Dough, known as Deg in Sweden, promotional picture with Helena Af Sandeberg as Malou and Bianca Kronlöf as Liana.

Dough, on the Topic channel, is a Swedish series about several people chasing a bag of money that has been found by a very unlikely person. Malou (Helena Af Sandeberg) is an upper-class single mom on the brink of bankruptcy due to a failed business. When she finds a bag of money buried in the forest, she thinks her problems are over. Instead, they are about to get worse, because as she finds out, that money is the stolen loot from a famous racetrack heist. Undeterred, she buys a bakery to launder the cash, and inadvertently hires the girlfriend of one of the robbers. Liana (Bianca Kronlöf) and her daughter have been couch-surfing for three years since her boyfriend Steffe went to prison for the robbery. When she goes to visit him in prison, he discloses to her the location of the money. But when she gets there, it’s gone, having just been dug up by her new boss, Malou. When Liana tells Steffe the money is missing, it triggers a dangerous series of events that puts both women, and their kids, in jeopardy.

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Malou is a bit of a ding-dong. She has drive and ambition, but has ruined two businesses and is broke. Her problem is that she is impulsive, and doesn’t think through the consequences of her actions. Although she is facing bankruptcy, she is desperately trying to maintain the appearance of affluence with her friends. As the creditors circle, she takes to the woods for a run to clear her mind. She sees a rope in the dirt and follows it to a buried duffel bag containing 47 million kroner ($5 million) in cash. After the briefest of pauses, she takes the bag and looks up “money laundering” online. There she learns that she needs to set up a business that uses cash, so she buys an ailing bakery in town. The second thing she does is pay off her creditors in cash, and then goes on a major shopping spree. *eye roll* Meanwhile, she hires a young mother to help her in the bakery.

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That young mother is Liana. She is in serious trouble because Joel, another of the robbers who also went to prison, just got released and he is after her for the money. He doesn’t believe that she doesn’t know where it is. But she doesn’t…until Steffe tells her. She thinks her problems are over, but again, they are about to get worse. She goes to Steffe’s dad, Kangas (Johan Hedenberg), also part of the gang, and tells him the money is gone. Steffe, freaking out, breaks out of the prison infirmary to hunt down the money. The problem is, he told everyone that the money was stolen from HIM after the getaway, and that there wasn’t any money.  No one believed him, except Liana, but they were waiting for him to get out of prison. Liana is furious that Steffe let her and their daughter swing in the wind for 3 years, thinking that the money had been stolen from him.

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 Our Take on Dough

Dough is a lot darker than the marketing would lead you to believe. It’s not a madcap comedy about a kooky lady and a hard-edged ex-criminal running a bakery together.  Not even close. Like Snabba Cash, the series is about desperate people chasing money. It’s also about two very different women doing what they can to survive, even if that includes making bad decisions. If you can get past the outrageous coincidence that Malou found the loot right as Liana was looking for it, and then hired Liana in her bakery, Dough is worth watching. Both women are sympathetic, and I had to see if Malou was going to get out of the mess she made, and also what happens when Liana finds out Malou has the money. My only beefs are that it’s a bit too long, and they make Kangas a major character, but although the plot turns on his actions, he’s not likable or interesting. If you are looking for a satisfying series to watch between tentpole releases, Dough is for you.

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