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Riget: Exodus (series) – Lars von Trier (2022)

In 1994 the first season of “Riget” / “Kingdom” aired. That was a reason to watch this classic again. Season 1 had only 4 episodes and suddenly ended. Also the second season from 1997 had only 4 episodes and it also suddenly ended. I was looking something up and found out that there was actually a season 3. Now how did I miss that? For a long time it seemed as it Lars von Trier was not going to give any more answers, but apparently, he was talked into ‘wrapping things up’ 25 years later.

For 5 episodes I have been thinking: “Wow, Von Trier really did not have a whole lot of inspiration for this new season.” Many characters have been replaced by carbon copies. Druse because Karen, Bulder was replaced by Balder who looks so much like Bulder that everybody calls him Bulder. Stig Helmer is replaced by his son. Moesgard senior has another airhead follower. There are again two dishwashers who comment on events.
A few characters return in their original roles, such as Judith, Mona, director Bob, Camilla and Lillebror.
We also have a few original actors/characters that got other places in the hospital: Krogshøj, Rigmor and Moesgaard junior.

Von Trier stuck to the concept. There is the story about the swamp, the silly song and the commentary after the episodes, but for vanity’s sake, Von Trier placed himself behind the curtain (who is suffering from Parkinson).
It is not like he wraps up the story-lines of the first two seasons. Some story-lines continue, some you hear nothing of. There are also new elements. “Helmar” (Helmer jr.) is a bit of a whiny character who also tries to run out the Swedes against the Danes (an antagonism that is stressed even more). Then we have the problem of the hole to the underworld that has not been closed properly closed and this time it is Karen who sets out to fix things. Even more powerful than Åge Krüger is the “Grand Duc” who is (surprisingly) played by Willem Dafoe. There are a lot of tiny sub-plots and returning jokes that do not always work out too well. There are many references to the first two seasons in different ways.

“Riget: Exodus” to me is not (yet) the classic that the first two seasons are. Also do not expect answers, but who would really expect that anyway? What you can expect is similar humour, similar characters and the recognition of actors and characters of 25 years ago.

“Riget Exodus” was produced and made available through MUBI and it not very well available. So far there appears only to be a very expensive box set with all three series or you should have a MUBI service in your country that offers “Exodus”. Hopefully there will be a release for those who already have the old series (a few times) like myself.

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