Selected scenes from season 1, 2 & 3
Rikard (season 3)
Trailer (Season 2)
Mother & Daughter (season 1)
Dousing Horses (season 2)
Else leaves Erik (season 2)
Messages From Clive (season 1)
Josephine (season 2)
Pegasus Poetry (season 1)
Kim Ching (season 2)
Outtakes From Danish Cinema Classics (season 1)
Adoption (season 2)
Pottery (season 1)
Aksel's Balls (season 2)
Studies show that Danes are the happiest people on the planet, but if you confront a Dane with this "fact" the person most likely will call to crazy. On the surface everything looks fine and dandy, but beneath it the foundation that holds everything together is about to fall apart, slowly but surely. Well, more or less...
Almost every character in Rytteriet (The Cavalry) is miserable because finding the right path in life can be dreadfully painful or for some merely impossible. Most of the people we meet in Rytteriet don’t know how they wound up where they are. Days became months and months became years. Time just flew by and suddenly they found themselves in a deep existential crisis because they never managed to be honest to themselves or their surroundings.
This is the base of the satire show Rytteriet, which was created in 2008 by Danish actors Martin Buch & Rasmus Botoft. Martin and Rasmus met each other in acting school and ever since they have collaborated on various projects, for Radio, Film & Theater, Rytteriet being one of them.
Back in 2008 Rytteriet was a sketch show for Danish National Radio. Martin and Rasmus played all the parts in the show. Once in a while they would invite guests to join them. The radio-show was very popular.
In 2009 they asked director Peter Harton to make an adaptation of their radio-show for Television. Their collaboration with Peter resulted in 10 episodes surrounding the often tense and hilariously dysfunctional relationships between various fictional characters. It received huge critical acclaim, was one of the most watched TV series of the year and won the prestigious TV Festival Award in 2011 in Copenhagen for best comedy series.
In late 2012 Peter, Martin and Rasmus reunited to develop the follow up to their successful first season. Not wanting to repeat themselves they decided to challenge the sketch show format and step a bit away from the previous work the three had done together. Together they wrote 8 new episodes, which took Rytteriet into a new direction, away from the sketch-show genre and into a more continuous narrative story, still revolving around dysfunctional people who can't find their place in life. The result is deeper and darker than the first season.
The series was shot in and around Copenhagen in spring 2013. Like the first season, it was produced by DR Fiktion (Borgen & The Killing). It received massive critical acclaim in major Danish newspapers and was the most watched comedy series on Danish television that year.
In early 2014 Peter made a 50-minute long film with two of the characters from Rytteriet called Erik & Else. The material is taken from the eight episodes, added with some scenes that aren’t in the series. Also this was very well received by the public and the press.
In January 2014 the TV-Series won a Danish Academy Award (Robert) for best short-format TV-Series. In August it won the TV Festival Award for best comedy series for the second time.
Rytteriet's Christmas, which aired November 27th, 2016 has been nominated for a Danish Academy Award for best short-format TV-Series.
"What I like about Rytteriet is the sadness that lies beneath all the hilarious scenarios. The anguish, desperation, anxiety, impotence and total madness that every single human being on this planet feels from time to time is what Rytteriet really is about. For me at least. Getting people to lower their guards by making them smile and then hitting them where it hurts, is a very effective mechanism in storytelling. One that I am very fond of. Rytteriet has made me laugh and cry. In my book that’s what film is all about."
- Peter Harton
THE CREATORS ON IMDB
REVIEWS OF SEASON II
WHEN LOVE CRACKS UP
Erik & Else - Movie review - Politiken
By Henrik Palle, TV-Editor, Monday, 20 January 2014
In Christos Tsiolkas’ brilliant novel The Slap, it is, as the title suggests, a slap that sets the plot moving, and in DR 2’s patchwork depiction of the remains of the marriage of the dysfunctional couple Erik and Else from the Danish satire TV show Rytteriet (The Cavalry), a double punch in the nose sets the following events in motion: Else makes like a tree and leaves, and Eric ends up seeing a shrink in an attempt to recover the humanity he has drowned in a steady flow of boxed wine. Both events are assisted by the extremely sociable couple Tulle and John whose son, Carsten, has recently moved to Belgium with his Finnish wife and his militant fantasies.
Let’s start by hammering one thing home: the story of Erik and Else is a better psychological drama than any we have seen in the past couple of seasons of Scandinavian films. And while we may find ourselves in a kind of distorted parallel universe, it still resembles something most of us are familiar with. Theirs is a story of neuroses, skeletons in closets, drinking and folly, as told countless times before in countless ways. It is good comedy because it strikes the “suburbia Denmark” nail square on the head, and it is strong drama because there is so much going on under the surface.
The team of writers behind the movie, director Peter Harton and actors Martin Buch and Rasmus Botoft, have so much faith in the audience that they don't feel the need to present the full prehistory and mental scenery, giving us nothing more than hints. And letting the details speak in their own soft, yet clear voice: pillows and posters featuring a Danish 70s pop band in an abandoned teenage boy's bedroom, a preference for pastels and leather gloves, green wine glasses and the expression “red wine girl”. This is the stuff of novels
And then there is the elegant composition: a scene where one female main character goes in for a close up of the other's pubic hair cuts to Erik's bushy and frustrated moustache in a close encounter with a pair of scissors: liberation and self-castration. All the way.
