Monday, February 20, 2012


Aside from PBS Kids and Downton Abbey (which ended last night, sniff, sniff), I don't really watch much television over the air these days.  I like to watch an entire series on Netflix every so often, and I just finished the eight episode show, Lilyhammer, which was the first original series to debut on Netflix. 

While some reviews of the show were pretty mixed, I thoroughly enjoyed it and am holding my breath that they'll film a second season.  I admit to being a bit of a television snob, and I can tell pretty quickly into a show if I'm going to be able to stomach it.  I'm also a huge mafia movie fan (The Sopranos and Goodfellas rank high on my list), so Lilyhammer was right up my alley.

The premise of the show centers around Steven Van Zandt's character, a mafia guy who relocates to Lillehammer, Norway as part of the witness protection program after testifying against a rival boss.  If you've seen The Sopranos, then you know that Van Zandt played Silvio Dante, the strip club owner and advisor to Tony Soprano.  He's basically the same guy in Lilyhammer (spelled that way because that's how the character pronounces it), but with a bigger heart and lots of Nordic sweaters. 

Lilyhammer is actually filmed in Norway, so it utilizes local actors and subtitles.  The scenery is gorgeous and the Norwegian lifestyle, which in many ways is more relaxed and friendlier than our own, features heavily within the show.  It reminded me a bit of Northern Exposure, that quirky 1990s series set in Alaska, with all of the unusual characters and bizarre plots.  I won't reveal too much, but there is one episode involving both a male midwife and a neighborhood crime patrol group that is absolutely hilarious.  Not to mention the local policeman with way too much time on his hands and the job training counselor with an affinity for helping young immigrant women.

Lilyhammer is really a joy to watch, and I'm looking forward to a second season, hopefully sometime this year.