• Network: Netflix
  • Series Premiere Date: Feb 6, 2012
  • Season #: 1 , 2
User Score
8.3

Universal acclaim- based on 75 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 67 out of 75
  2. Negative: 6 out of 75

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  1. Apr 16, 2012
    10
    For the most watched show on TV in Norwegian history, Lilyhammer has terrific writing and a gorgeous cast which is pleasantly Juxtaposed by Van Zandts mafioso character. I really enjoyed the fresh idea and hope to see more great original entertainment from netflix in the future.
  2. Apr 1, 2012
    10
    Without repeating what others may have already stated - This is a refreshingly new series that dares to take a step beyond the predictably ordinary. And it is set in a completely different location than what is typically ordinary. Character development is excellent with new and interesting faces. Netflix deserves recognition for giving something new a try. Its working!! I can't wait for season 2. Expand
  3. Feb 9, 2012
    10
    Loved the story and cast. Cant wait for season 2 but wish Van Zandt had better posture and more than 2 facial expressions. Has he had neck surgery that prevents head turn?
  4. Feb 11, 2012
    10
    A must watch for anyone who's seen The Sopranos! It's basically Silvio Dante in Norway. Steven Van Zandt deserves an Emmy for his performance in this show.
  5. Apr 13, 2012
    10
    what do you get when a macho, italian-american mofioso "relocates" to norway to live amongst the blonde, nature loving, seemingly naive norwegians of lillehammer? a quirky, dark comedy stocked with kooky, off beat characters! can't wait for season 2.
  6. Apr 20, 2012
    10
    Very intelligent and often hilarious show. The setting is beautiful and the view of Norwegian life is fascinating. The comparisons between Norwegian society and ours are there to be drawn and that is at least half the fun. For example, the character of the female police officer in Lilyhammer is complicated and wonderfully portrayed. Van Zandt is very very good and his character is wonderfully sympathetic. The most compelling aspects of the show, for me, are the portrayals of gender and parenting--there is no attempt at political correctness or its' opposite, which is refreshing in itself. Rather, we are drawn to Van Zandt's relationship with his girlfriend's son as honest and loving and also about helping a boy become a man. In the midst of edgy entertainment, this is sound psychology and we feel it. Thanks Netflix. Expand
  7. May 22, 2012
    10
    This show is a gem. It brings out the charm of the Norwegians and their culture. A key feature of Norwegians is the importance of humility, while Americans are quite the oppositeâ
  8. Dec 22, 2013
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Love Van Zandts take on Norway. He moves there as his choice for witness protection and it takes off from there. I would prefer that the characters speak english. Expand
  9. Dec 9, 2013
    10
    well lets start by saying i was really not attracted by this serie at first, but wow i couldnt been more wrong^^.The 1st episode start a lil weird, what i mean is like the first 15 minutes look like a typical ''boring deja-vue american serie'', but once jimmy arrive in northway. oh wow, things start to get really funny whit a fresh kind of humor that everytime you think it's gonna be a ''cliché'' scene, but the producer(s) put a twist that you would not expect, and wow, it's writen by a pure genius.I usually dont like serie/movies that you need to read subtitle half of the time but their put it in a so cleaver way that you quickly forget that you need to read it.You got plenty on ''funny violence''scenes and lots of stereotypical jokes writen in a appropriate manner (but you need to be able to take jokes and don't take it seriously).The show always suprise me because i always think that something predictable gonna happen, but they add a lil twist that make your first guess completly wrong.It's a fresh mob style show that keep what use to work in the 70's & 80's of the same gender and mix it whit a new type of refreshing comedy.Really I say it's the best show in the gender since sopranos, but way more funny if you ask me.So if you hesitate before watching it, please don't, it's a smart refreshing comedy/action/drama show, a definitly MUST watch.I love it and for the first time for a ''tv show'' (or netflix) i give this one a solid 10/10.Perfectly directed. *sorry for my grammar, i am french :P* Expand
  10. Jul 29, 2013
    10
    As a Norwegian I love this show. To see what ¨could¨ happen iff a real gangster joins naive Norway. It does not take it self to seriously and is a good mix between drama and comedy.

