Thursday, November 13, 2014

SERIES WEEKEND: LILYHAMMER

Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

I have a series on which you can binge, if you so desire. It's Lilyhammer (2012 - present, Two Seasons Available on Netflix Streaming and A Third Arriving Nov. 21, Also Available On DVD).


Lilyhammer is a Norwegian TV series that has moved on to Netflix Streaming and is also available on DVD. Steven Van Zandt is one of its creators, writers, and producers, in addition to starring on the show as Frank Tagliano.

Frank testifies against a Mafia boss who killed Frank's dog, Lily. When he enters the witness protection program, he opts to start a new life in a place he remembers from the Olympics, Lillehammer, Norway. The title is based on his dog's name and his mispronunciation of the city's name.

Willy Dunne Wooters and I think Lilyhammer is highly amusing. It parodies The Sopranos, The Godfather, Breaking Bad, and probably some other mob-inspired movies of which I'm unaware.

When Frank arrives in Lillehammer, he learns quickly that to deal with Norwegian bureaucracy and enjoy a lavish standard of living, he has to employ his old mafia techniques. He finds Norwegians who are willing to learn from him, in spite of his orders to commit acts of violence.

I liked Steven Van Zandt on The Sopranos, and he's good in Lilyhammer. Transplanting the mafia to Norway works well as a basis for a series. The Norwegians are mostly portrayed as not the sharpest knives in the drawer. I don't know if Norwegians are offended by the show. According to Wikipedia, the premiere of the show drew a record number of viewers. My mom was a first-generation American. Her family is Norwegian. I'm not offended by the show. Having lots of Norwegian relatives adds to my enjoyment of Lilyhammer.

However, I have no idea if Norwegians really drop the F-bomb as frequently as the characters on the show do. If you don't like profanity, even if it's in Norwegian, then you won't want to watch Lilyhammer. It's definitely not a show for children. I don't know if it would appeal to teens--if you are willing to let them watch.

Lilyhammer earns The Janie Junebug Seal of Approval and The Willy Dunne Wooters Seal of Highest Approval. Yes. He likes it more than I do, but we have fun watching it together. It's something to occupy us while we wait for the conclusion of Mad Men and the next season of Orange Is The New Black. I look forward to Downton Abbey and Call The Midwife, too, but these shows do not interest the Wooters man.

Whatever you decide to watch, I wish you happy viewing!


Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

35 comments:

  1. I loved Steve Van Zandt in the Sopranos, so I watched a few of these but I had a hard time getting into it. Maybe I'll go back and check it out. I may not have given it a good chance to get under my skin.

    Happy Valley was AWESOME and I would have never watched it if you hadn't suggested it.

    I think I'll listen to you singing on my cell phone again. It's better than radio, and personalized. Shady will be so jealous.

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    1. I thought Van Zandt added a comedic touch to The Sopranos. His character's appearance is funny, and he looks the same in Lilyhammer, though with more coats, boots, and hats. I can't wait for the next season of Happy Valley. Try not to make Shady too jealous. I don't have a Shady song.

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  2. Janie,
    Thanks so much! My stress levels are starting to drop...lol.

    I don't have Netflix, but I know what movies to catch if I ever do. I don't know how to hook up my dvr and don't know where the cord is! Some day.... I should ask exbf to do that for me. I have a huge box of cords that are mating as we speak.

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    1. Willy Dunne Wooters' apartment was remodeled recently. He had to take apart all his TV and stereo equipment. Now the cords are in a big pile. I doubt if he'll ever get it all hooked up again. And you're welcome.

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  3. I have not seen the show however, the Olympics in Lillehammer were my favorite of all time. I gave them my own seal (ark-ark) of approval!

    I'm not really a mafia buff. They bleed too much for me.

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    1. The violence on this show is not as bloody as The Sopranos was. There is some blood, but there's also stuff like dunking a guy in the water through a hole cut in the ice. Norway opens up all sorts of possibilities. I loved the Olympics in Lillehammer, too.

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  4. Thank you so much for your kind words on my blog. I'll have to check out this series.

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  5. My hubby discovered Lillyhammer on Netflix, and we became instantly hooked. Steven Van Zandt is oddly likable, and we also got a kick out of the other quirky characters! Just watching how his hairpiece miraculously stayed in place in subzero temperatures was amusing! Great review, Janie!

    Julie

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    1. Thank you. I liked Van Zandt on The Sopranos. He's pretty much playing the same character on Lilyhammer, but he gets more screen time. When I first watched The Sopranos, I didn't realize he was Little Steven of Bruce Springsteen fame.

