With all the talk about “House of Cards”, “Orange is the New Black”, and other Netflix original shows, “Lilyhammer” was one that slipped under the radar. It has gained a lot of buzz though, now in its third season.
So, I strapped into my recliner and set forth on watching Lilyhammer. A show about a mobster named Frank Tagliano, who goes into the witness protection program and gets relocated from New York to Lillehammer, Norway. Americans will quickly tilt their head while watching many of the scenes that take place in New York. The Norweigian actors who attempt to portray New York cops and mobsters are hilarious. Viewers are immediately forced to simply accept this is not meant to be a realistic show.
You’ll have to suspend your disbelief many times with “Lilyhammer”, as Frank seems to arrive to town and is freely able to do as he pleases in Norway. If there a problem with a youth on a train or a doctor who won’t treat his girl, it’s no problem for Frank. He’ll just rough ’em up a bit and will get his way. He also has the uncanny ability to run into the exact person who can help solve his problem at the moment. Frank also seems to have a tremendous ability to communicate with the locals of Lilyhammer despite the fact that he doesn’t really know Norwegian and most of the locals don’t understand English. The show is almost like you are watching a dream from Frank’s perspective where he can control everything in the world.
Despite the sometimes ridiculous acting and amazing luck Frank has, the show works as a quirky comedy. It’s not a serious mobster drama show like “The Sopranos”. It reminds me of “Psyche”, another show where you have to constantly suspend your disbelief and accept it’s just a show that’s meant to entertain and make you chuckle.
Despite the lack of realism, I find that I just want to keep watching “Lilyhammer” just to see what Frank will do next. The show’s premise of a wiseguy carving his way through an icy town and always getting what he wants carries the show well. The show undeniably has a unique quality you often can’t find in an era filled with reality TV and scripted shows that try to get ratings by shocking you.
The show isn’t on a level of greatness like “House of Cards” or “Breaking Bad”, but it’s worth watching.
“Lilyhammer” – 2012
3 out of 5 stars