    Btw, this show isn't made bye Netflix, it's made bye the Norwegian national TV Channel NRK
  11. Jan 11, 2014
    10
    Quirky and fun like Northern Exposure or Men in Trees. You get to see a different culture. We are all familiar with the NY Mobster roles, but Van Zandts portrayal brings humanity and humor as he is genuinely trying to fit in and in some cases help these people. Not heavy and a lot of fun.
  12. Dec 22, 2013
    10
    Steven Van Zandt has created a gem here. Say hello to Lilyhammer, say goodbye to Sopranos! The cross-cultural comedic parts mixed with great writing and story lines become a new form of the somewhat worn-out NY mobster media. Van Zandt shows real emotions and a complex character that surprises the viewer with sometimes touching moments... mixed with the occasional "fix-it" job in between. All in all, everyone who's anyone should be watching the show! Expand
  13. Jan 7, 2014
    10
    This show is just genius!

    Perfect mix of comedy and mob show., plus the add-on of showing how f*cked-up North European societies are in double-faced, administrative and bureaucratic ways.

    A must watch!
  14. Jan 8, 2014
    10
    I love this show! Found it by accident while looking for a new series and was pleasantly surprised by how much this show worked for me. After completing season 1 I found myself in love with the setting and story. This is a great dark comedy with a lot of off center characters. Great scenery, good music and the cast is a nice blend of odd characters who work very well together. Another aspect I really enjoyed was the foreign culture mixed with the protagonists American-Italian mafia background. It's an unlikely combination, but I found the mix quite enticing and entertaining. Although I loved this show, it is definitely not for everyone but if you're a fan of edgy/dark comedy, mafioso get it done attitude and hilariously awkward twists, then I highly recommend this series. Expand
  15. Feb 14, 2014
    10
    We are coming to the end of the series on Netflix, and we can't tell you how much we enjoyed and totally love this series! It was, however, very hard on us to not be able to understand 90% of the dialogue as we had no English sub titles on the screen, but even in spite of that...it was one of the best series we have ever seen! We laughed so much at times, we couldn't breathe! We will be at a loss when we get to the series finale. I was never a fan of the Sopranos, but am a huge fan of Steven now.....what a guy!!! (and wiseguy) Expand
  16. Feb 17, 2014
    10
    Love the premise and the fact that it mostly takes place in Norway. Steven Van Zandt is hilarious as Johnny. I watched the first season in one night after watching the first episode I couldn't help but continue to watch. I finished season 1 at 4am in the morning lol. I am taking it much slower for the second season so I can savor the flavor as each season is only 8 episodes. I have to say that I am impressed with the writing and the acting, especially from the Norwegian actors. I find it ironic that the critics give it mediocre marks while us regular viewers rate it higher. Just goes to show that critics don't think like the rest of us. That's why I never listen to their opinions. Instead I read what regular viewers have to say. My advice , if you haven't already watched, is to give it a try. You wont be sorry. Expand
  17. Feb 28, 2014
    10
    First of all, I'd like to say something in contrast to other reviews. Yes, the series is half in Norwegian. But that is not a problem, and this show should not be in any other way. The writing of the show is both hilarious yet dark, and disturbing at times. Performances by all cast members are extraordinary, and the setting is absolutely beautiful. I hope to see this show on TV for a long time yet! Expand
  18. Feb 17, 2012
    9
    A pleasant surprise. The Norwegian Tundra is a fascinating setting. You can feel the mix of simplicity, darkness, and small scale of the town. Van Zandt is both amazing and boring due to his stifling consistency. The supporting characters are great. The story is good albeit a little too "convenient." I am picky, but loved this show.
  19. Dec 31, 2013
    9
    The show is a very welcome change from the same old, finally some imaginative, fresh, funny, entertainment with a great mix of characters and situations. I love it. The only reason it does not get a 10 is because the majority of the language is nowerigean and I don't understand with out reading subtitles. But worth reading subtitles. I watched both seasons with in 1.5 weeks. Can't wait till season 3. Please don't cancel this show! Expand
  20. Jan 6, 2014
    9
