I’d seen this on my Netflix Streaming queue for sometime, and didn’t realize that the mug on the cover was Steve Van Zandt. Now ‘ole Steve (aside from his work with The Boss) has one role he plays: Silvio by any other name…
Known as The Fixer, we meet him at a funeral of the former Mob Boss. His son has been anointed but there’s bad blood between the two. The Fixer believes it’s time for a change and decides to turn snitch and go into the witness protection program. When given the option to relocate to an area of his own choosing, he figures, what the hell, The site of the ’94 Winter Olympics (Lillehammer, Norway) seems as good as any. What follows is a strange amalgam of slapstick comedy, strong arm tactics by The Fixer in his new environs, and all kinds of wheeling and dealing. The crux of a lot of the bits in the series (an eight-parter, this has been billed as Season 1. I wouldn’t hold out hope for a Season 2) are the cultural disconnects between a New York capo and Norwegian villagers.
The premise is just silly. And the execution is even siller. Who had the bright idea for this? Let’s transfer a wise guy comedy-thriller to Norway, and staff it with a Norwegian cast, much of the dialogue having the necessary subtitles. It just doesn’t work, and really had no chance of working.
The ending is sort of bittersweet, mostly out of character with the rest of the episodes. A series without an identity.