Today is the season premiere of the second season of Norsemen, the Norwegian sitcom / parody that was met with critical acclaim for its skewed look at our own times through the eyes of the Vikings.
The successful season one, which premiered in Norway on NRK last year, can now be watched on Netflix all over the world (what you’ll see there is the English language version, not a dubbed or subtitled version), but even before the first season had aired on traditional TV in its homeland, the public broadcaster had ordered a second season. The new series has been filmed in Norwegian cities such as Haugesund, Stavanger and Karmøy, but also in Scotland. That opens up the scope a bit, and differentiates it to the first season. -We have felt the pressure after season one got out there, and it has been different to work on season two, director Jon Iver Helgaker said to NRK in April.
Set in the year 790, Norsemen (original title: Vikingane) shows us what happens when a Roman actor, Rufus, is taken to the Viking village Norheim, where he starts a life as a slave. With time he finds a fan and equal in the chieftain’s coward brother, Orm. The two takes the village in a new direction, away from pillaging and wars. Now arts and culture is the thing, a thousand years early! Prioritizing the arts before war will prove to be a great challenge for pirates and farmers.
The storyline in the second season is a direct continuation of events in the first season, and is set in 791, two months after the end of season one. Arvid and his Vikings of Norheim are coming home with a huge loot from yet another raid in the west. The handless Jarl Varg is having problems finding people to plunder in the east. The conflict gets heated when the two clans meet at the market, and Jarl Varg thinks revenge is appropriate. Jarl Varg’s soldiers also suffer post-traumatic stress after their raid on Norheim, and demand changes. Meanwhile, Orm, Rufus and Liv are on their way to Rome, when they meet an old acquaintance who gives them new directions.
Norsemen is a sitcom set in the Viking age and is both spoofing Vikings in popular culture and parodying modern culture. First world problems, domestic power struggles, democratic team work, leadership skills, gender roles, love and old traditions are key. -It’s the story of people of our time, but [as if they lived] during the Viking era. Of course everyday choices have far more dramatic consequences and that makes for great comedy material, producer Anders Tangen said about the first season.
Season two was given an 80% approval in reviews by three medias in Norway. “Even more epic and stupid” VG wrote, rating the show 5 of 6. The same rating was given by Dagbladet which concluded with “tighter story and better timing” and highlighted that the show opens with a rape joke and gets away with it. Filmfront also awarded the show 5 of 6 and said “the show has more to deliver in the second season of this super funny and at the same time brutal Viking universe.” The trade paper Dagens Næringsliv does not rate arts but says the sequel is “tougher, funnier and better than last time we saw them.”
Season two sneak peaks (in Norwegian):
Norsmen is one of very few Viking TV dramas made in Scandinavia and the first since the slapstick sitcom Home to Midgard in 2003. A third season has already been commissioned.
The 6-part second season stars Kåre Conradi, Nils Jørgen Kaalstad, Trond Fausa Aurvåg, Silje Torp, Jon Øigarden, Christine Riis, Marian Saastad Ottesen, Mikkel Bratt Silset, Øystein Martinsen, Marian Saastad Ottesen, Christian Skolmen, Finn Schau, Ingar Helge Gimle and André Eriksen. The series has been concieved, written and directed by Jonas Torgersen and Jon Iver Helgaker and the season premiere is on NRK’s TV and website on November 3, 2017.
An English trailer for season two has not been finalized yet, but you can watch the English season one trailer here: