Tuesday, January 27, 2015

"Lilyhammer" with Steven Van Zandt (2011)

Here’s a series I never heard of before. It was at the Library, filed under L for Lilyhammer. There’s no telling how many times I may have passed it by without notice, but for whatever reason this time I took it home with me. Glad I did.

Frank the Fixer; played by Steven Van Zandt; has testified against his “boss” in New York and as a result he needs to go into the Witness Protection Program. But he chooses not to head to Arizona or Florida; warm climates where most of the people in the program usually opt to relocate; he decides it would be safer if he were to relocate somewhere more obscure; and cold.

Remembering that he has seen Lillehammer on TV during the Olympics a few decades ago, he decides to cast his himself as a former restaurant owner and heads off to begin his new life in “Lilyhammer”; which is the way he pronounces it.

Once there he has to come to terms with life in a social democracy; where political correctness is the norm and hunting is not allowed. All of these things come into play as he navigates his new life, meeting his neighbors and in some cases corrupting them.

From the very first episode it is apparent that this man; who is trying to live his life unnoticed; is not going to quietly “fit in” with his new environment. He has troubles with the Employment Office; a personality conflict with one of the town’s police officers; is mistaken for an Islamic terrorist newly released from Guantanamo; and extreme difficulty understanding the passivity of the people.

But in spite of all the social differences; or perhaps because of them; Frank quickly discovers that people everywhere are really the same. They all want to be one step ahead of one another.  Great viewing; get ready to binge watch this one.

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