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  6. Hello, Janie Junebug!

    Just curious - have you seen Welcome To Sweden? I am not afraid of the F-bomb. You drop it quite often during our nightly Skype sessions and I have grown quite fond of your potty mouth.

    Mrs. Shady and I love series set in foreign lands and will give Lilyhammer a try. I would also like to thank you, as Cherdo did above, for recommending Last Tango and Happy Valley. Mrs. Shady and I are almost finished with season 1 of Tango. Did you know there is a season 2 on NetFlix? When finished we will proceed to Happy Valley. If you enjoy Lilyhammer and have Hulu Plus I would like to recommend the late 80s detective series Crime Story starring Dennis Farina. If you liked the style of Miami Vice, you should like Crime Story because both series were executive produced by Michael Mann. Mrs. Shady and I love it!

    Happy Thursday, dear Janie!

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    1. WDW and I watched season two of Last Tango on PBS. We couldn't wait for it to be on Netflix. I don't have Hulu Plus, which is just as well because I have time for a limited number of shows. I can't give up my movie habit. Is there really a Welcome To Sweden, or is it as much in your imagination as our nightly skype sessions?

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  7. We took your advice on Begin Again and loved that movie.
    We don't subscribe to Nerflix yet so we'll have to do this one another time, but thanks for the recommend.
    R

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    1. You can get Lilyhammer on DVD if you're interested. I'm glad you loved Begin Again.

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  8. Lilyhammer is definitely on my "to see" list some day when I have oodles of time. I'm a fan of Mad Men and OITNB too.

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    1. Willy Dunne Wooters and I watch two or three episodes each weekend. We're on season two, and season three will appear soon.

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  9. I love Norwegian rock, so it only seems natural I branch out to Norwegian TV (no, really, I do).

    F-bombs? Violence? More f-bombs? Color me interested, especially as a Netflix streamer.

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    1. You'll hear Norwegian music on this show. Isn't Netflix streaming simply dreamy? Bleagh. I can't believe I wrote that.

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  10. I'll have to check it out. I like the idea of getting revenge for your dog. Shows this bad guy has some heart.

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    1. Tony Soprano was the same way. He loved animals, but it didn't bother him to kill people.

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  11. Checking to see if I can get it through Amazon... would make an EXCELLENT Christmas gift for Tony. I'm doing the "12 days of Christmas" for him, so it could be good for "11" (episodes) or something along those lines. :)

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    1. I think each season has eight episodes. Twelve days of Christmas is a great idea. I'd love to do that for WDW, but he won't accept even one gift.

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  12. So ironic that you posted this review today. I JUST started watching Lillyhammer. I fell similar to you: I like it but not sure I love it. Too soon to tell. I can't shake the feeling that I am watching some off spin off of the Sopranos in Norway. LOL I'm going to hang with it though because I keep hearing positive reviews. Sometimes it takes time to get used to people in different roles, especially when they are somewhat similar. Have you and WDD watched, House of Cards? I hear that is excellent, just haven't gotten to it yet. I always love your reviews. xx

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    1. Lilyhammer is very much like the lighter moments in The Sopranos. Steven Van Zandt's character is virtually the same. We watched the first episode of House of Cards. Something happened in it that disturbed me, and we didn't find it very interesting. The Hurricane loves it and has encouraged me to try it again.

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  13. I wasn't aware of this program, but I intend to look into it.

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  14. Yessum, Welcome To Sweden is a thing. It's a new sitcom written and produced by and starring Greg Poehler, brother of SNL's Amy.

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3463606/?ref_=nv_sr_1

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    1. Amy is funny. I didn't know Greg existed.

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  15. I've finally seen something you're blogging about!! I've only watched the first season, but I think it's great so far.

    -andi

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    1. We started the second season last weekend so we're barely ahead of you.

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  16. Hey Janie,

    Some serious seals of approval here. I haven't got time for Netflix cause I'd rather read your posts. Aha :)

    And to put it in British, "don't get your knickers in a twist!"

    Yes, I'm the ever so famous, yet remarkably humble, Gary :)

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    1. I love famous people who can remain humble.

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    2. Ah yes, human, Janie, I taught my alleged human how to be humble.

      Pawsitive wishes,

      Penny!

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  17. I have proactively not watched this show. Netflix and I have a contentious love affair. Their incessant pushing of that show (which, hey, I can't fault them) really turned me off from the beginning and the description just sounded like a poor recreation of the movie My Blue Heaven. Given your approval, I may have to reconsider my defiance.

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    1. Please don't reconsider your defiance. I like you just the way you are.

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