This summer we have been relishing in the cold air of the air conditioner and the slow sultry summer heat outside. I found on netflick Lilyhammer which is an American-Norwegian TV series about a mobster from New York in witness protection in Norway. The series is very well written and meaningful. As you watch, it feels like you are sublimely experiencing a lesson in real-time because the series incorporates the refugee situation, dealing with Muslim traditions and the hesitation of a Muslim man to shake hands with a woman, and the seemingly passivity and gentle nature of the Norwegians as they interact with the sharp no-nonsense New Yorker.
The series is hilarious and we watch two shows a night. It was cancelled unfortunately after the third season. The humor is very dry which I enjoy but not everyone will. The characters are a study in themselves: Frank Tagliano/ as Johnny Henrikson is hilarious. Having lived in New York, I can easily relate to his character and understand his compassion served cold. He shares characteristics of many Italian New Yorkers I met and his bluntness reminds me of my father who was a native New Yorker. The endearing naivety of the character playing his pregnant Norwegian girlfriend makes the series a soap opera with some original character flaws. I love the characters despite their flaws. The series has the same originality as the first season of Orange is the New Black. I enjoyed it until the second season when it became old and it seemed as if it were too politically correct.
The series is enjoyable because it tackles some difficult issues: immigration; a police force which is more concerned with animal rights than with the people; the political correctness of talking out problems with gangs which didn’t work; and a jail system which lets the prisoners study music and discourse as a way to rehabilitate them. In other words, it gently pokes fun at the way of doing business in Norway and how when a brash New Yorker enters, he ends up as Lilyhammer being his kind of town. That is once he changes it! Bring your humor and some knowledge of the Danish countries and I think most of you will enjoy the wry sense of things as they are. Tonight we finish the first season!