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Series / Solsidan

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Solsidan (literal English translation: The Sunny Side) is a Swedish comedy series that has been running since 2010, which takes place in the titular detached area in Saltsjöbaden, Stockholms län. The show follows a cast consisting of several married couples (and their children). Episodes tend to revolve around how the characters' flaws, big or small, lead to conflicts - apart from when the problems are caused by clumsiness or genuine misunderstandings. In order:
  • Alex (the dentist) is very shy and almost too nice, to the point where he can't reject people's requests no matter how necessary it is.
  • Anna (Alex' wife, an actress) sometimes thinks too highly of herself and as a result treats others too roughly at times.
  • Alex' childhood friend Fredrik, sometimes called "Fredde", is a very wealthy stockbroker who thinks he is wiser than he actually is, and spoils both his wife and kids.
  • Mikaela (or "Mickan"), Fredrik's beautiful wife, cares a lot about her public image and wants to be seen as the best among her friends.
  • Alex' other childhood friend Ove and his wife Anette are both considered very annoying and boring to the other people who live in the area. It is especially bad in Ove's case due to his seriously odd personality and incapability of telling just how annoying others actually find him to be.

Solsidan provides examples of:

  • Affably Evil: Discussed in one episode when Alex finds out that his uncle Herman, who was a beloved family-member he really got along with, used to be a Nazi soldier. Alex is devastated by finding this out, and Fredrik comments this by saying it is possible to have terrible values and still be a really nice person outside of that. As an example he brings up how his own aunt Inga was a friendly person, but also happened to hate gypsies.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: Ove Sundberg shows signs of Schizotypal Personality Disorder and perhaps some narcissistic features, due to his extreme social awkwardness and seeming inability to realise when he is crossing the line even when others are yelling at him.
  • Asshole Victim:
    • Deconstructed at one instance. Fredrik's cousin-in-law Göran is an obnoxious, whiny, lazy, rude and socially incompetent Manchild and comes to visit Fredrik's family and insists that they should celebrate all swedish traditions - midsummer, crayfish party, easter and even christmas - all at once, humiliating Fredrik while doing so. Fredrik finds out that Göran had something of a concussion once and thus should avoid stress. But because Göran is an asshole, Fredrik takes him to a boat trip and deliberately drives really fast to make Göran feel very stressed and eventually he passes out. The ambulance comes to take Göran and it turns out that he actually had cerebral haemorrhage previously and now became unconscious. As annoying as he was, it is questionable as to how much Göran really was in control of his personality because of his illness. But even then, Fredrik doesn't bother to visit him in the hospital.
    Mickan: How could you do that to him?
    Fredrik: Because he's an asshole! I thought he had a concussion.
    Mickan: He had a stroke, Fredrik!
    Fredrik: Oh... well... Concussion. Stroke. There's a difference, of course...
    Mickan: Yes. It is.
    • Played straight on another instance in the same episode, Ove has caused some big money loss for Alex while he was supposed to do simple shopping. By the end of the day, Alex has had enough of Ove's bullshit and just drives away, leaving Ove alone on the motorway.
    • In an episode from season 6, the kids in Alex's daughter's elementary class are going on a viking-themed schooltrip and the guide treats everyone very poorly, even refusing to give them food and just gives them a fish they can't even cook. Justifying it as "such things appened during the vikings". The same night, Alex and Ove breaks into the guide's trailer and steals all his food. Alex even lampshades this:
    Alex: Normally, this is when I get bad conscience.
  • Bait-and-Switch: Several times. For example:
    • When Fredrik's 10-year-old son Viktor doesn't wants to go to school one morning and says that it is because a teacher is disgusting, Fredrik is shocked and assumes the worst. He asks what the teacher did, emphasising that it's important that Viktor lets him know if it made him that uncomfortable... And Viktor merely replies that "She has bad breath".
    • In another episode, Alex and Anna have to stay at Alex's mother's house for a few days because they couldn't use the water in their own house. At night they hear banging noises through the bedroom wall, causing Alex to suffer from a case of Parental Sexuality Squick. This happens several nights until Alex insists on moving out... But then it turns out that his mother's boyfriend was merely building a baby cradle for Alex and Anna's child.
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: In a scene in the season 5 opening, Mickan (blonde) and Lussan (brunette) attempts to hire a girl called Gina (a redhead).
  • The Bully:
    • Kristian Rapp from season 2 is implied to have been this to Fredrik in their youth. Although he isn’t seen holding any clear ill will towards Fredrik now that they are adults, Fredrik still hates him.
    • Suzy from season 6 is this towards Mickan. Mickan holds as much ill will towards her as Suzy does to her. In the finale they seem to have started to get along better, and Mickan genuinely forgives her and even thinks of her as a friend, but Suzy still spreads false gossip about Mickan behind her back.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Ove and Anette, Anna’s parents, and Leif Andrée’s character (from season 5).
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: Ove, because of how annoying and egotistical he is (seemingly without ever realising it himself).
