“Young Royals” season two adds depth and reality to the struggles of young people

The popular Swedish Netflix show goes deeper in the second season with mental health issues and struggles pertaining to queer teenagers


Photo courtesy of Netflix

The poplar Swedish Netflix series follows the lives and struggles of privileged young people in the midst of anxiety and coming out

Holly ODonnell, Arts & Culture Writer

Season two of the Swedish Netflix hit show “Young Royals” began on November 1 and stars Edvin Ryding as Prince Wilhem, Omar Rudberg as Simon, Malte Gardinger as August, Frida Argento as Sara and Nikita Uggla as Felice. 

This season of “Young Royals” touches upon the real struggles and anxieties that come with coming out and being pressured because of fear it will ruin one’s relationships or ruin one’s family’s reputation. It touches on the struggle of loving someone that you can not have and how it feels like there are chains holding you back from that one someone; how one small thing can ruin everything and how love can make you blind. Ultimately, it emphasizes the idea that teens just want to be loved and accepted by the ones they love the most. 

This season the Crown Prince returns to his school after winter break and everything is not what he expected. He faces things he thought he would never face and has to come to terms with some changes and developments. Many secrets are shared and new rumors form. He is torn between the boy he loves, Simon, and his family and the pressure of becoming the next crown prince after his brother’s passing. He is trying to find his identity and who he wants to be, all while having the pressure of not ruining his family’s reputation in the process. 

Critics are already talking about the success of the season.

“This season continues to live up to the hype with a fresh, Swedish LGBTQ+ drama  that fashions a plot circling romance and revenge,” Daniel Hart wrote in an article for Ready Steady Cut. “The series enjoys the dramatics but keeps the tensions bubbling rather than overflowing. Too many teen dramas fall into the trap of providing a vicious circle of events without developing the characters and providing much-needed context.” 

Rotten Tomatoes gave it a 98% for audience score and overall it has a 4.9 in ratings so far. “There’s certainly something deeper behind all of the teen drinking and sex.” Joel Keller wrote in a review for RT.  

I really like ‘Young Royals’ season two,” said freshman Alyssa Spaeth. “I think there was a perfect mix of revenge, love, and betrayal. The character developments in this season were also really good, along with the new relationships and characters.”

The show has already generated a lot of buzz beyond the plot. On Twitter, a video was leaked of the actors Edvin Ryding and Omar Rudberg doing a TikTok trend called “running on air,” in which one person stands in front of the other and they let the person in the back pick them up by the waist. The goofy video was apparently intended to be private, and the actors were notably upset when the clip leaked. Rudberg took to Twitter and asked fans to remove it, saying,  “Hi. Me and Edvin never wanted that video to be uploaded. Please delete.” 

While the video may have upset the actors, it points to the close and intimate relationship the actors have. Ryding and Rudberg’s relationship is, according to many fans, adorable; the two seem to get along well and are close (some fans even think they are too close), but I believe that they are just friends. They actually refer to each other as best friends in interviews and on set. Even behind the scenes, the two like to hang out with each other. They are very supportive of each other.

The show was incredible and the acting was tremendous. Everyone in the cast did an outstanding job portraying their characters in this series. I have to say, I got really emotional in some scenes because of how realistic and intimate the acting was and how hard some scenes hit home. All of the emotions seemed so real it was like they were actually going through whatever was going on. Ryding, who plays Wilhelm, actually revealed in an interview with Swedish news show “Nyhetsmorgon” that he actually does suffer from anxiety in his everyday life and that’s what makes him and his character so alike.

The soundtrack was perfect. The music choices for the episodes were spot on; the songs fit with the scenes and the emotions going on during the show. The cinematography for this series was also impressive. The cinematographer, Ola Magnestam, did an outstanding job with the camera to create that intense emotional feel to the show. 

While “Young Royals” had an amazing first season, the second season really stands out. There is more depth in certain areas then the first; it touches upon real life struggles like anxiety, betrayal, wanting acceptance, coming out, love, losing friendships, loss of a family member and more. It doesn’t just focus on the two main characters and what is going on in their lives; it talks about and shows the other characters’ lives and struggles too. You aren’t just focused on Wilhelm and Simon; you get to see what is happening with Sara, August, Felice and even the two other best friends of Sara and Felice, Madison and Stella and what goes on between them even though we only see them like three or four times throughout all six episodes.

I would definitely recommend checking out the new season, and if you’ve never seen the series at all, go back and watch it from the beginning.  However, this show is rated TV-MA, so do be warned there is a lot of drinking, drugs, sexual activities and other things in this series that might trigger certain people.