Sweden as a bloody hustle. 'Snabba Cash' on Netflix is the very latest iteration of a noir take on Scandinavia.

Not wanting to talk oneself up is a traditionally Swedish trait. There is even a Nordic term for it : jantelagen. But there is precious little room for such decorum in ''Snabba Cash,'' which depicts a  Stockholm pulsing with pushy entrepreneurs, blinged-out cocaine dealers and a tech billionaire [Olle Sarri] who tells the radio interviewer, ''I am the system.''

The title of this nervy six-part Swedish series, now on Netflix, translates roughly as ''Easy Money.'' It is as much an ethos to live by for Stockholm's entrepreneurial jet-set, all looking to create the next Spotify, as it is for its the criminal underworld in both strata, only the most ambitious and ruthless young people need apply.

''The old structures in Stockholm have changed,'' the series's creator and showrunner, Oskar Soderlund, 42, said in a video call earlier this month.

''You have the drug trade, and you have an explosion of  Swedish tech companies. My older brother worked with kids, and every day he meets young teenagers who are really stressed out because they don't have a plan to make their first million before they're 25.''

It's an abrupt change in a country known for its high standard of living, income equality and robust social safety net - a sign of the shifting values, demographics and socioeconomics realities that the series, for all its Nordic noir twists and tensions, seeks to capture.

''The  two world's we're portraying are, for me, two extreme versions of capitalism,'' Soderlund said.

In some ways, ''Snabba Cash'' is itself an explar of hyper-capitalist Swedish success. Beginning with a 2006 novel by Jens Lepidus, which has been translated into dozens of languages, the ''Snabba'' empire has expanded into a trilogy of novels, three films and a genuine cultural cultural phenomenon in Sweden, sparking street-level slang and Hollywood careers.

Although it relies on many of the same themes as the novels and films, the Netflix series revises the premise significantly : The main character is no longer J.W., a white male student who falls foul of a gang of Serbian drug dealers; she is Leya [Evin Ahmad], a single mother of Middle Eastern descent, who is desperate to find seed money for an A.I. company she has created.

Like many others in the largely immigrant housing projects where she lives, Leya has limited options. She decides that her only choice is to borrow the money from her drug-dealing brother-in-law [Dada Fungula Bozela], which ends up compromising her future when he makes himself a partner in the firm.

''When it come to entrepreneurship, you have to have capital before even starting a business,'' Ahmad said in a recent video chat. ''The character I play is is the daughter of immigrant parents, so it's not like there's any old money she can use.''

Ahmad, 30, is a rising star of Swedish films and of TV series like ''The Rain'' and ''Quicksand'', both on Netflix. One of the distinctions of ''Snabba Cash,'' she noted, is the diversity of its cast, which is rare for a Swedish show.

''I started my acting career when I was 15, and it took me 15 years to be in this type of cast,'' she said. ''I was just very inspired because usually I'm alone - I'm the only person of color in the room..''

Many of Ahmad's fellow vast members in ''Snabba Cash'' are first-time actors who also have immigrant backgrounds - a reflection of Sweden's demographic changes in recent decades.

A surge in the 2010s brought in hundreds of thousands of new asylum seekers, many of whom were fleeing Syria's civil war. [Syrians today make up the largest nonnative ethnic group in Sweden.] By 2016, about one in six Swedish residents was an immigrant.

Those changes, along with the influx of illegal weapons and a rise in gang-related assaults and shootings, prompted a swell of anti-immigrant political rhetoric, along with a clampdown on new asylum seekers.

Viewed in this light, Ahmad's leading role as a savvy business woman who knows how to game a dysfunctional system is mold breaking. That her colleagues with immigrant backgrounds were cast mostly as gun totting drug dealers, however, could, on the surface, raise questions.

The World Students Society thanks author Tobias Grey.


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