  • Disability as an Excuse for Jerkassery: Discussed in one episode where Fredrik explains that there is this unwritten rule that if people have some kind of disability they are somehow allowed to be how awful and/or obnoxious as they are without anyone being permitted to criticize them. He mentions his own cousin-in-law as an example, as he is a completer Jerkass Manchild, but because he had something of an accident and became ill, he is allowed to behave however he wants with nobody being able to complain.
  • Greed: One of Ove's many bad traits; he gladly takes stuff from others or makes them somehow pay for stuff he buys but never gives anything back.
  • Grey-and-Gray Morality: No character is perfect; everyone has flaws that tends to create problems, and they very often blame those same problems on others.
    • This isn't Played for Drama though. If anything, it is an aspect of the show's comedy since the character's flaws tend to create silly conflicts for each episode.
  • Gold Digger:
    • Zig-Zagged with Mickan. Although it is stated several times that she only married Fredrik for the financial security, she actually does expess genuine feelings for him in several episodes, such as feeling uncomfortable when they try to live separately. It is lampshaded by their own son Viktor in season 6.
    • Mickan’s friend Lussan, however, plays it straight; she bonds with an old ugly man solely because of his wealth (and him happening to know influential people).
  • Hate Sink: Björn from season 5, a counselor who deliberately gives bad advice to married couples in order to try to date the wife, which is a great contrast to how the show otherwise tends to depict fairly lighthearted issues. He attempts to do this with Fredde and Mickan and almost succeeds.
  • It's All About Me: Mickan tends to have this attitude. She cares very much about her social image and often does things just to make herself more popular among her friends.
    • Ove certainly has this mindset as well.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Mickan often appears as an adult Alpha Bitch but nevertheless has moments of genuine careness, especially towards the later seasons. See Lovable Alpha Bitch below.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Jerk: ...On the other hand she also can appear as this at times. For example, when Fredrik tell tells her that he might have cancer, her first reaction is that there are more people than him in the family and that nobody might be there to provide for her and the kids.
    • Ove again. Most of his acts of supposed kindness is actually self-serving first and foremost.
  • Large Ham: Ove Sundberg. He has a very odd personality and is the type of person who tries too hard to be funny all the time but instead just comes off as annoying. Nevertheless, he has a tendency to steal the scene whenever he appears.
  • Leitmotif: "I'm so happy" by Salem Al Fakir.
  • Lovable Alpha Bitch: Mickan. She thinks highly of herself, thinks her social status is very important and sometimes even appears as a gold digger. But she nevertheless has her moments of careness and is shown to genuinely love her husband and family.
  • Never My Fault: The main characters very often tend to blame others for screw-ups that they themselves actually committed.
    • Played for Drama in one episode where Fredrik and Mickan are having a huge fight because their weekend was ruined, and they start blaming on eachother and their faults.
  • Nice Guy: Deconstructed with Alex; he is very nice and shy to a fault, and the fact that he finds it hard to decline or say ”no” to others often creates problems for him and Anna.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: A recurring trope that creates conflicts for each episode, as the characters tend to either misunderstand things or each other, overthink things, trying too hard to impress others or simply make unsmart moves. It also happens almost literally in the season 1 finale; while Anna is giving birth, Alex asks Fredrik a favor to get the carpenters to renovate the bathroom while they’re gone. However, Fredrik mishears this and believes Alex wants them to renovate the baby's roomExplanation . Fredrik does not realise his mistake until the carpenters already have started on the wrong room - and then calls the carpenters “idiots”, which makes them leave for good. Fredrik is then stuck with having to fix the torn down baby’s room.
  • Noble Bigot: Discussed. Alex's uncle Herman was a beloved family-member but also used to be a soldier for Nazi Germany. Fredrik's aunt Inga was also supposedly a wonderful person, apart from being against gypsies. See Affably Evil above.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Happens regularly. Many of the episodes conflicts happens because a main character misunderstood another, often because they wheren't making themselves clear.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Alex delivers a very harsh one to Ove in the third episode of season one after one too many boneheaded requests.
    Alex: For fuck's sake, Ove! What don’t you understand?! Don’t you get that I don’t have time for you right now?! I have like eighty-seven more important things to do than to hang with you. I’m gonna take care of my pregnant wife, that’s more important. I’m gonna buy a new stroller, that’s more important. I’m gonna take a shit - even that is more important!
    Ove: But I just thought that-
    Alex: You’re not supposed to "think"! You should go home and ask yourself why nobody wants to hang out with you! You know why? Because you’re annoying and greedy - two not-so-charming characteristics! "Hi, my name is Ove and I’m annoying and greedy. Wanna hang out?" "Oh, sure!" ... NOT!
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Kristian Rapp, Fredrik’s high school bully, moves back to Saltis for a short while and then moves out again later the same month because of how much Ove got on his nerves.
  • The Smart Guy: Deconstructed with Fredrik. While he has managed to make a living for himself with stocks, he likes to think he is smarter and more experienced than he really is within other subjects as well. As a result he has a tendency to give Alex advice which either makes things worse or just creates other problems without improving the original situation.

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