Prince Wilhelm adjusts to life at his prestigious new boarding school, where his power, fame and royal expectations create tension around the fact that he’s falling head first in love with a charming, middle-class Spanish boy who sings in the choir and is inadvertently causing trouble of his own.
This Swedish Netflix Originals show is PERFECT for those of us who love and miss SKAM. The music is impeccable, the sound editing is flawless, the use of lighting is so quietly genius. The storyline is fun, the cast makes it extraordinary and intricate. The main characters’ acting is particularly fantastic: the awkwardness! the chemistry! the tenderness! The boy who plays August gives us rowing team desperate cocky douchebag like his life truly depends on it, because the character feels like it does.
It feels like such an accurate depiction of that high school boarding school vibe: the low-budget, high-enthusiasm brand of debauchery that comes with whatever alcohol we have access to combined with whatever half-used packs of pills we can find. The way Simon’s breathtaking talent for singing is sidelined to his “socialist” views and class status always until they need his voice front and center for choir performances; and the way Wilhelm sees and values him for both without judgment, equally. The tiny but meaningful physical, logistical and practical ways Simon and Wille are there for each other, and with each other, in support.
There are so many intriguing details I NEEEED to fangirl about: The choir’s song choices! The perfectly modern teenage fact of dead pixels seen on Instagram posts being the proverbial smoking gun! The celeb rom-com classic moment of buying the magazine with yourself on the tabloid cover! Prince Wilhelm having the phone of my dreams: the Samsung Galaxy flip! The moment when all of the sound disappears! The subtlety and considered use of Sara’s “aspergers” in the show’s plot. The loveliness of the (true, genuine) friendships. Simon and his family speaking Spanish to each other and Swedish to everyone else. The specific moments when Wille is wearing his coat!!! THIS SHOW IS PERFECT. And absolutely perfectly tailored specifically to me.
If you liked SKAM, Dutch movie Jongens, the highschool elite world of Gossip Girl and the Netflix shows Baby and Ragnarok —and also how Elite was before this current season. If you are fascinated by the Harvard boys club nature of the Winklevii and Max Minghella’s character in The Social Network, and if you loved that European boarding house girls’ club endless-sleepover vibe in the timeless classic Emma Roberts film Wild Child… YOUNG ROYALS is for you!
Content warnings: Side character death by car accident, recreational pharmaceutical drug use, recording of someone else having sex, a character is publicly outed.
The title cards are very Killing Eve —but way better!!
The cover of this Young Royals tumblr account. Everything about it with which I could not agree more! (If you’re looking for more good Scandinavian shows that will give you feeeelings: Ragnarok, and Love & Anarchy; both on Netflix.)
This Radio Times review describes the show wonderfully:
When he looks into the camera!!! This show is a masterpiece. SEASON TWO NOW.