Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Jenny and Cecilia are two respectable, married women with nearly grown children who are looking forward to secure retirements in a few years.  When circumstances threaten their orderly plans, they decide to do something radical in the delightful Swedish series The Simple Heist, now available from Acorn TV.

Jenny has new found money worries.  A high school math teacher is never highly paid, but she and her husband Gunnar are comfortably off.  Then she has an affair with a younger chemistry teacher at her school (not a physics teacher, as everyone seems to think) and Gunnar files for divorce.  Even this upheaval doesn't worry Jenny too much -- until she discovers there's a long-forgotten prenuptial agreement that effectively cuts her out of the family assets.  With no home and a limited income, her future prospects are also looking bleak.

Cecilia works as a gastroenterologist and shouldn't have to worry about finances.  Her husband, Jan, has left all the (boring) money issues for Cecilia to sort out.  Meanwhile, he has been searching for their dream retirement house in Provence.  Now that he's found it, he's anxious to put in a bid so that they can
make their dreams a reality.   The only problem is that Cecilia has invested their life savings into some risky stocks, which have recently crashed. Since she never bothered to mention this investment to Jan, he has no idea that they have no money at all to fund their retirement, let alone buy a French hideaway.

At this time, one of Cecilia's patients is told that his cancer treatments are no longer working and he has very little time left.  He's very disappointed because he's worked out the perfect crime.  Since he won't be around to carry it out, he asks if Cecilia would like to take it over instead?  She becomes intrigued and learns that her patient has worked out an "easy" bank to rob.  He knows that their security hasn't been updated, and unlike many banks in Sweden, it still gets regular deliveries of large sums of cash.  He even has blueprints for the layout of the inside of the bank.  At first, Cecilia and Jenny laugh off the suggestion, but as they contemplate their various financial problems, it begins to seem like a more attractive proposition.

While they work out their plans for the robbery, there are many issues to consider.  Cecilia thinks they need a gun to look like authentic robbers, but Jenny isn't so sure.  They must arrange disguises and the getaway car.  The bank is also in Stockholm, which is not where they live, so they must also come up with excuses to miss work.

In the meantime, they also have personal problems that keep intruding.  Jenny's daughter Harriett has boyfriend problems and keep showing up unexpectedly.  The chemistry teacher who caused Jenny's divorce is also interested in continuing their relationship, but Jenny has more pressing matters to attend to.  Cecilia feels overlooked and under appreciated at her job.  Her application to be chief of staff was laughed off and her supervisor is tracking her arrivals and departures from work to the minute.

While worry about their immediate financial problems is the main catalyst for the robbery, the women are also upset at being viewed as no longer important by society.  They feel invisible as older women and therefore think (as does the dying patient who told them about the robbery) that they are the perfect people to pull off the heist since they are the least likely suspects.

As someone who watches a lot of programs from Sweden, I was excited to recognize Jenny (Lotta Tejle) from "Thirty Degrees in February" and the Swedish pop star Lena Philipsson as the somewhat testy hospital supervisor. I enjoyed seeing all the planning that went into pulling off the robbery and all of the suspense as they put their plan into action.  The cover of the DVD says, "Series 1" so I wonder what sort of "master criminals" Cecilia and Jenny will turn out to be in future adventures!

Disclaimer: I received a copy of The Simple Heist from Acorn Media in exchange for this review

About Me

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I'm a librarian who is interested in all things British. I try to visit London as often as possible, and am always planning my next trip. I lived in Sweden for a few years with my Swedish husband, so the occasional Swedish reference may occur . . .

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