character’s perspective, they’re like two peas in a pod. Stella and Preaker are both flawed, fighting their own demons and dealing with messed-up relationships. Stella is haunted by a memory of her sexual assault, while Preaker turns to self-harm whenever she remembers her past. 


Defending Jacob (2020)

This Apple TV miniseries might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it sure deserves to be on the list. In Defending Jacob, we meet Jacob (Jaeden Martell), who was put in handcuffs. Why? The cops alleged that Jacob was guilty of murdering his friend. As the investigation unfolds, the cops unearth some serious evidence that promises to send Jacob away for good. Similar to A Nearly Normal Family, Defending Jacob shows how these kinds of allegations could ruin or threaten the family’s reputation. In Stella’s case, Adam’s reputation takes a nosedive when she is arrested for murdering Chris. In Jacob’s situation, his father, Andy (Chris Evans), has to go to great lengths to defend his son in court. Both stories show how far parents will go to shield their family, even if it means crossing the line. They won’t flinch, even if they have to commit a crime themselves.


Witch at Court (2017)

While not directly similar to A Nearly Normal Family, Witch at Court has all the elements to earn a spot on this list. This Korean courtroom drama isn’t your typical romantic distraction. Rather, it shows how dark and depraved society has become. Witch at Court also talks about the fragility of the legal system. It criticizes the idea that the culprits can walk free due to lack of proper evidence or legal technicalities. Witch at Court is about Ma Yi-Deum (Jung Ryeo-won), a young lawyer who’s basically a legal rockstar because she hasn’t lost a single case. She also has a nickname, Witch, because she plays by her own rules. Yi-Deum confidently bends the rules and plants evidence to win her cases. Yi-Deum’s career reaches its pinnacle when she’s in charge of a unit dealing with sexual offense cases.

Similar to A Nearly Normal Family, Witch at Court dabbles with a multitude of serious themes. This includes sexual harassment, assault, and rape. It also looks into the legal hurdles that people face when they’re trying to get justice. If you want my opinion, it’s not exactly a feel-good watch. But if you like shows that show the true nature of society, this one’s worth checking out.


Lawless Lawyer (2018)

Next on our list is Lee Joon-gi’s Lawless Lawyer, but rather than focusing on the defendant or plaintiff, this series focuses on a lawyer who, like Yi-Deum, believes in bending the rules to get the job done. The main attraction is Bong Sang-Pil, who, before becoming a lawyer, was a hot-headed thug. The entire reason why Bong Sang-Pil dons the black robe is to bring her mother’s killer to justice. The irony is that Song-Pil soon realizes that the justice system is way too corrupt and frail to provide justice to those who actually need it. Thus, Sang-Pil solves cases by using his fists rather than attending court hearings. Lee Joon-Gi is excellent in his role as Sang-Pil, and it complements his onscreen chemistry with Seo Ye Ji, who walks in the shoes of Ha Jae Yi. As for its parallels with Netflix’s A Nearly Normal Family, this drama follows a protagonist who takes matters into their own hands after the legal system fails them. For instance, Stella killed Chris to save Amina, while Sang-Pil exploits the already-broken legal system to get his revenge. Lawless Lawyer spans ten episodes, but trust me, by the end, you’ll be asking, “Why not more?”


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Rishabh Shandilya
Rishabh Shandilya
Rishabh considers himself a superhero who is always at work trying to save the world from boredom. In his leisure time, he loves to watch more movies and play video games and tries to write about them to entertain his readers further. Rishabh likes to call himself a dedicated fan of Haruki Murakami, whose books are an escape from his real being.

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