    LilyHammer is a promising and notable show that has many ups and very few downs, it is a nice thing to see Steven Van Zandt back in action as a mobster. The idea is one of the most original I have ever heard of and watched and has incredible opportunities as a show. There are some weird moments at times but those pass by quickly and you become shot back into the action. H of The State Credit
  21. Jan 7, 2014
    9
    By far the best show on TV. The fact that it subtitled and not dubbed make this one of the most involved shows I have seen in a long time. The writing is clever and the characters are quirky and memorable.
  22. Jan 24, 2014
    9
    The series gets funnier with each episode. Steve Van Zandt is hilarious. The nods to other mob series and movies adds to the in joke and soundtrack that only Van Zandt as "underground garage" DJ could provide.
  23. Jul 24, 2014
    9
    Visually stunning, with likeable, believable actors and captivating storylines. Van Zandt's character and the polite residents of Lillehammer exchange very different brands of life lessons, great fun to watch from both perspectives. The combination of on-location filming and heavy Norwegian involvement in the production give this series great authenticity; the writing is so good that even the inside jokes make sense to outsider American ears. The stories are so wonderful that if there weren't so many f-bombs dropped, this could make it on prime time network TV... only, it's way too good for that. Great stuff from Netflix... again. Expand
  24. Feb 15, 2014
    8
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Lillyhammer is a fun comedy/ crime series that knows exactly how silly its premise is and runs with it, brilliantly satirizing famous scenes from classic gangster movies. It's not a deep exploration of what it means to lead a life of crime, but there are plenty of other shows and movies that do that already. Steven Van Zandt is great as Frank "The Fixer" Tagliano, a mobster who rats on his mob boss and uses witness protection to relocate to Norway, where he changes his name to Giovanni Henriksen and opens a popular nightclub called the Flamingo. In a lot ways you could argue that the character Mr. Van Zandt plays is a more comical version of Silvio Dante from "The Sopranos", but that's not a bad thing. However, be warned: if you hate reading subtitles, this is not the series for you, because while Steven Van Zandt's dialogue is in English most of the rest of the cast speak in Norwegian. Expand
  25. Jul 24, 2013
    8
    I didn't really know what to expect given that Stevie VZ is the headliner....but I was pleasantly surprised! Enjoyable show...however, I'm not sure if they could continue to make this interesting enough to go past Season 3!
  26. Mar 8, 2012
    7
    Lilyhammer is a good first attempt for Netflix, and it is a good show, but it does feel a little off at the same time. Those looking for another Sopranos type show should look elsewhere as this show is a little more comedic and laid back. It starts off a bit slow, but is good enough to keep your interest. My only real issue with the show is that everything just happens to fall in place for Steve Van Zandt. People are always in the right place at the right time so they can be taken advantage of by the main character. In the real world we would have a better chance of winning the lottery than of having everything just fall into place like that. Expand
  27. May 29, 2012
    7
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I love all the quirky Norwegian characters. They seem passive and laid back on the surface, but there is lots of hostility and aggression underneath. And such slavish devotion to custom and conformity. An unusual culture there. I never watched the Sopranos, but Van Zandt seems convincing enough as a mafia stereotype, although his range is somewhat limited. I was disappointed to see a favorite character meet an early demise, and the season conclusion was quite a bit too pat for my liking, but I look forward to the second season. Expand
  28. Dec 29, 2013
    6
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. The first 5-ish episodes of Lilyhammer had me fairly riveted. It seemed I had found a new series to gladly binge upon. Steven Van Zandt (henceforth known as SVZ) proves that he has characteristics that qualify him as a lead man. I find the premise of the series quite fascinating as well. The far-right, take-no-prisoners Frank pitted against the bureaucratic and affable backdrop of Norway. The writing on this show can also be found to be very witty and inventive at times, along with the cinematography (the charming Scandinavian land and cityscapes don't hurt).

