Squid Game: The Challenge is a smash hit on Netflix – but there's a different gripping debut show you mustn't miss

A Nearly Normal Family
(Image credit: Netflix)

In news that won't surprise you in the slightest, Squid Game's reality show spin-off is at the top of Netflix's charts for English-language shows. But something considerably less frantic and more cerebral than Squid Game: The Challenge is topping its non-English charts, and that's A Nearly Normal Family. It may not be as action-packed as the Squiddy spin-off, and it definitely doesn't have as many characters. But you may find it more compelling – we were certainly intrigued by its twisty trailer.

The show has just debuted so there are very few reviews so far, but it's currently sitting with a very respectable 86% audience rating on Rotten Tomatoes. And the reviews that have been published are all pretty good. 

What is A Nearly Normal Family about?

Based on the best-selling book of the same name, A Nearly Normal Family follows an apparently ordinary Swedish family whose lives are changed by a terrible event. Four years after the event, their teenage daughter is accused of murder. A Nearly Normal Family shows what happens next.

The show doesn't just stick to one point of view. Instead, it has three: the mother, the father and the daughter. The show constantly switches perspectives but not timelines, so you'll see the same scenes told from the three different perspectives, but in such a way that they overlap to give you the bigger picture. And that picture is not as simple as it might seem, or as the family might hope. 

The show asks each viewer a simple but huge question: how far would you go to protect the people you love?

PureWow says it's "a gripping, edge-of-your-seat tale that will have you itching to watch more" while Decider gives it an all-caps STREAM IT: while the pace is a little slow, "we appreciate the storytelling structure... which should reduce the chances of eye-rolling plot points and red herrings". Readysteadycut says it's "workmanlike" but a decent enough way to spend a few hours, and Heaven Of Horror loved the "powerful portrayals" by the actors. "I was hooked from the start," Karina Adelgaard says. 

A Nearly Normal Family is streaming now on Netflix – you can watch it here.

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Carrie Marshall

Writer, broadcaster, musician and kitchen gadget obsessive Carrie Marshall (Twitter) has been writing about tech since 1998, contributing sage advice and odd opinions to all kinds of magazines and websites as well as writing more than a dozen books. Her memoir, Carrie Kills A Man, is on sale now. She is the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR.