Netflix's 'Snabba Cash' Is a Stylish Swedish Crime Drama About Chasing Money

The thriller draws parallels between the hustle culture of start-ups and the drug-trade.


In the first episode of Netflix’s latest crime drama, Snabba Cash, a Swedish series that blends the brio of start-up culture with the grit of the drug trade, the main character, Leya (Evin Ahmad), makes a pitch for her new company, TargetCoach. The product, which Leya eventually convinces a powerful VC kingmaker to sink money into, offers clients a chance to use AI to cut through the clutter of opinions online and discover what people “really want.” For a show that can feel like a calculated mix of other popular series-a touch of Industry and Billions here, a pinch of Ozark and The Wire there-it’s bold to have the protagonist selling a service that resembles some of Netflix’s own internal practices.

With American audiences becoming more open to checking out foreign-language titles-French caper series Lupin was a bright spot earlier this year, and shows Who Killed Sara? and The Serpent are currently in the Netflix Top 10-Snabba Cash could be the next show your most Netflix-obsessed friend is insisting you add to your watch list. Is it worth investing in? Or are the KPIs on this one a little out of whack? I ran the numbers-uh, watched the first couple episodes-and drew up an action plan below.


What is Netflix’s Snabba Cash about?

Snabba Cash follows single-mother Leya as she navigates the treacherous world of start-ups, where a predatory loan can tank your chances at becoming the next “unicorn,” while attempting to extricate herself from the the equally dangerous world of drug trafficking, where rival gangs and the police pose a number of deadly threats. During the day, Leya works at a restaurant to pay the bills, but she’s tied to the Sweden’s criminal underworld through Ravy (Dada Fungula Bozela), the brother of her son’s dead father. She also pursues a tentative romantic relationship with Salim (Alexander Abdallah), who makes money as a singer while also serving as a gunman in Ravy’s crew. If that’s not enough plot, there’s another story about a young teen Tim (Ali Alarik), who gets wrapped up in some of the gang’s low-level, street-based operations.

Though the show weaves between these different threads, Leya’s journey-and Ahmad’s intense performance-is what will draw you in. She has that combination of ego, drive, compassion, nerve, and self-awareness that makes her a winning prestige crime series protagonist, the type of character where you root on even as they make terrible decisions and dig themselves deeper into a hole. It’s clear from the jump that Leya will eventually lean on her drug connections to help fund her entrepreneurial dreams, but there’s tension in watching her make each moral compromise along the way.


Is the series related to the 2010 movie Snabba Cash (a.k.a. Easy Money)?

In 2010, Joel Kinnaman starred in the Swedish crime drama Easy Money, which was based on a 2007 novel of the same name by attorney-turned-author Jens Lapidus. The film, which follows Kinnaman’s gun-wielding social climber Johan “JW” Westlund, was a hit and helped launch Kinnaman’s career in Hollywood. (The year after its release, he landed parts in David Fincher’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo adaptation and the AMC crime series The Killing.) Though an American remake starring Zac Efron was announced way back in 2010, that version never ended up getting made. Bummer for Zac.

Kinnaman returned for a pair of sequels, Easy Money II: Hard to Kill and Easy Money III: Life Deluxe, but Netflix’s Snabba Cash is being framed as a “reboot” that adapts the themes of the original novel and film series for the contemporary moment with new characters. Basically, you can enjoy the show without being familiar with the original movies. If you want to do your Snabba Cash due diligence, the 2010 movie is currently available to stream on HBO Max. (Why isn’t it on Netflix? Who knows?)


Should you watch Snabba Cash?

It really depends how much you need another grim, slick crime drama in your life. In its first two episodes, Snabba Cash strings together a handful of nail-biting set-pieces, often shooting characters from behind as they run for their lives or pace through menacing corporate corridors, that elevate it above your average gritty, violent cable shoot-em-up. Plus, the actors, particularly Ahmad and Abdallah, have genuine chemistry and the writers find ways to bring a degree of naturalism and novelty to some familiar genre beats, like staging a sit-down between hardened criminals in a Discovery Zone-like child play-place.

Still, some of those scenes have a perfunctory quality, like the creators are eager to get back to Leya’s home life and her business venture. Even if the show’s insights into money and power can feel warmed over-Amazon’s under-seen ZeroZeroZero covered some of the same thematic territory with way more style and ambition last year-there’s potential here that hasn’t quite been fully realized yet. Is that a hedge? Yeah, probably. But just like easy money, there’s no such thing as easy streaming.

Dan Jackson is a senior staff writer at Thrillist Entertainment. He’s on Twitter @danielvjackson.


Where to Celebrate Lunar New Year 2023 in Australia

And what it means to be in the year of the Rabbit.

where to celebrate lunar new year australia

Starting with the new moon on Sunday, January 22, this Lunar New Year ushers in the year of the Rabbit. We’ve put together a guide on celebrating the Lunar New Year in Australia.

What is special about the year of the Rabbit?

As you might know, each year has an animal sign in the Chinese Zodiac, which is based on the moon and has a 12-year cycle. This year, we celebrate the year of the rabbit, known to be the luckiest out of all twelve animals. It symbolises mercy, elegance, and beauty.

What celebrations are taking place and how can I get involved?

There are plenty of festivals happening all around the country which you can get involved with. Here they are per state.

New South Wales

Darling Harbour Fireworks
When: Every year, Sydney puts on a fireworks show, and this year, you can catch it on January 28 and February 4 at 9 pm in Darling Harbour.

Dragon Boat Races
When: Witness three days of dragon boat races and entertainment on Cockle Bay to usher in the Lunar New Year. The races will commence on January 27 and finish on January 29.

Lion Dances
When: Catch a traditional Lion Dance moving to the beat of a vigorous drum bringing good luck and fortune for the Lunar New Year. The dance performances will happen across Darling Harbour on Saturday, January 21, Sunday, January 22, and Sunday, February 4 and 5, around 6 pm and 9 pm.

Lunar New Year at Cirrus Dining
When: Barangaroo’s waterfront seafood restaurant, Cirrus, is celebrating the Year of the Rabbit with a special feast menu. Cirrus’ LNY menu is $128pp with optional wine pairing and is available from Saturday, January 21, to Sunday, February 5.

Auntie Philter
When: Hello Auntie’s owner and executive chef, Cuong Nguyen will be dishing out some of the most classic Vietnamese street foods with his mum, Linda. All of Philter’s favourites will be on offer, as well as Raspberry Pash Beer Slushies and other cocktails being served at the Philter Brewing rooftop bar on Sunday, January 22 and Sunday, January 29.


Lunar New Year Festival
When: Ring in the Lunar New Year with food, music, arts, and more on Sunday, January 22, from 10 am to 9 pm.

Lunar New Year at the National Gallery of Victoria
When: Celebrate the year of the rabbit at the National Gallery of Victoria’s festival of art, food, and art-making activities for everyone from 10 am-5 pm.


BriAsia Festival
When: From February 1-19, Brisbane will come alive with performances, including lion dances and martial arts displays. There will be street food, workshops, comedy and more.

South Australia

Chinatown Adelaide Street Party
When: Adelaide is set to hose a fun-filled day celebrating the Chinese New Year on Saturday, January 28, from 12 pm to 9 pm.

Western Australia

Crown Perth
When: Across January and February, Crown Perth hosts free live entertainment, including colourful lion dances, roving mascots, and drumming performances. The restaurants will also throw banquets and menus dedicated to the Lunar New Year.

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