Over the weekend, I settled in for an afternoon of what I thought was going to be some fun and frivolous Netflix Christmas binging.
And while I was ready for some cheesy goodness, I was not prepared for the personal attack on my soul when it came to Norway’s offering, Home for Christmas.
Armed with Vietnamese, I was ready to devour not only some chicken and vermicelli noodles, but what I thought was going to be a TV series about a woman finding love at Christmas, as she navigates singledom during the holidays. Perhaps a a little Bridget Jones meets A Christmas Prince… But, holy dooley, I was wrong.
What fronted me was not a mixture of the two but an actual representation of my current life — sans snow.
IMDB’s synopsis sums up the series from Norway nicely:
“The constant comments on single life of 30 year old Johanne (Ida Elise Broch) and society’s expectations of the perfect family Christmas finally gets to her. Johanne starts a 24 day hunt for a partner to bring home for Christmas.”
Now, I am a 33 year-old single woman. I have no kids, live alone in a one-bedroom apartment in the city and my Christmas tree is about the size of my hand — and, according to the first line spoken by protagonist Joanne in the whole show — “this is where the problem lies”.
Before you grab your pitchforks and attack me for such a backwards way of thinking, it’s not the fact that you need to be married to be happy, it’s the fact that Johanne is attacked with incessant questions and constant reminders by her quaint little town, that being single is not OK.
In every aspect of her life, Johanne is reminded that being single and 30 is a curse and not a blessing.
She works as a nurse in a hospital, where her supervisor puts her on the roster for Christmas Eve, because everyone else is married or in a relationship.
“It’s the fate of the single and childless to step up,” her supervisor tells her.
“Or you could get married and have kids. You’re in your 30s now.”
Christ on a bike. I’ve heard that before.
At a later point, Johanne’s mother tells her: “I just want you to find someone and stop being so lonely.” Lonely, who said anything about being lonely?
For me, family Christmases are about bringing family together who haven’t seen each other all year — so its no wonder that people want to know what you’re up to.
And while I love catching them up on the latest place I’ve moved to, or which red carpet I’ve been on; talking about my love life is not my idea of a fun time.
It’s not the “need” to have all of that, but it’s the questions.
“Have you met anyone yet?” Yes, I meet a lot of people.
“How’s the love life?” You mean the dating apps I’m too busy to go on?
“Anita, why are you single?” Aunt Karen, if I knew, I probably wouldn’t be…
Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely loved the series. It was clever, funny and honest and the representation of the 19-year-old “Fu*kboy” couldn’t be more accurate and quite frankly, sometimes we need a show to hit us square in the nose.
I don’t want to spoil it for you, but you the ending is the perfect fu*k you to societal constructs and the real question is…when is season two?
You can watch Home For Christmas on Netflix, streaming now.