I had the great displeasure of receiving a promotional copy of a new television show the other day. It contains hours of sex, immorality and mafia gangs that prowl lunatic disco clubs for drunken victims. The program is called LillyHammer and it depicts the tragic European nation of Norway. It will come as a shock to American audiences to see the severe alcoholism and political corruption, the gambling and the abject poverty that defines the Norwegian culture. These are a lonely, bitter people who know nothing of Jesus Christ. They look sickly from the dark, snowy weather. The children grow up without fathers and the women have sexual intercourse with any man who crosses their path.
LillyHammer tells the story of an American businessman who travels to Norway in search of work. He ends up in the city of Lillyhammer, in the northern section of the country, where the Olympics were held in 1994. Since the Olympics, the place has fallen on difficult times. Unemployment is high, street crime is common and government corruption is widespread. The local residents are mostly alcoholics, wandering from one bar to the next as they wait for their welfare checks. The buildings look abandoned and most inhabit trailer park-like structures. They wear brightly colored costumes, filthy with beer stains and cod grease, to hide their misery. They eat small portions of food and are usually so poor that they must fish in frozen ponds for their next meal.
Most of Norway’s problems can be traced back to the fact that the country practices an extreme form of socialism, which very much borders on communism. Since World War II, they have been a nation of appeasement and weakness. Most live off government assistance and theft, hoping for a paycheck from their municipalities instead of actually doing something worthwhile with their lives. This is revealed with painful detail in the television show and it is a sad fate indeed.
The program itself is structured around Steven VanZandt, an American actor, who opens a disco club in Lillyhammer. He quickly attracts the mafia elements and several strong-armed men offer to beat rivals on his behalf. The local officials arrive wanting their bribes and a lonely Norwegian woman named Sigrid Haugli is so desperate for money she throws herself into Steven’s lap for erotic relations. In many ways, Sigrid, played by actress Marian Saastad Ottesen, is your typical lady from Norway. She is attractive but drunk with a child she barely notices. She is blindly socialist, supporting the radical, anti-Christian agenda of her federal government at every turn. Despite her beauty, she seems empty inside, as if she’s simply yearning for the healing power of Faith.
Trond Fausa Aurvag is another player in the drama. Unfortunately, his English is terrible so it will be very difficult for American viewers to understand him. He is the drunken sidekick to VanZandt, and is cast as a hipster version of Matt Damon with crooked teeth and a beer belly. He is uneducated and mentally clumsy, a common aspect in Norway where inept public schools fail to meet even the lowest standards of American acamedia.
Vivacious actress Laila Hovland plays the local police chief and she is clearly the most talented member of the show, although her obvious skill makes one wonder why she would degrade herself in such a pornographic role. However, Lalia is so tender and compassionate that one hopes she ultimately finds real love in the later seasons of LillyHammer.
The only other respectable player on display here is the impressively handsome Sven Nordin, who has that hearty Northern European beauty about him, whether he’s dressed smartly in a blue blazer and a kerchief, or strutting about in all his hairy shirtlessness. The man is a true delight to watch on the screen and made the experience of sitting through two episodes of this show slightly bearable. He has fantastic teeth, which is quite unusual for the Norwegians, and a playful, delightful head of hair. When it comes to Sven, the great mystery is why there aren’t more fansites on the world wide web dedicated to this man. He is one of Norway’s few national treasures.
The great drawback of LillyHammer is the obscure and difficult language its characters speak. It is harsh and crude, sounding almost like an alcoholic burp interrupted by an attempt to vomit a heavy fried fish meal. Watchers in America will undoubtedly find the Norwegian way of speaking both offensive and laughable and it’s a shame the dubbing is not better.
The backdrop of the city of Lillyhammer and the environment of Norway is another poor choice. It is so desolate and gruesome that the series is depressing to watch. Denmark, to the South, offers a far more festive, joyful atmosphere and one wonders why the show wasn’t filmed there. Or maybe Sweden to the West, for example, where the mountain peaks are inspiring, the ski resorts are luxurious, and the girls are truly gentle and angelic. The grim, angry women of Norway are no comparison.
Ultimately, American parents are warned not to let children under 21 watch LillyHammer. For adults, it has a limited educational value as an example of what poverty-stricken European socialism truly looks like. It is sad to witness a once great nation fall into a pit of corruption and alcoholism. Let us pray with American faith and wisdom that someday Norway will find itself again on the Righteous Path!
LillyHammer is only available in Norway and on the movie website Netflix. It is not yet aired on American television in America.