You know how sometimes a show is bad, and yet parts of it are so wonderfully strange, you’re glued to the sheer awfulness of the thing? That’s “Lillyhammer,” the new original series from Netflix starring Steve Van Zandt.
If you’re a Sopranos fan, you’ve already seen him play this part as Silvio Dante, an impossibly stiff and pompous character with the world’s worst toupee. (Okay, slightly different – in “Lillyhammer,” he has the world’s second-worst toupee.)
He’s Frank “The Fixer” Tagliano, a New York mob guy who asks to be sent to Norway in the witness protection program. Under the cover name of Giovanni Hendrikson, he tries to fit in. (Well, sort of.) The problem is, he has a tendency to strong-arm and intimidate people when he doesn’t get his way. It’s pretty awful – cringe-inducing, really, after the first three or four times, and that’s supposed to be where the comedy comes in: the old “fish out of water” routine.
The thing that bugs me is, the fish doesn’t even seem to acknowledge that he’s out of the bowl. He keeps imposing his view of the universe on his new surroundings, and even though I’m only up to the fourth episode, it doesn’t look like it’s going to change. Well, his Norwegian girlfriend is pregnant, maybe we’ll see some change eventually. (Oh, and there’s the cop who thinks Frank’s an Islamic terrorist. Ha, ha.)
I give Netflix props for taking the leap into original content. I just wish it was a lot better than this. Hopefully, they’ll pull it together by the second season.
P.S. Love the Norwegian characters. If only Little Stevie wasn’t such a one-trick pony.
UPDATE: I’m beginning to realize I’m the only person in the entire world who isn’t thrilled by this show. I’ve noticed all the raves are from men. Any other women out there?