30° in February is the title of a 2 seasons (20 episodes) series on Netflix. The series begins in the month of February with the temps cold and blustery, and with snow every where in sight. We could be anywhere in the northeast of the USA or any of the plains, or central, or mountain states. In those locales, 30 degrees, and lower, in February is the norm.
But we are not in those locations. Rather, we are in Sweden, and in Sweden, the temperatures are measured in Celsius degrees, rather than the Fahrenheit scale used in this country.
So in Sweden, 30 degrees in February is a dream, a fantasy, and not a normal occurrence. Using 30 degrees Celsius as the measuring stick, that temperature in Fahrenheit is 86.
And so, more than 600,000 Swedes vacation in Thailand every year. Now I’ve been to Sweden, not in February, but in middle late March. I missed most of the snow, but I saw some on the ground. I’ve also been to Phuket, Thailand, a number of times. So I was rather eager to watch this series.
In case you are thinking that this series might be something like the films The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (1 & 2), where a group of British retirees all go the same hotel – only with Phuket subbing for Jaipur in Rajasthan, India, along with Swedes replacing the Brits – then you’d be just partially correct, and that would be in the broad strokes rather than the details.
Here, our Swedes are both separate and unrelated. They did not meet at Stockholm’s Arlanda Airport, nor did they travel as a group. They did not arrive together, or meet on a tour, or even stay in the same location once they reached Phuket.
They’d traveled to Thailand to find themselves and to find happiness. They leave everything behind and their search for a new life, and a new page in their book dreams begins. And in this particular series, the location maybe the idyllic Phuket, but finding happiness anywhere does not happen by accident. If it happens at all. There are no guarantees.
I am through all ten episodes of the first season, and I think I’ve seen enough to be able to offer you a fine introduction to the series. Let’s meet the characters. First up is Glenn. He’s a geothermal heating installer, and he’s single. And lonely.
It is no surprise to find him at a speed-dating get-together, Nor should we be surprised to know that he’s carrying on an internet chat with a woman from Thailand. We know that Glenn has posted an image of another man, a much better looking man than himself. But the woman in Thailand does not know this.
Glenn is played by Kjell Wilhelmsen. He’s far more towards slovenly than neat. He’s portly, and with nearly every encounter he has with a woman, he speaks too much. His loneliness and needy personality ooze from every one of his pores, which means he’s lacking in what is called impulse control.
He’s not a particularly likeable character, but you do root for him.
Next is the teen-ager Joy, played by Hannah Ardéhn. She’s the daughter of Kajsa (played by Maria Lundqvist, and there’s a small seven year old sister called Wilda (played by Viola Weidemann) that rounds out this family.