In a previous article I wrote for Thought Catalog I recommended you watch the tremendously underrated thriller series The Killing.
Today comes another underrated binge worthy Netflix series you need to watch. To say this series is odd is an understatement, but Lilyhammer is odd in all of the right ways. Just like you gave me a chance to sell you in The Killing, hear me out on why you need to add Lilyhammer on your “to binge watch” list.
The premise of the series is centered on a former mobster turned informant who is now in the Witness Protection Program. For most mob stories that is where the show or movie ends, withsomeone ratting out the entire Mafia, and the end credits roll with them being placed in Witness Protection. This series takes off where most end.
The Star Character of the Show Is Familiar
The star of the show is an extremely familiar face for any Sopranos fans out there. Steven Van Zandt is the lead in this series and goes by the name “Giovanni Henriksen” but the casual viewer could easily mistake Giovanni for Van Zandt’s famous Sopranos character “Silvio Dante.”
How Giovanni walks, talks, and reacts is almost a spitting image of everything Silvio Dante did in The Sopranos, which makes it an easy sell, and very fun to watch.
While watching the show you will get a feel for the Norwegian culture, as well as the people who live there. Generally speaking, you get introduced to a very happy, accommodating, and content population in Norway who tend to put Giovanni in a major culture shock.
How Giovanni reacts to his new change of culture, while trying to suppress his old mafia ways makes this series a must watch. The visionaries behind the show do an excellent job exposing the viewer to the true culture (or what I assume to be) of Norway. Without spoiling anything, seeing how Giovanni “reshapes” the culture of his Norwegian town is nothing less than part comedic, part drama gold.
The Best Thing About Lilyhammer
Lilyhammer does many things exceptionally well all with an underlying theme: the creators do not take themselves too seriously. While watching the show, you will find yourself in eager Soprano-esque anticipation one second, and then laughing your face off the next.
There are some unanticipated, odd, random, and hilarious moments throughout the show, which is fitting given how odd the premise of this show is.
One word of caution: you may be turned off by the dialogue split in the show, but don’t be. The show does use subtitles, but not exclusively, meaning: there are necessary subtitles in the show, but the entire show is NOT subtitled, as the main language used is English.
If you were a fan of The Sopranos and always hoped for a Silvio Dante spinoff, this would be it, with a lot more subtle comedy added. Lilyhammer is a fun series to binge watch and is as light-hearted as a crime-centered series can be.
Season 2 of Lilyhammer was recently released on Netflix, with Season 3 already being green-lighted, so it is safe to say you can get invested in this show.
Make the decision to watch a few episodes of Lilyhammer, but just don’t blame me when you get hooked.