It’s been over six years since I left the US and came to live in Sweden, but on July 10th Sweden is going to be coming to you America. Welcome to Sweden is a new ten episode comedy series coming to NBC this week starring Greg Poehler (brother of Amy Poehler) who is making his acting debut and the absolutely gorgeous Josephine Bornebusch (Solsidan). The show follows a New York accountant for celebrities Bruce Evans (Poehler), who decides to give up his American life to move in with his Swedish girlfriend Emma (Bornebusch), back to her homeland of Sweden. Emma’s parents don’t really know what to think of Bruce and it quickly becomes clear that Bruce is in a bit over his head.
The show is of Greg Poehler’s creation, giving a slightly exaggerated account of his actual life experiences when he moved from America to live with his real life Swedish wife. As an American who has gone through the exact things Greg did, this show was absolutely dead on. He goes over the stark differences between Swedish cultural and social behavior, from that Americans grow up with. The difficulty of learning a brand new language, problems finding a job in a new country and finds out you can’t just trade in your American driver’s license in for a Swedish one. Bruce’s first friend he meets in the show is an anti-American Iraqi who believes Bruce is Canadian because well… Bruce panics and tells him he’s from Canada. I’ve been in the same exact position Bruce was in, and had the exact thought of maybe it’d be safest to say I’m Canadian when surrounded in a classroom full of foreigners. He hits every nail on the head on how it is to be here and live in a culture so different from our own. The show has plenty of guest stars including Amy Poehler, Aubrey Plaza, Will Ferrell (who also has a Swedish wife and lives part time in Sweden), Gene Simmons, Patrick Duffy and Björn Ulvaeus from the band ABBA. Most Americans think Sweden and Switzerland are the same country, or that Swedes speak German, well after watching Welcome to Sweden you’ll have a pretty good view of Sweden and how it is to live here.
Unlike many reviewers who have only seen the first episode of the series, I’ve seen the whole season. The show aired in Sweden back in March and was a resounding success, already green lit for a second season. If you are a fan of shows with humor akin to Community and Parks and Recreation, there is a good chance you’ll enjoy the charm of Welcome to Sweden. There is a mix of both English and Swedish in the show, so be prepared to read a few subtitles. The pilot is quite funny and it’ll be interesting to see how Americans, who have no idea about Sweden, react to the show. It’s co-produced by Felix Herngren (Solsidan), who is one of Sweden’s funniest comedy writers, so the humor may be a slightly different key than you are used to seeing. A great mix of both American and Swedish humor, I highly recommend giving the show a shot. So check it out this Thursday on NBC at 9 EST! If you still have any doubts, check out the link below for the trailer.