It might be just ‘Nordic noir’ that has made it to international audiences so far, but Scandinavian comedy is beginning to emerge and a growing number of series are being made available to audiences in the UK…
Netflix, 32 episodes (4 series)
Though a comedy at heart, Rita discusses serious issues. The series has become one of Denmark’s most watched programmes, with audiences particularly drawn to the relationship between Rita (Mille Dinesen) and her colleague, Hjørdis (Lise Baastrup), who inspired a spin off series in 2015. The series has also been copied in France and the Netherlands.
Now TV, 40 episodes (4 series)
Dag follows a marriage counsellor uninterested in the value of marriage. Dag (Atle Antonson) spends time only with his friend Benedict, though things change when his sister, Marianne, forces him to go on a blind-date with her old childhood friend. Strong performances meant the series met with critical acclaim in Norway and the UK, and the rights have also been sold to Sweden and Finland.
All 4, 7 episodes (1 series)
Hellfjord’s humour is dark. It follows Salmander, an Oslo police officer banished to northern Norway after after mistakenly killing his horse in front of a large group of children. His time in the north leads him to be welcomed by a vulgar and eccentric sheriff, sea monsters and Johanne, a local journalist who suspects that something lies beneath the surface of the village. It’s a perfect satirisation of ‘Nordic noir’ and, though it only ran for one series, it aired as far away as Australia.
Netflix, 30 episodes (3 series)
A Kristallen (BAFTA equivalent) winner, this series is a uniquely Swedish drama, following a new couple, their exes and their children as they navigate the tricky logistics of living together. Created by a real life family members Max, Moa and Clara Herngren, the series was an instant hit in Sweden and is now available in over a hundred countries via Netflix.
Welcome to Sweden
DVD, 20 episodes (2 series)
Welcome to Sweden follows an American accountant (Greg Poehler) who quits his job to move with his girlfriend to her native country of Sweden. The series is based on Poehler’s own experiences, moving with his girlfriend to Sweden in 2006. An international production featuring both Swedish and American talent, themes, and dialogue, the series was broadcast on both Swedish and American channels. In 2015, four episodes into season two, NBC cancelled the series due to what Poehler described as ‘craptastically’ low ratings and the remaining episodes were made available on NBC’s website. This shouldn’t put you off, as the series is still adored by Swedes.
This article has also been published in Nordic Style Magazine.