Rita the Teacher, the Danish TV Series

Updated on May 7, 2018
Rita the teacher, played by Mille Dinesen on the  TV show's promotional cover.
Rita the teacher, played by Mille Dinesen on the TV show's promotional cover. | Source

Rita an Imported TV series from Denmark

Rita is a politically incorrect Danish TV series, written by Christian Torpe and produced by TV2. The series debuted in February 2012 and has had four seasons to date with all of them available on Netflix. The first season was followed by 904,000 viewers and each section had an audience of over 600,000 viewers when the series is broadcast in everyday life. The series is filmed in and around the former state school National Innovative Centre (SPF) in Islev, Rødovre.

The series deals with Rita Madsen, played by Mille Dinesen, and her life as a school teacher and single mother. Her rough relationship with her three children is a large focus of much of the show. These scenes of family dysfunction are generally juxtaposed with how caring she is with her students at the school.

The series was well received by the Danish reviewers. Danish reviewer Henrik Palle wrote that the series "works really well with some characters [since] appear to be real people." Palle is talking about the fact that many of the show's characters have major flaws. Thus making them hard to love at certain times, yet more loveable in other scenes. The series has also been criticized, the Cancer Society, in particular, had issues with the season cover in which Rita is seen with a lit cigarette.

Each episode runs 40 minutes. Rita the Teacher is available on Netflix in the US.

US Adaption of Rita

Although the TV Series Rita was sold to Bravo, and a script was approved with Anna Gunn slated to portray Rita in early 2013, Bravo has passed the show on. Other networks showed interest, however, the series was not picked up.

A Dutch remake titled Tessa did air in 2015.

Danish Rita promo video with English subtitles.

Where to Watch Rita

All four seasons of Rita are available for streaming on Netflix with subtitles.

As of right now, seasons 1, 2, and 3 are available on NON-USA formatted DVDs.

Another promotional photo released for the Danish TV series Rita, starring Mille Dinesen.
Another promotional photo released for the Danish TV series Rita, starring Mille Dinesen. | Source

Characters of Rita the TV Show

The TV series focuses on Rita the school teacher, and the everyday life of Rita, her family, her co-workers, and her students.

Rita

Rita is played by Mille Dinesen and is the main character of the show. She is a single mother and a school teacher who refuses to take BS from anyone. She loves her family, and students but obviously has self-value issues that most likely stem from her childhood.

She has a rocky relationship with almost everyone. She takes no nonsense from the parents of her students and fights with everyone in her family.

Her family consists of:

  • Jeppe Madsen (Rita's youngest son),
  • Molly Madsen (Rita's daughter),
  • Ricco Madsen (Rita's oldest son),
  • Bitten Dyrehave (Rita's daughter-in-law, wife of Ricco),
  • Lillebeth Schmidt Kronborg (Rita's mother),
  • Niels Madsen (Rita'sex-husband and the father of her children),
  • Gitte Nielsen (Rita's sister)

Mille Dinesen won a Golden Nymph for Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series for this role.


Do you remember asking me why I became a teacher? To protect children from their parents.

— Rita

Hjørdis

Hjørdis (played by Lise Baastrup) is a new school teacher that works with Rita. She quickly begins to look up to Rita as a mentor.

Her first year of teaching is started at the beginning of season one. She is overly enthusiastic about her job and wants to prove herself and make a positive impact on her students.

A four-episode miniseries inspired by Hjørdis ran in 2015.


Niels Madsen

Niels Madsen in Rita's ex-husband, and the father to all three of her children. Niels is portrayed by Peter Gantzler.

Although he is mentioned in more episodes, Niels is only seen in three episodes:

  • Teamplayer (2013)
  • Far, mor og børn (2013)
  • Anarkisten (2012)

Jeppe Madsen

Jeppe Madsen is played by Nikolaj Groth.

Jeppe is Rita's youngest son who still lives at home. Much of the early episodes deal with Jeppe's rebellious coming of age, his relationship with his complicated mother, coming to terms with his sexuality, as well as the standard teenage relationship pieces.

Rasmus

Rasmus works at Rita's school as the Headmaster, and becomes her love interest. He is played by
Carsten Bjørnlund.

Carsten has been nominated for multiple Golden Nymphs from the Monte-Carlo TV Festival.

Rita in the kitchen withher son Ricco.  Rita's style of mothering is fairly non-traditional, but her love for her children is obvious.
Rita in the kitchen withher son Ricco. Rita's style of mothering is fairly non-traditional, but her love for her children is obvious. | Source

