Our Miss Brooks. Forget Good-bye Mr. Chips. Forget Dead Poet's Society and Mr. Holland's Opus. Forget even the likes The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie and Looking for Mr. Goodbar. In the annals of entertainment about school teachers, you will never have encountered anything quite like RITA, the Danish television series begun in 2012 and now available to stream via Netflix. In it (and I admit to having seen only the first four episodes, each lasting around 40 minutes), we meet Rita Madsen, a very attractive middle-aged woman who is simply terrific in the classroom but has some trouble family-wise, love-wise, any-wise whenever she leaves that class behind.
Mr. Conklin never offered anything like this). The Danes treat sex as an important part of life that deserves attention and understanding (and they don't underestimate its comic potential, either). And then there's that terrific performance given by star Mille Dinesen, whom we've seen previously (in Borgen, for instance) but who here has perhaps the role of her lifetime, of which she makes the most.
Christian Torpe (who also wrote a number of the episodes), the series seems bent on being as much a drama as a comedy, and -- so far -- it manages to simultaneously do both genres proud. It's light, lively, and serious, too.
Lizbet Lundquist, below). The series shows us how, sometimes, those whose job it is to help others -- and who do this very well -- can't seem to keep their own house in order.
Lisa Baastrup (below) as the new teacher in town and Carsten Bjørnlund (at bottom) as the very hot principal. No one in the large cast is overdone with either good or bad qualities; consequently each exists as a surprisingly full character.