The Legacy, TV review: What it lacks in dead bodies it makes up for in heart-breaking secrets

It’s a bit like a trendy tourism brochure, only with added emotional turmoil

Ellen E. Jones
Sunday 21 June 2015 12:52 BST

If you opted instead to catch up with the second series of The Legacy, you made the right decision. This Danish family drama is no Nordic noir, but what it lacks in dead bodies it makes up for in petty rivalries, inter-generational tensions and heart-breaking secrets – all beautifully played out by a classy cast, headed up by the majestic Trine Dyrholm as eldest sister Gro.

With the series one inheritance question now resolved in favour of the youngest, illegitimate daughter Signe (Marie Bach Hansen) the four adult children of internationally renowned artist Veronika Gronnegaard should be getting along. In reality, however, there are fresh tensions bubbling beneath the surface which will soon explode.

True to his free-love philosophy, Gro’s amiably scruffy 68-year-old dad has just fathered a child with an unstable twentysomething Isa (Josephine Park). Isa has scarpered, leaving the baby to be handed from person to person around the sprawling Gronnegaard rural pile. We know it takes a village to raise a child, but can a loose collective of permanently stoned hippies do just as well? Maternal grandfather Henrik didn’t seem to think so and if this week’s semi-farcical chase scene was anything to go by, he won’t be giving up his custody claim without a protracted and messy fight.

Meanwhile, spoilt, shiftless youngest brother Emil is rotting in a Thai jail on trumped-up drugs charges. Perhaps that’s the best place for him? This certainly seemed to be the opinion of Emil’s cuckolded elder brother Frederick (Carsten Bjornlund), but Gro was determined to bring him home. She jetted off to Thailand leaving Signe literally holding the baby. Not ideal when Signe is already overextended with her fledgling hemp farm.

So watch The Legacy to admire the Gronnegaard family’s mastery of passive-aggressive manoeuvring, but also to bask vicariously in their Scandi-boho lifestyle. These guys are always wearing chic knitwear, frolicking semi-nude in the great outdoors, or jamming on home-made musical instruments. It’s a bit like a trendy tourism brochure, only with added emotional turmoil.

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