Lilyhammer: A New York Gangster in Norway

Lillyhammer is a story about a New York gangster who decides to start life anew, in Norway. Frank “the Fixer” Tagliano (played by Steven Van Zandt) decides to give up his boss, and in return the FBI enter him into the Witness Protection program.

Frank’s one demand is a strange one: he wants to be relocated to Norway. When asked why he chose Norway, he responds: “Didn’t you see the Olympics of ’94? Clean air, fresh white snow, gorgeous broads… it was beautiful.”

Frank gets his wish, and is transported to Lillehammer, Norway. The show gets its name from Frank’s mis-pronunciation: he calls the town Lilyhammer. As you can imagine, his new life doesn’t go as planned.

The interesting thing about this series is that it’s funded entirely by Netflix. This is their first foray into actually producing content, with a few others lined up in the… ahem… queue: Kevin Spacey in a remake of House of Cards, and a new (resurrected) season of Arrested Development in 2013.

I read about the show a few months ago, but then promptly forgot about it. Today, Liz and I happened to be scrolling around looking for things to watch, and I nearly yelped when I saw Lilyhammer was available. Apparently, it became available in February (a month ago)… but I just happened across it now.

So far we’ve just watched one episode, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. There were several easy moments (NY gangster shows up, and uses his tough machismo for good), but there were also a few hints at Frank’s darker side. It’s no Breaking Bad so far, but I’m enjoying watching Frank trying to balance his current and past life. I wonder if the show will end up being about Frank’s personality – the parts of him he chooses to suppress, and the parts of him he chooses to embrace.

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// Edit: I am very surprised that I actually have three other Norway-related posts on here. Forgot about a few of these!

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