I heard great things about this show so on account of there being precious little good on these days, I decided to take it for a test drive.  Lord almighty, just how unbelievably bad could it be???

Before I composed this post I checked on line to see if anyone agreed, to my surprise I found precious little – the comment below came closest…

OK, first the “pro’s”: Love the premise and the setting. Still like Steve Van Zandt. Love the quirky writing and a chance to get to know Norwegian culture a little (I know–like watching the Sopranos helps me get to know American culture!). Cons: So far–and I went to the trouble to watch the first six episodes–the message of the series is–1)Think only of yourself and what you want.. 2)Use violence and treachery to get it. 3) Everyone else is an idiot. 4)Teach your employees, business partners, and your girlfriend’s naive son to believe and act on #1-3. I won’t be watching the next season and if you haven’t started watching, there are better ways to use your time. Not recommended.[link :]

Look…if you have a pro-establishment agenda, I really don’t have a problem with it, everyone is entitled to their opinion.  The one thing I will say, however, is that there are far, far better ways to get your point across than drama.

Both the plot and the dialogue in this show are so unbelievably twisted to suit the “anti-liberal” mind-set that what is you end up with is overall a congealed mess.

First the lead “Sylvie 2.0” character gets transported to Norway where it seems all he has to do is don some headphones on a train journey and POOF! A man who spent most of his life in a mafia culture suddenly understand spoken Norwegian.  It could happen, right?

Even if you accept this, you still have to be amazed by the endless string of “left-wing” stereoptypes he comes across…like a government official, a stay-at-home father, a male midwife…all conveniently giving Van Zandt the opportunity to put them down with his wise-guy wise-cracks.

The reason shows like Six Feet Under and even The Sopranos are more suited to what I call the “anti-establishment” mindset is that in general, there’s no need to exaggerate  the way this show does…in fact, if anything even the most “liberal” type characters are shown as much with their flaws as with their strengths. 

Unlike the above commenter, I stuck with Season 1 to the end to confirm that it wasn’t all irony and without giving you actual spoilers, I can assure you it is not.

Trust me…the Norwegian right should really stick to their versions of Fox News, the Wall Street Journal and Newstalk to peddle their message.

One other thing I sense from the show is that with Van Zandt being such a big draw for American viewers, it seems like the entire cast of Norway’s answer to Fair City clambered to get in on the acting roles, instead of the usual process of, well, you know, auditioning for the people who actually suit the characters.

I wouldn’t go as far as to say don’t watch this show…there are a few humorous situations in every episode and if nothing else you can do it just so you can tell me how full of crap I am with my review!

But let’s just say you can well a-fjord to miss it. JLP

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