An ear for the flora of banalities in our intimate emotional dealings makes up yet another layer in the story's thematic puff pastry, but never out of malice. The solidarity with the characters remains intact to the final, inevitable image that burns into your retina, piercing the feel-good genre like a thorn, a snowflake in a wonderful text by the Danish poet Jeppe Aakjær, who unwittingly shatters the winter of despondency. Bloody brilliant satire. A kind of Leif Panduro on acid.
THE HILARIOUS HORSEMEN
Rytteriet II - TV series review - Berlingske Tidende
By Kristian Lindberg, Wednesday, 11 September 2013
THE DANISH SATIRE TV SHOW, RYTTERIET 2 (THE CAVALRY 2) SUCCESSFULLY REINVENTS ITS MAIN CHARACTERS.
Jokes seldom get funnier with repetition, unless, of course, they’re sufficiently absurd. This appears to have been the formula for the first season of the Danish comedy duo Martin Buch and Rasmus Botoft’s Rytteriet (The Cavalry). The steady repetition is a tool regularly used by the horsemen, and at times we get an almost haunting sense that their characters are stuck in a particularly cruel corner of Hell, where they’re damned to forever repeat the trivial social rituals of the middle class. And so, it’s not too difficult for us to appreciate Erik’s desperate aggression, when he cuts off any attempt at kindness shown by his hard-pressed yet overbearing wife with an “Oh, just shut up, Else!”.
But repetition is repetition, and even though the “Let’s go with penis!” sketches always bring a smile, the duo have been dangerously close to becoming too automated in their humor. Which is why it came as such a delightful surprise to find in this second season that the absurd little ensemble has come up with new variations on their standard themes – although not the penis sketch, which has perhaps gone into impotent retirement.
Erik and Else receive a visit from a couple of their much happier friends, only increasing Erik’s pent-up rage, which ultimately explodes in the midst of everyone’s ice cream sundaes. If it weren’t so hilarious, it could be the perfect theme for a highly charged psychological stage drama.
And somehow a new dimension has also been added to the upper-class world of “The Snobs”, who sip their red wine and excel at manifesting an exceedingly superficial commentary on social trends. Now we have au pair girls wandering into the living room, and despite their at times highly objectifying attitude towards these sweet girls, everyone seems to be having a good time.
The duo’s loyal henchman, Bodil Jørgensen, plays the role of a disillusioned clergywoman who is rather unenthusiastic about the sanctioning of gay marriage which “that Indian fellow” managed to get through parliament. This being a reference to the current Danish Minister for Ecclesiastical Affairs, Manu Sareen. Within the context of Rytteriet’s special absurdity, Bodil Jørgensen’s sketch can hardly be called social satire, not even considering the fact that the majority of clergy in the Danish national church actually support gay marriage. No, the intent seems more to be to add yet another bizarre character to the outlandish members of The Cavalry, and a priest who appears to be battling some serious inner demons is a welcome addition. Satire is almost too anemic a word to describe this work of art that just happens to be devilishly hilarious as well.
RYTTERIET IS BACK: AND LOVABLE AS EVER
Rytteriet II - TV series review - BT
By Niels Lind Larsen, Thursday, 12 September 2013
REVIEW OF THE NEW SEASON OF THE DANISH SATIRE COMEDY SHOW RYTTERIET (THE CAVALRY).
Creating a sequel to a thundering success is no easy feat. The Danish satire TV show “Rytteriet” (The Cavalry) has to come up with something new, give us exactly what we expect and, not least, be just as funny as last season. If they repeat themselves, the chances of success are slim. But what do they have to work with when it’s no longer enough to “go with penis”?
Love, of course. “Rytteriet II” is more cinematic than its predecessor. More energy has been put into the scenography, and the weekly sketches, once so static and uniform, are now allowed to develop with the central story about Erik and Else and their new friends John and Tulle as the catalyst.
But first and foremost, Martin Buch and Rasmus Botoft have spotlighted the special quality of “Rytteriet”: love for their characters. They may be an eccentric, drunken and narcissistic bunch, but they’re depicted with a degree of tenderness that many comedians could learn from.
While most satire tends to ridicule, “Rytteriet” engages. Nothing overly indecent, mind you. Just absurd, subtle and warm. They’re still lovable, these simpletons created by Buch and Botoft. Even Bodil Jørgensen’s world-weary clergywoman. We can’t help but want to see more of the hippy couple Jutta and Steen; and the nation’s standard response to just about everything will soon be the words of poor, miserable Erik: “That’s it, I’m going to bed”.
But we won’t go to bed. At least not on Thursdays when the cavalry saddle up again for the best satire show on TV. And as Tulle says, “ice cream sundaes are such a lovely idea”.
©2018 Peter Harton