Sweet Summer Surprise: NBC’s WELCOME TO SWEDEN

rom with real com!

rom with real com!

Perhaps it’s due to the afterglow from my summer fling with Jorgen, or maybe it’s the best comedy of the summer, but either way I find myself totally into Greg Poehler’s fresh fish-out-of-water half-hour, WELCOME TO SWEDEN.  Sweet, charming and understated so it actually feels real, it’s a welcome relief from those loud, actor-y, in-your-face comedies that hit you over the head trying too hard to be funny. (It’s exactly the kind of project I relate to — would love to be called in for a guest spot, hint-hint!)

A Sweet Set-up —

In this sweet summer treat, single-camera comedy, successful Accountant, Bruce (Greg Poehler) leaves his self-absorbed celebrity clients (like Will Ferrell) and his narcissistic boss (sister and co-producer, Amy Poehler) in the dust as he impulsively moves to Sweden to live with his hot girlfriend Emma (Josephine Bornebusch) without exactly working out the details. The relationship is tested as he navigates his way through foreign everything, while trying to prove his worthiness to doubting potential in-laws, Emma’s parents: Therapist/Mother-without-filters, Viveka (the wonderful Lena Olin who steals every scene),  and stoic, hard-working Dad, Birger (Claes Mansson.)

Pushing Boundaries —

Apparently there are few boundaries when it comes to “family matters” in Sweden as Emma’s family walks in on Emma giving Bruce head without a second thought, or her brother, Gustaf (Christopher Wagelin) showing up in Emma and Bruce’s bed.  (There are so many abrupt interruptions, that even the transitions from scene to scene seem abrupt, taking the Audience by surprise.)  The funny is often in the subtitles, particularly when Viveka is on camera.  And all of the actors’ facial expressions are priceless, you’ll see that Emma has created an entire language with her eyes!

All of the episodes I’ve seen so far make me want to come back for more. I especially love the third one where Bruce and Emma must prove to the Migration Board that they’re “a real couple” and the Official thinks Bruce might be a serial killer who has Emma under his spell. Every episode so far ends with something romantic plus a twist, evoking a heartfelt “awwww” plus a laugh.

Apparently this series, written by Poehler with Bornebusch and Niclas Carlsson, is based on Greg Poehler’s own experiences. Would love to know to know the back story on that…

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