Awards and Nominations Received by TV series Rita

Results
Festival, Year
Category
Nominee
Won
Monte-Carlo TV Festival, 2012
Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series
Mille Dinesen
Nominated
Monte-Carlo TV Festival, 2012
Outstanding European Producer
Christian Torpe (executive producer) SF Film Production (production company)
Nominated
Monte-Carlo TV Festival, 2012
Outstanding International Producer
Christian Torpe (executive producer) SF Film Production (production company)
Nominated
Monte-Carlo TV Festival, 2012
Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series
Carsten Bjørnlund
Nominated
Monte-Carlo TV Festival, 2012
Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series
Nikolaj Groth
Nominated
Monte-Carlo TV Festival, 2012
Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series
Lise Baastrup
Nominated
Monte-Carlo TV Festival, 2014
Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series
Mille Dinesen
Nominated
Monte-Carlo TV Festival, 2014
Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series
Carsten Bjørnlund
Nominated
Zulu Award, 2016
Best TV Series (Årets danske tv-serie)
Rita the TV Show
Nominated
Robert Festival, 2013
Best Actor in a TV Series (Årets mandlige hovedrolle - tv-serie)
Carsten Bjørnlund
Nominated
Robert Festival, 2013
Best Actress in a TV Series (Årets kvindelige hovedrolle - tv-serie)
Mille Dinesen
Nominated
Robert Festival, 2013
Best Supporting Actor in a TV Series (Årets mandlige birolle - tv-serie)
Nikolaj Groth
Nominated
Robert Festival, 2013
Best Supporting Actress in a TV Series (Årets kvindelige birolle - tv-serie)
Sara Hjort Ditlevsen
Nominated
Robert Festival, 2013
Best Danish Television Series (Årets danske tv-serie)
Jesper Morthorst (producer), Karoline Leth (producer), Christian Torpe (writer), Marie Østerbye (writer), Lars Kaalund (director), SF Studios
Nominated
Robert Festival, 2014
Best Actress - TV Series (Årets kvindelige hovedrolle - tv-serie)
Mille Dinesen
Nominated
Robert Festival, 2014
Best Actor - TV Series (Årets mandlige hovedrolle - tv-serie)
Carsten Bjørnlund
Nominated
Robert Festival, 2014
Best Supporting Actress - TV Series (Årets kvindelige birolle - tv-serie)
Lise Baastrup
Nominated
Robert Festival, 2014
Best Supporting Actor - TV Series (Årets mandlige birolle - tv-serie)
Tommy Kenter
Nominated
Robert Festival, 2014
Best Danish TV Series (Årets danske tv-serie)
Jesper Morthorst (producer), Karoline Leth (producer), Christian Torpe (writer), Lars Kaalund (director), Kathrine Windfeld (director)
Nominated
Robert Festival, 2016
Best Supporting Actress - TV Series (Årets kvindelige birolle - tv-serie)
Lise Baastrup
Nominated
Robert Festival, 2016
Best Supporting Actor - TV Series (Årets mandlige birolle - tv-serie)
Carsten Bjørnlund
Nominated
Robert Festival, 2016
Best Danish TV Series (Årets danske tv-serie)
Jesper Morthorst (producer), Christian Torpe (writer), Lars Kaalund (director)
Nominated
Robert Festival, 2016
Best Actress - TV Series (Årets kvindelige hovedrolle - tv-serie)
Mille Dinesen
Nominated
Robert Festival, 2018
Best TV Series (Årets tv-serie)
Jesper Morthorst (producer), Christian Torpe (writer), Jannik Tai Mosholt (writer), Lars Kaalund (director)
Nominated
Robert Festival, 2018
Best Actress - TV Series (Årets kvindelige hovedrolle - tv-serie)
Mille Dinesen
Nominated
Robert Festival, 2018
Best Supporting Actress - TV Series (Årets kvindelige birolle - tv-serie)
Charlotte Munck
Rita the Danish TV show has won an award once, and has been nominated for 25 additional awards.
Rita with a group of her students who she is utterly devoted to.
Rita with a group of her students who she is utterly devoted to. | Source

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Why a Show About a Danish School Teacher is Worth Watching

Some may argue that a show about teachers can't be entertaining, but script writer Christian Torpe explains what makes this show so riveting:

"For me, there is a lot more drama in primary school than there is in a police station or at Christiansborg. Which is where many other series focus on. In a series on public school, one has to get down and tinker with what matters most: how the next generation comes to behave."

Producer Karoline Leth talks about the TV Show Rita

Review of Rita the Danish TV Show

Rita is a funny, down to earth drama that frolics through the lives of a small community in Denmark. Every flaw brings the characters closer to the viewer's heart, and while the wins are always small they mean the world to the characters: cupcakes to give to the class, the realization that a daughter has a learning disability and isn't dumb, and having family stand by their sides when the entire school is turning against them.

The storyline of Rita's youngest son coming as gay is especially touching.

Being a single mother is important to Rita's story, but it isn't everything about her. Rita is a maverick school teacher, a woman trying to atone for her past, someone trying to find love, she is trying to convince herself that she is deserving of love, and she is an unmarried mother.

Season 4 forces Rita to examine her past. The series up to this point pivoted on Rita's many mistakes that she would make. Moving back to the town that she grew up in, causes Rita to come to terms with her past.

Questions & Answers

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      • hrymel profile image
        Author

        Haley 4 years ago from Baltimore, MD

        Thanks. It's really one of my favorite TV shows. It's witty, down to earth, and extremely entertaining.

      • LauraD093 profile image

        Laura Tykarski 4 years ago from Pittsburgh PA

        I really enjoy this type of show-I have Netflix and will have to check out the first season-really entertaining and well organized hub-thanks

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