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Season 2 of 'The Simple Heist' is an Improvement
July 1, 2019  | By David Hinckley  | 1 comment

The Simple Heist 
asks us to be a bit more tolerant of its indulgences in Season 2, which happily doesn’t make it any less fun.

The Simple Heist, a Swedish series whose six-episode second season becomes available Monday on Acorn, reunites us with Jenny Bengtsson (Lotta Tejle) and Cecilia Stensson (Sissela Kyle), middle-aged BFFs who in the first season robbed a bank. 

Full credibility was not the keynote of that first season, nor will it be the keynote of the second, in which Jenny and Cecilia return to their endearingly criminal ways. 

This time they move into the art world, which is the extent of the spoiler one ought to deliver. For dramatic purposes that’s an inspired choice, because it enables The Simple Heistto introduce a running lineup of art world characters, most of them larger than life and more than a few of them in serious need of deflation. 

Jenny, a gastroenterologist who leads an outwardly normal life with her pleasant if fussy retired husband, Jan, provided the impetus for the bank robbery, so it’s only fair that Cecilia should nudge them into the reprise this time around. 

They robbed that first bank out of mild desperation. Jenny had lost all Bengtssons’s money and hadn’t told Jan. Cecilia faced a divorce from her husband Gunnar that would leave her almost broke. Oh, those pesky pre-nups from three decades earlier. 

The Simple Heist being more buddy drama than crime caper, the bank robbery worked out quite nicely. While it didn’t make them filthy rich, it did enable them to cover enough expenses so they could live in the style to which they had become accustomed. 

More important to Cecilia, it reconnected her to her teenage daughter Harriet (Kristin Andersson), who plays a prominent setup role in the new season. 

A brilliant student, Harriet is poised to receive a scholarship from a local civic organization that sends students to America, all expenses paid. 

Instead, the scholarships go to three male students with significantly lower qualifications. When Cecilia asks why, an official matter of factly explains that boys do not do as well as girls in school at this age, so it’s important to give boys the extra boost of a scholarship like this one.

Also, one of the recipients is the son of an organization official.

This gives The Simple Heist an incandescent burst of outraged feminism right up front. Full disclosure, though, as dutifully noted by both Jenny and Cecilia: They also rationalized the bank robbery as a way to help women – and the only two women it really ended up helping was them.

This one is for Harriet, at least in theory. It’s also for the viewer, since the sort-of-feminist motif becomes fodder for a lovely series of running and self-aware gags. 

Oh yes, the now-divorced Cecilia has a new boyfriend, and he too provides material for an extended humor arc – though perhaps not the one viewers might expect. 

Bad-girl teams have become a minor thing on TV these days, and not a bad one. Jenny and Cecilia also may be the two least likely criminals on television, which is one of several good reasons to watch and enjoy them. 

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Sometimes it's difficult to determine what Network to find a featured Series on--
and sometimes, Impossible!
Jul 4, 2019   |  Reply
Zeke, It says it's on Acorn.
Jul 7, 2019
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