Odd shows you never thought you would see number 427: Lilyhammer.
Bruce Springsteen and Tony Soprano's number one side man Steven (Little Steven, Miami Steve) Van Zandt moves front and centre with Lilyhammer. Steve van Zandt plays FrankTagliano, a New York mobster, yes I know, and when we first see Frank he has that same Silvio scowl. Passed over as boss and surviving an attempt on his life, Frank decides it's time to squeal and subsequently goes into witness protection, but it's not the Caribbean, or California for him, no Frank wants to go to Lillehammer, in Norway, mainly because he thought it looked nice at the 1994 Winter Olympics. So he is sent there, simple as that. He must have a soft spot for the place because even his, short lived, dog was called Lily.
So we have that age old clash of cultures, fish out of water, Doc Hollywood, Northern Exposure, Cars, type scenario. But, let's face it, we haven't seen it like this before. Frank, now Giovanni, 'call me Johnny', struggles to come to terms with expectation over reality and the Norwegian way of life. It is a lot easier for us to get the clash of cultures here than it was for The Bridge. But Johnny makes friends and rouses suspicions in equal measures.
The first episode was very enjoyable and Steven Van Zandt really shines, OK it's not a massive stretch for him, but Johnny is a lot less tightly wound than Silvio and it's hard not to warm to the characters. Also Lilyhammer has found the perfect home on BBC Four, let's face it where would the channel be without its now, highly impressive, roster of Nordic thrillers? Lilyhammer is a lot lighter than all the others, let's face it everything is lighter than The Bridge, but it will sit very well with its Danish and Swedish pals. Come on Finland, get with the programme, where are you?