MOVE OVER BRIDGET JONES, your successor is a tattooed brunette nurse from Oslo who smashes the tall ice blonde Nordic mould; she’s naïve, cheeky and super charming. Johanne is a superstar and she doesn’t know it. She makes magic everywhere she goes but has no clue … And everyone else is entranced. Make no mistake, this girl is ‘supervarm’!
DID YOU KNOW - you can watch most Nordic Netflix shows in the subtitle and audio of your choice? American English dubbing and various language subs in Menu Settings.
The world craves more Scandinavian tv! Netflix has picked a super winner here. This is a Christmas series you can enjoy any time of year. There’s absolutely no doubt it can and should extend to several seasons; it will work all year round with a fantastic ensemble cast, some stunning scripting and sensible locations. Actor Ida Elise Broch casts a subtle spell over viewers with her relatable and down to earth character.
Like much of Oslo, Norway, Scandinavia and the Nordic region, Johanne is between generations and between worlds. She’s grown up with Janteloven, the social law that forbids arrogance and upholds putting the community first ... and on the surface, she abides by the rules. But in the fierce jungle that is the the modern Western world, she strives to be more assertive and self protective. She uses tech but isn’t a slave to it. She wears mishmash fashion that isn't straight out of an H&M catalogue. She lives in an old house with a creative flat mate and drives a car that isn't a Tesla and yes, it breaks down. Papa tells her not to knit a gaudy colorful blanket for a young patient (because neutral schemes are The Nordic Way and an unspoken part of the Janteloven) so she does the opposite. She looks sweet and innocent but has some big anarchist tatts in places only lovers see. She’s still learning herself not to make preconceived judgements about people.
Johanna is 30 years old and decides it's time to do something with her family’s constant questions about her non existent love life, so declares at the Sunday family dinner that she has a (non existent) boyfriend. With a 24 day deadline, her roomie Jørgunn takes the reins and encourages Johanne to play the field, throw all the dice in and laugh and cry along the way.
All of the cast have clearly been chosen with care and there’s no such thing as a small role. We wish there was room to mention them all; some have appeared in other Netflix productions and most of the cast have amazing acting CVs including the always charming Line Verdal of gritty legal drama Aber Bergen. Director Per-Olav Sørensen has woven a very special tapestry. Mads Sjøgård Pettersen (Nobel) brings a subtle approach to his role as Stein, the quiet gentleman with a warm heart and stunning smile; Dennis Storhøi (Berlin Station) ensures his gentle Papa role is a very memorable and humorous one; Francisco Jonathan Carrasco seems like a leading man waiting to happen on the world stage ... He makes the most of his breakout role and expands his background character with eyes that speak volumes, strategic body language and obvious enthusiasm. We’re sure you will love the outcome for his character in Hjem Til Jul. Francisco: we want more! It's time to expand your IMDB bio and tell everyone a bit more about yourself. Make It Happen.
The legendary Scandinavian production quality shows throughout the modern music, scripting and production ... all very polished, efficiently joined and the net result is a superior quality 3 hour binge that flies past you … What? Finished already? Better watch it again next week!
Netflix would do well to pick this show up for at least 3 seasons. If a 45 year old man (this reviewer’s spouse) can protest at the surprise ending and yell for more, and still be talking about the show over morning coffee next day — you know it’s a global winner.
As our regular ScandiNordic blog readers know, we like to point out the hidden gems in our reviews, or the One To Watch. This time round we have warmed to Gabrielle Leithaug aka pop singer Gabby aka Jørgunn, who sparkles far and wide in small doses.
Gabby's acting is bold but respectful, confident without arrogance, taking its rightful place and complementing without overshadowing Ida Elisa Broch’s central role. If you haven’t seen her interview and performance on Norwegian talk show Lindmo (September 2019), or heard her music (including the SKam soundtrack), do check her out. Gabby's role here as the creative and generous roomie, the boho Bergen princess with a heart of pure gold and amazing comic timing, all acted with incredible degrees of pathos, marks her as an incredible actress with Next Big Thing written all over her – so be sure to remember Gabrielle Leithaug’s name. We see BIG things ahead! You’ve got this, Gabby … Go For It.
WIN A PRIZE! Comment below (moderated ) and tell us who YOU think was the surprise guest at the door in the very last scene! 😊 Winner receives a fridge magnet of their choice, the rest of you might receive a sticker! Creative clean responses please. Cheers!
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