I’ve always been very proud of my Norwegian background, and lately I’ve been learning, speaking, cooking, reading and watching Norwegian whenever I can. I’m not much of a fan of Nordic Noir, so I’ve had to dig a little. Here are some of my favourites, all of which are available to watch in Australia at the moment.
Twin (SBS OnDemand)
A bit of a freaky Friday scenario, but in a deep and dark Norwegian way. Set in the pristine Lofoten Islands, estranged twin brothers Adam and Erik have a huge fight, and when Adam’s wife accidentally kills him, Erik temporarily assumes his brother’s identity. Things just descend into madness from there as they proceed to gaslight everyone around them. Starring Kristofer Hivju from Game of Thrones, it was both compelling and gave me an unexpected sense of moral satisfaction.
Hjem Til Jul/Home for Christmas (Netflix)
Johanne is a thirty-something nurse who gets so sick of her family and friends treating her differently for being single that one family dinner she finally cracks, declaring that she has a boyfriend, to everyone’s delight. She is then left scrambling to find a date before her family’s Christmas dinner. The show uses a heart-warming what’s what of Norwegian Christmas culture to simultaneously deconstruct cultural misogyny and what it’s like to date in the modern age. This show is both sufficiently light-hearted and self-aware to provide you with the delightful binge-fest you deserve. Treat yoself.
Think Clark Kent x vampire highschool drama x Norse mythology x increasing awareness around wealth inequality and the climate emergency. Troubled but loveable goober Magne moves to a new town and suddenly becomes Thor. This show is badass. Bonus points for its sensitive depiction of special needs, the problematic nature of one-size-fits-all education for neurodiverse people and mothering a kid with special needs. I loved this show.
Watch as a stellar cast of Norwegians reclaim their Viking heritage in this comedic response to Michael Hirst’s
ahistorical fantasy drama Vikings. Don’t let the fact that it’s in English turn you off, it’s hilarious and the Norwegian inflection really makes the show. If Vikings wasn’t already dead for you, it certainly will be after watching this (but in a good way). Bonus fact: they make two versions simultaneously, this one and a Norwegian language version (called Vikingane).
Young and Promising/Unge Lovende (SBS OnDemand)
Billed as Europe’s answer to Girls, Unge Lovende follows the adventures of three twenty-something besties in Oslo – stand-up comic Elise, aspiring author Nenne and aspiring actor Alex – as they do their best to navigate through social awkwardness and the creative industries (which are not mutually exclusive). I couldn’t find a trailer with English subtitles, but three seasons are up for free on SBS OnDemand, so getitintoya.
Have you got any Norwegian shows to add to my list? Or any from the
lesser Eastern Nordic countries? Let me know below.