Gasmamman continues its rise to the top
by Jorn Rossing Jensen
- Starring Swedish actress Alexandra Rapaport – who is also the executive producer – the TV series has begun its second season, while preparing to shoot its third
When the first one-hour episode of Gasmamman was aired in 2016 by Swedish commercial broadcaster Kanal 5, it was watched by more than one million Swedes – the highest rating for local TV drama on Kanal 5 for more than half a decade, and second only to Swedish national team football during the year.
Originally an award-winning Dutch series, Penoza (2010-), with a US remake entitled Red Widow (2013-), the Dutch version was proposed to Discovery Networks Sweden by Endemol Sweden. “It was by far the best pitch I had heard for a long time – Swedish actress Alexandra Rapaport was already attached to play the lead, so I did not hesitate for a second to accept it,” said head of programme controlling and drama commissioning Jon Petersson. Before taking over his new position, Petersson had co-produced six feature-length episodes of the Irene Huss detective series (2007-2012), as well as executive-producing 100 Code.
While Kanal 5 has now launched the second season of Gasmamman (on Thursday), which will also be on show on the C More and Discovery Networks Sweden platforms, it has been announced that a third season of the series will go into production in and around Stockholm, to be premiered in late 2017. Scripted by Swedish screenwriter Camilla Ahlgren and Norwegian writer-director Martin Asphaug, the eight episodes will be directed by Gasmamman regular Richard Holm and produced by Birgitta Wännström, for Endemol Sweden; Rapaport will still play the lead (and executive-produce), flanked by a cast including Allan Svensson, Morgan Alling, Anja Lundqvist, Grynet Molvig, Lisette Pagler and Shebly Niavarani.
Gasmamman (Swedish for “The Goose Mother”) follows Sonja, who is married to Fredrik and is the mother of three children. “The daughter of a Mafioso dealing drugs in Stockholm, she is now living peacefully in the suburbs, where she runs her own accounting firm,” explains Holm. “To increase the family’s cash flow, her husband grows a little weed, which they sell under the table – Sonja does not want to know, but as long as it works, she does not care. But everything changes when Fredrik is brutally murdered by the Mafia: ‘Your husband owed us a huge amount of money; now it is your debt, and how you will arrange the payment is your problem,’ she is told. And then everything kicks off."
“Sonja changes a lot during the series – in the beginning, she is a regular woman avoiding a life of crime, and she hates drugs, but her efforts to be in a position to pay the debt make her a very driven character: she acts before she thinks, and as a consequence, she falls into deeper problems. Because of her childhood close to the Mafia world, she does not want to have anything to do with the police, who offer help and protection, so she thinks the only way out of her predicament is to play along with the game,” Rapaport concludes.
The series has so far performed strongly across all demographics, exceeding primetime averages for adults (15-44 years old) by 166%, women (12-59) by 239% and men (12-59) by 172%.