Netflix shows: Lilyhammer and Hemlock Grove

So Netflix is producing their own shows now. As someone who constantly fails to follow shows on TV Netflix is a knight in pixel armour. Them making their own shows is a rather exciting new form of publishing if you ask me, the biggest advantage being that this way they can release a whole season at once instead of forcing you to wait a week between episodes.

Btw, what do you call a show that’s made for a streaming service? Netshow? Stream-TV? :?

Anyway, they have two Netflix-produced shows out (in my country anyway) and I’ve watched them both:


What happens when a New York mobster gets relocated to a small town in Norway? Well for starters hilarity ensues.
It’s not a serious mobster drama by any length, nothing like The Sopranos or The Godfather, this is much more lightweight and comical. The mobsters are very stereotypical mobsters and the Norwegians are very stereotypical, eh, Norwegians.

American Frank Tagliano goes under witness protection after testifying against his boss. He needs to hide and chooses the least likely place he can think of (and also because he saw the winter Olympics) which is Lillehammer, Norway. There’s a clash of cultures to say the least, but slowly he gets back on his feet and start rebuilding his life. A life that, despite the location, actually isn’t all that different from his mobster career…

I enjoyed the first season a lot, it was really funny and sort of sweet in a way. I can definitely recommend it if you want some fun, easygoing entertainment.
Doesn’t hurt to have the stunning Norwegian landscape in the background either. Most of Scandinavia is pretty nice, but the fjords and mountains of Norway are on a whole other level!

Hemlock Grove

Maybe you’ve heard about this one? It’s received both praise and critique and everyone seems to have a rather strong opinion about it. They either love it or hate it.

Well, I love it.
At first glance, it looks like the standard supernatural teen drama we’re so used to by now. People are getting killed and a bunch of supernatural stuff is happening and there’s a teenage werewolf and a teenage upir (vampire sort of) and we’ve seen this formula a million times before, right?
This is the weirdest and most disturbing show I’ve seen in a long time. It has some genuinely gory scenes and some genuinely psycho characters. This is an actual horror story, both visually and psychologically. It also has a feel to it, I don’t know how to describe it but it’s a sort of air that flows through every episode, that is both haunting and strangely beautiful.

After each episode I found myself just staring at the screen for a few seconds going “The fuck did I just watch?” :crazy: It was hypnotising.

There are some weak spots, like some of the actors are less than stellar and the plot has some holes in it. Certain events are blatantly predictable while others are unexpected and unexplainable. In my opinion the beauty and the weirdness make the show well worth watching anyway, but I understand it might not be to everyone’s liking.

Hemlock Grove is actually a book by Brian McGreevy as well, and I’m reading it right now. So far it’s equally, if not more, disturbing. Will be interesting to see if it deviates from the show.


  1. 18 May 2013

    It’s slightly embarrassing to admit that I haven’t seen Lilyhammer :P I hadn’t heard of Hemlock Grove either, but I was intrigued by your description so I have to check it out!

  2. 18 May 2013

    Thank you for reminding me about Lilyhammer! I saw a trailer once and though “this would be awesome!”, but then I completely forgot about it… Gotta start watching ASAP. ;)

    Hemlock Grove sounds a bit more controversial, I’m not sure if that’s something I’d enjoy. I can recommend another one of those “dafuq did I just watch” shows though: Utopia. I’ll post a review of it on my blog in a couple of weeks.

  3. 2 June 2013

    I really liked Hemlock Grove too. I watched the whole first season on Netflix when it first came out.

  4. 5 June 2013

    I’m a huge TV addict, but I don’t actually watch most shows when they air. I usually check them out on Netflix or record them on my DVR. :P

    This is the first I’ve heard of Lilyhammer, but I will definitely have to check it out. I recently watched the new season of Arrested Development, which I was so grateful to Netflix for bringing back to us.

    My hairdresser was actually telling me about Hemlock Grove the other day when I went to get my hair done. She said a lot of the same things you did about it, how it has a strange atmosphere and a weird, creepy feeling. I’m definitely intrigued. I’ll check it out soon and maybe do a blog post about it because it seems interesting and different enough to warrant one.

Due to its old age, comments are closed on this post. But you can contact me directly if you want to.