Although “House of Cards” has taken all the kudos as Netflix’s big debut into creating original content, the joint US-Norwegian (I’m not joking) comedy-drama “Lilyhammer” was actually their first show.
Fronted by ex-Sopranos (and current E-Street band member) Stephen Van Zandt (You’ll know him when you see him) the show is a bi-lingual take on a Witness Protectioned gangster moved to Lillehammer in Norway, and his efforts to both fit into his new home and life whilst flexing his criminal experience to resolve problems. The makers have dealt with the language issue in a very straightforward way, with Van Zandt’s “Giovanni Henriksen” learning Norwegian early on, and so conversing in English but understanding Norwegian. The cast switch quite easily from one to the other, and it’s actually easier to follow than say “Borgen” where non-Danish speakers are rivetted to the sub-titles.
It’s a fun show, with a hint of The Sopranos in Snowshoes, and is certainly added to by the striking landscape and setting that features prominently in each episode.