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Canberra Today 3°/5° | Friday, August 19, 2022 | Digital Edition | Crossword & Sudoku

Full-on show that refuses to slow down

Bill Skarsgård as Clark Olofsson in Netflix’s six-parter “Clark”.












From the get-go, says streaming columnist NICK OVERALL, “Clark” is straight out the gate and refuses to slow down.

THE term “Stockholm Syndrome” is no simple coincidence.

Nick Overall.

It was a bank robbery in Sweden’s capital city in 1973 that inspired the name for this intriguing psychological phenomenon where hostages develop an emotional bond with their captors. 

The famous heist, the Norrmalmstorg robbery, saw four bank employees held captive inside a vault for six terrifying days, their lives at multiple points hanging by a thread.

And yet, when it was all over, the hostages not only refused to testify against their captors in court, they actively raised money to fund their defence.

How and why? Netflix’s new Swedish six-parter “Clark” gets psychoanalytical on it all.

Bill Skarsgård brings a creepy charm to the role of Clark Olofsson, a crook who, along with accomplice Jan-Erik Olsson, got tied up in the robbery that took place in the centre of Sweden’s capital city.

From the get-go “Clark” rewinds to the upbringing of the series’ eponymous thief, trying to dissect his actions from a young age and setting the stage for his eventual crimes.

Viewers are slung into a bizarre, yet entertaining intro that will quickly filter out those who won’t go for the rest of the show’s hyper-stylised approach.

From its first episode, titled “Being the Best at Being the Best Was Not My Thing, So I Decided to Be the Best at Being the Worst”, the show is straight out the gate and refuses to slow down.

The moments of the protagonist’s life are jumped between so quickly and in such a mishmash of styles it’s like every paintbrush in the set is being whipped at the canvas. 

In Clark’s broken childhood, the colour is drained out to black and white. In others, as a rebellious teenager on the run from police, things are saturated into a lurid brightness in an attempt to capture the adrenaline he gets out of breaking the law.

What we get is not so much a factual recount of Clark’s life, but one that seems more interested in how this narcissistic crook saw himself and the world he inhabited. It feels more like we’re inside Clark’s mind than out of it.

The result is quite the colourful end product, a canvas that at the finale of all this stylistic patchwork and criminal glorification is messy, but intriguing to look at nonetheless.

MEANWHILE this month, Disney Plus has dropped some more catnip for caped crusader fans.

“Ms. Marvel” is the seventh television show in the relentless barrage of Marvel Cinematic Universe content that Disney continues to pump out.

This series follows Kamala Khan, a seemingly ordinary 16-year-old fangirl of the Avengers played by Pakistani-Canadian actress Iman Vellani who’s no doubt set to be a big star.

While on a trip to “AvengerCon”, a convention dedicated to worshipping and dressing up as Earth’s mightiest heroes, the teen’s world is turned upside down when she discovers she herself has superpowers.

In an era where many super-hero affairs go for dark and gritty, “Ms. Marvel” happily flies in the opposite direction by trying to return some joyous family adventure to the genre.

The atmosphere of childhood wonder is akin to DC Comics’ 2019 flick “Shazam” (on Binge), which of course also has a promised sequel on the way.

“Ms. Marvel” is some innocent, if twee fun, that will no doubt be a hit for many families who have closely followed the Marvel universe. For others fatigued with the genre, it may not quite save the day.

All the happy-clappy in the show does look rather ridiculous as it releases its weekly episodes right alongside Amazon Prime Video’s “The Boys”, a wickedly smart satire that makes a mockery of the superhero fluff on display in Disney’s ever-expanding franchise.

With a fourth season of this cynical hit on the way, one can almost hear the pens of “The Boys” writing room scratching away in light of Disney’s newest offering. They’ll no doubt be having an absolute field day with the idea of “AvengerCon”.


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Thank you,

Ian Meikle, editor

Nick Overall

Nick Overall

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