I had no idea what to expect from Norwegian series and films in terms of LGBTQ+ representation. I’ll be honest: I had never watched a Norwegian series or film before planning to move to Norway. I guess I figured Norway may be a little more progressive, but I wasn’t sure how that would translate into the content.
There’s no way I can cover all of this topic, but I’ll give my first impressions on the content available on Netflix now: two series and a movie.
In this part, we’ll introduce a series to get you into the holiday spirit.
Hjem til jul (Home for Christmas)
The premise of the show is that a single woman, Johanne, feels the pressure to get a boyfriend before Christmas that way she has someone to bring to the holiday meal and isn’t forced to sit at the kids’ table.
Maybe for some people this show was cathartic. It captures all the discomfort of being a single woman around that age when everyone else starts getting married and having kids. At times the show is painful to watch as all Johanne’s friends make her feel like “less than” for being single. It’s like death by a thousand cuts. One after another people reminisce about how great her old boyfriend was and ask why she hasn’t found someone new.
Based on this show, I’d say part of Norway is much more conservative than I expected. Not in terms of religion or political beliefs, but just with regard to family. (Like why did Netflix think this would appeal to the Norwegian audience?)
The only redeeming quality of the show for me is the best friend Jørgunn. She marches to the beat of her own drum, but in an endearingly quirky way. She’s also a loyal friend who gives some great advice.
I’ve included the show in the list because there is one portrayal of a lesbian character who is a co-worker of Johanne in the hospital. She has a really a small, small part in the series, but one scene on a trolley was so absurd that it had to be included in this review.
Spoiler alert!! Long story short, after a long night of drinking Johanne and said lesbian colleague ride home together on the trolley. One thing leads to another, and they start making out. Of course, about two seconds after that things quickly evolve into a sex scene which ends with the trolley driver slamming on the breaks and coming back to yell at them.
-None, this show did not leave a good impression
– this may be by far the most heteronormative show I’ve watched in a while
-jokes that the lesbian is hitting on straight women
-ridiculous scene on the trolley
All criticism set aside, if you want something that has that typical Christmas scenery and isn’t too serious, then this show may be for you.
In the next article, I’ll talk about a series in a different genre. Until then, happy watching!