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Is ‘Beartown’ Based On A True Story? Plot And Details Explained

Is "Beartown" A True Story?- Plot And Details Explained
Is "Beartown" a true story?- Here is all you need to know about the HBO contemporary drama.

“Beartown”, the newly released TV series based on Fredrik Backman’s novel with the same name. Backman is a Swedish writer, columnist, and blogger. “Beartown” was one of his best-sellers and hence, Filmlance International AB decided to adapt it into a TV series. It has been 4 years since the novel has been released and it also has been quite some time since the book was adapted into the series. Anyhow, now that the series is out, let us dive further into the article to know more about the series such as its plot, cast, and release date.

What is the TV series “Beartown” about?

“Beartown” is set in a modern but small town of Northern Sweden. The HBO drama series dictates to us the tale of Maya Andersson, a girl who is raped by the star player of a local junior hockey team. The name of the hockey star in making is Kevin. As the series progresses, we see how the incident affects the lives of everyone in the town. The event has a major impact on not only Maya and Kevin, but also Peter (Maya’s father and the manager of the hockey team), Maya’s mother, the other players, and the local hockey crazy community.

Miriam Ingrid as Maya Anderson

A still from Season 1 Episode 1 of the series “Beartown”.

The series shows us the struggles of a rape victim. Moreover, it also deals with the important matter of the undertaking of an alleged rapist. Apart from this, the showmakers have done a great job as the small-town culture, themes of community, and privilege are very well depicted in the story. This, in all, raised the doubts whether ‘Beartown’ was inspired by real events or not. However, we have done our digging, and here is all you need to know about the series and its truth.

Everything you need to know about the show “Beartown”:

Directed by Peter Grönlund, the series has been filmed entirely in Norbotten, Sweden. The cast of the show includes some really famous stars as well as some newcomers who have highlighted themselves in this series. Some of them are: Ulf Stenberg as Peter Anderson, Miriam Ingrid as Maya Anderson, Oliver Dufåker as Kevin Erdahl, and Aliette Opheim as Mira Anderson. These are the lead actors/actresses of the show around whom the entire plot is based. The show consists of only 5 episodes with an approximate runtime of around 55 minutes. HBO Max had released an official trailer for the series on 8 February 2021 on their official YouTube channel. It has already crossed 131k views and still counting. You can watch the trailer below. So, it seems that the viewers are surely interested in watching this upcoming contemporary drama.

Is “Beartown” based on a true story?

So, the question of the hour i.e. is “Beartown” based on a true story? No, ‘Beartown’ is not at all built upon a true story. The series has been constructed upon Fredrik Backman’s one of the bestselling fiction novels of the same name. Backman, who is a huge sports enthusiast was highly upset and saddened by the new scandals featuring sports teams and players regularly nowadays. The frequency with which these improprieties started appearing made him eager to write a story with this as the foundation. Backman stated that he was looking to explore the impact of sports on a community and hence, he chose to set the story in a fictional small town of Beartown.

Is "Beartown" A True Story?- Plot And Details Explained

Fredrik Backman, the writer of the novel that the series “Beartown” is adapted from.

In an interview, Backam also said that the idea behind the novel was loyalty. Being part of a team is really important and means a lot but he also wanted to talk about the darker sides and the irony that sports can sometimes put forward. Consequently, we let successful people get away with things only for the reason that they are important to us. The Swedish author grew up in the small town of Helsingborg, Sweden. He had spent a lot of time in locker rooms as he was doing research for the book. Finally, he drew inspiration from all that he had heard and seen during this time. Later on, when the book was about to release, its release in the US clashed with the global eruption of the #MeTooMovement.

Is "Beartown" A True Story?- Plot And Details Explained

A still of Miriam Ingrid as Maya Anderson from the series “Beartown”.

In an interview, Mattias Arehn and Bonnie Skoog Feeney, the producers of the series announced Backman’s novel’s TV adaptation. They said that they had fell in love with “Beartown” the first time itself when they read it. They described it as a story that makes you feel in both your stomach and your heart. In this novel, Backman created a universe of characters that give everything and show complete dedication and determination for their town, their children, and their sport. In conclusion, the book and the series i.e. its adaptation are not at all based on true stories. However, it is surely important for us to acknowledge that many real-world stories have provided an imagination for the showmakers. As a result, they hold out a mirror to the world and show them what it is really like. Consequently, it will make the viewers think about their society and environment.

When is the contemporary drama going to release?

“Beartown” is already out as it was released on 22nd February 2021. You can tune in to HBO where the show is broadcasted. Apart from this, you can also go to the official website of HBO Max. You can binge the entire series on the streaming platform. The series has received mixed reviews till now with people loving the acting of the cast and the accuracy of the time and place depicted. However, there are always some ups and downs but in general, it is a great series to watch. So, binge the show and let us know in the comments section whether you liked it or not.

Written By

Sunandan Sharma is a writer, reader, and content creator. He hails from Mumbai, India, and is a huge sports enthusiast. He has always loved writing about movies and TV shows. You can reach out to him at

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