Clark, on Netflix, is the story of a scandalous rogue, told the Swedish way.

Bill Skarsgård as Clark Olofsson in Clark.Courtesy of Netflix

In 1973, a guy named Jan-Erik Olsson took hostages during a failed bank robbery in Stockholm, Sweden. Caught, he negotiated with the police and asked them to bring a certain Clark Olofsson, who was in prison, to the bank. The police handed over Olofsson, who spent several days with the thief and the hostages. When the situation finally ended, some hostages expressed sympathy and admiration for the two criminals. This became known as Stockholm syndrome.

There was a reason the robber wanted Clark Olofsson at the scene. He was the most famous criminal in Sweden, a famous mobster and famous for his charm.

clark (streaming on Netflix) is a miniseries about him and it’s as crazy as the main character’s life. At times upbeat and disconcerting, it can be wildly bumpy but it never slows down and is essentially one long chase. Olofsson (played by Bill Skarsgard) spent most of his life on the run and, according to him, loved the adrenaline rush and adventure of being one step ahead of the police. This is, yes, his version of things. Each episode, six, mostly in Swedish with English subtitles, begins with a statement that he is full of truth and lies.

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It’s a good, often disturbing, binge-watch, a trip into the mind, and the escapades of a scoundrel that you’re a little shy to admire. He is horrible: liar and seducer, narcissist and sociopath. At times, his childhood, with a violent, alcoholic father and a mother with mental health problems, is presented as the root of his criminal behavior, but one never knows for sure where the truth lies.

It has a very Scandinavian tone and style, a sexual farce, and the Sweden of the ’60s and ’70s is presented as a bright, sunny era of innocence and small rebellions against conformity, with Clark Olofsson doing the very opposite of conformity. Skarsgard gives a remarkable performance, conveying the charm and cunning of a rogue turned self-centered monster. There are many sex scenes and the casual abandonment of many women by the main character is a major theme. There’s a strangeness to the miniseries that can be hard to define, and then you realize what’s going on: everything is seen from Olofsson’s perspective and he’s yelling at you or seducing you. Stuck with it, your perspective becomes a possible instance of Stockholm syndrome.

There sure is fun in it. Olofsson’s boasts are scandalous. “I’ve broken out of prison 17 times and that’s probably a world record,” he declares in the voiceover, and you know that’s a lie. “I never get depressed, I don’t hate anyone,” he tells the prison psychiatrist. He is seducing her and the number of women she captivates turns into what you know to be absurd bravado.

These days, there is skepticism about Stockholm syndrome. Those who supposedly sympathized with the criminals of that bank were women and there is implicit sexism in the notion of the syndrome. One such woman has scoffed at the very idea that she was seduced. Which makes the miniseries, a production not to everyone’s taste, even more cunningly subversive.

It will also air/air this weekend

Claire Kelly on Blown Away, the reality competition made in Canada.Courtesy of Netflix/Courtesy of Netflix

flown (streaming on Netflix) is back with new episodes. The made-in-Canada reality competition is a cult hit and even a bit controversial. Glass artists gather in a “hot shop” to create their work, usually to fit a theme set by the judges. They sweat, they get a little nervous and they emerge as different characters. It’s a captivating watch, filled with ridiculous puns delivered by host Nick Uhas and occasionally withering criticism from resident judge Katherine Gray. It’s the trial that’s drawing attention, with some viewers saying it’s too harsh.

Wild Card: The drop of a radio loudmouth (Saturday, HBO, 8 pm, broadcasts on Crave) is a solid documentary about Craig Carton. He tells the story, beginning with: “My name is Craig Carton and I have lived through the most public, vicious, self-inflicted fall from grace.” Carton co-hosted (with former NFL quarterback Boomer Esiason) a hugely popular radio show in New York. Enriched by his antics and yelling, his offensive version of sports, he gambled, arranged scams and ended up in jail. A study of the male ego and hidden demons.

Finally, keep in mind famous fake (Sunday, HBO, 8 p.m., broadcasts on Crave), is a repeated but fascinating case study of a social media experiment. Filmmaker Nick Bilton seeks to find three unknowns and make them very famous through Instagram. It is about millions of fake people following fake people and sharing fake news.

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