    But for all it's quirks and innovation, Lilyhammer is not without its problems. First, the character of Frank is simply unlikable. Aside from the comedy of his goombah mannerisms and mouth, there's not much else that makes me want to root for, or even watch, Frank Tagliano. His strongly held beliefs are all despicable. Violence and threats are his solution to just about every single conflict that he encounters. I am 3/4 of the way through the first 2 seasons and Frank seems to have learned nothing from the townspeople in Lilehammer and experiences he's had there; he's just decided to carry on in his own blood-soaked and bullheaded ways and made no compromises. Simply put, his character has not grown or changed at all. You can include all kinds of trickery and allusions and metaphors in your writing, but if you can't get this one essential facet right it becomes all for naught.

    There are other problems too. On his own, the character of Torgeir is very likable and interesting, but pair him up with Frank and often times the result is a forced attempt at producing chemistry between the two of them. The premises are often far-fetched. The two gangsters sent from New Jersey to eliminate Frank were completely unbelievable as mafiosi and (I understand that this show is a "comedy") were completely unbelievable as gangsters. All the references to old gangster movies included now as a matter of course in this show are clearly an attempt at hero-worship, but mostly come across as hackneyed. SVZ himself often comes across as wooden and even bored with the acting itself.

    To summarize, the show is mostly watchable, funny and touching at times, and I basically want to see what happens. But the show can also be contrived and too zany even for a show that is attempting to incorporate so many genres into one meld.
    Expand
  29. Nov 7, 2014
    6
    Very different. Had to struggle to watch it at first but it has gotten better. Love the main character but I think it should have a few "wow I didn't see that coming" moments. So far I am not going to drop it but I have yet to feel excited about watching the next episode.
  30. Feb 28, 2012
    5
    Being a Sopranos fan I had high hopes for Lilyhammer, but after watching a few episodes, not so much. First, the premise is flawed; I can't believe a NY gangster would willingly choose Lillehammer as the destination for a new life. The plot would have been better served if the FBI had forced him there, maybe a few wiseguys in the witness program had been whacked -an informer in the bureau- thus a last minute switch to Norway. Second, the Nordic town seems to be "Happy Days" revisited, where the inhabitants are all affable Cunningham's in dire need of the Fonz to either offer sreet-wise advice or a timely punch to the face to solve all problems. A little self-deprecation in a protagonist, especially a caricature, sometimes lends a little depth for an adult audience. Lastly, the thing that killed it for me was the all too easy and obvious treatment of the haughty Muslim man at the beginning of episode two. C'mon, writers, that was like throwing red meat into the cat cage, every low brow NY viewer and pissed-off Nord redneck wants to smack around the foreigner for his foreign habits, especially Muslims. Couldn't that have waited until things got so bad Fonzi had to jump the shark cage? I hope Netflix continues to produce shows, I'll keep trying them, and I'll keep trying to watch LH, but my hopes have certainly dimmed. Expand
  31. Feb 19, 2014
    4
    Someone please tell NetFlix that a .38/.357 revolver does not have 11 shots, 6, or maybe 7 for a S&W 686. Got about 5 minutes through the first episode and Silvio Dante just was not cutting it.
  32. Mar 7, 2012
    3
    OK, first the "pro's": Love the premise and the setting. Still like Steve Van Zandt. Love the quirky writing and a chance to get to know Norwegian culture a little (I know--like watching the Sopranos helps me get to know American culture!). Cons: So far--and I went to the trouble to watch the first six episodes--the message of the series is--1)Think only of yourself and what you want.. 2)Use violence and treachery to get it. 3) Everyone else is an idiot. 4)Teach your employees, business partners, and your girlfriend's naive son to believe and act on #1-3. I won't be watching the next season and if you haven't started watching, there are better ways to use your time. Not recommended. Expand
Metascore
63

Generally favorable reviews - based on 5 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 5
  2. Negative: 0 out of 5
  1. Reviewed by: Ken Tucker
    Feb 13, 2012
    67
    Lilyhammer splits the difference between lightness and the dark. [17 Feb 2012, p.63]
  2. Reviewed by: Tim Goodman
    Feb 8, 2012
    60
    Lilyhammer is an odd little series with potential.
  3. Reviewed by: Robert Lloyd
    Feb 8, 2012
    70
    The Norwegians are the foreigners here, and Norway the foreign land. But that remoteness is part of the show's appeal.