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TV Review: Netflix's 'Lilyhammer'

Netflix made all eight episodes of its new comedy-drama, Lilyhammer, starring The Sopranos’ Steven van Zandt, available Monday. The following are reviews from TV critics around the Web, compiled by B&C.

“So how is Lilyhammer? Odd mostly. It tries to combine elements of American mob stories and Scandinavian mysteries, seasoned with frequent overt references to The Sopranos, but the mixture is pretty flat in the first episode.” — Mike Hale, New York Times

“The Norwegians are the foreigners here, and Norway the foreign land. But that remoteness is part of the show’s appeal: The gorgeously rendered low skies and low sun, the crepuscular Northern light and snow-packed streets, the profusion of parkas and reindeer sweaters, the wintry hush that wraps the unhurried yet often suspenseful action are part of what you’re paying for, should you choose to pay for it.” –Robert Lloyd, Los Angeles Times

“The tone aimed for here seems to be a cross between Fargo and Northern Exposure. (Quaint locals, female chief of police, lots of shivering.) At the same time, Lilyhammer is not a show made to cash in on the recent popularity of far more bleak Scandinavian thrillers such as the novels of, say, Jo Nesbo or Karen Fossum. Lilyhammer splits the difference between lightness and the dark.” – Ken Tucker, Entertainment Weekly

“[Steven van Zandt’s character Giovanni Henriksen] cuts a ridiculous figure, tramping about the wintry woods in snowshoes, because patent leather doesn’t do so well in the snow. But he’s also something of a romantic, offering to perform a hit on a rampaging wolf for a local lass he’s taken a shine to, even though it could put him on the radar of the local law enforcement, who are extremely protective of wildlife. Lilyhammer is a droll diversion, a Scandinavian Fargo where the bad guy turns out to be a pretty decent fellow.” – Matt Roush, TV Guide