Tuesday, October 21, 2008

My Very Own Swedish TV Show

As a general rule I’m not good at watching TV shows. I’m good at watching sports, but actual TV shows that are shown on a certain day at a certain time; I just don’t have it in me. I find myself watching a bit of TV and I’ll see a commercial for a show that looks halfway entertaining. But I just can’t bring myself to turn on the TV at the same time every day. Really what I want is someone to write a brief synopsis that I can then read. Or skim.

Which I suppose makes sense. Because I can obsessively update my RSS feeds waiting for something new and exciting to read online. I can check my fantasy football team and NFL box scores hundreds of times over the course of a Sunday. I can read every damn article on ESPN.com. But I can’t watch a TV show consistently. Except for South Park. Every weekday night at 11 pm. MTV. Which should probably pay me some sort of royalty for that plug. But I digress.

Sometimes, in my attempt to engrain myself in pop culture I try to adopt a show. Which usually fails miserably. And lately I have been thinking I should try to adopt a Swedish show. You know, to engrain myself in Swedish pop culture. Now, when I say lately, I really mean that the other day someone made a reference about some Swedish TV show and I didn’t know what was going on. Which isn’t all that strange I suppose, but it did hammer home the idea that there are many ways to get into a culture, and sad as some might think it is, TV is one of them.

And so it was that last night I watched a show called I Ditt Ansikte. In Your Face. A show that I had seen commercials for and thought could be entertaining. And last night I stumbled upon it. Which was excellent. I had found the show I was going to adopt. I even watched the whole thing. Or at least the whole thing from the time I turned on the TV. So I actually missed the first 20 minutes of it or so. But still, that’s a solid 40 minutes of one show. And it was in fact entertaining. This was it. This was my Swedish show.

Basically, it’s a couple of stand-up comics who are to perform somewhere that isn’t exactly a comedy venue. Like a mosque. In front of Muslims. And they are to joke about Islam. Hence the title “In Your Face.” It was awkward and funny. But mostly awkward. Awkward in a way that kind of leaves you with that squirmy feeling inside. Like you need to move around a bit to get out of the situation but there’s just no way out. It’s the same feeling you get when you are hanging out with your buddy and his girlfriend and they are bickering over who is supposed to do the dishes, and instead of someone giving in it escalates as you sit quietly. Glorious really. And so it went throughout the show. The two guys went around practicing in front of different groups of people, learning a bit about Islam, finally culminating with their stand-up show in a mosque. I laughed and squirmed. And it ended.

With a glint of hope in my eyes I anxiously awaited to hear about the next episode. This was going to be my show. I mean who am I kidding? I have nothing else to do on Monday nights at 9 in the evening. It was perfect really. But I was sorely disappointed. I had managed to catch the last episode. Episode six of six. The finale if you will. And so my attempts at adopting a Swedish TV show will have to wait.

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  1. No one in the world has enough pastime to watch Swedish shows like Håll i väggen and Stor i Japan. Those are a greatest waste of everything, not fun at all. Stupid really. Last Saturday we were watching Stjärnor på is with my wife - man, I was dying there. I have a better solution for you and Monday at 9 pm: 2½ men. That's hilarious and, oh yes, American :) Tune in on channel TV6 (sexan)!

  2. that sounds rough. stars on ice. swedish style. good times.

    I think I need a Swedish show though. I have seen plenty of american ones.

  3. I have watched quite a lot of TV-shows, and when thinking about it, i realize they are all american. Kind of says something about how much of the american culture we adopt here.

    Hmm... there's actually one swedish TV-show I used to watch; Hip-Hip. That show was just great :)

  4. Floridian in FinlandOctober 21, 2008 at 1:39 PM

    Why don't you just download shows? Then you don't have to sit down at a certain time to watch. American iTunes and Pirate Bay!

    I try to keep up with the new American shows or else I feel out of it when I go back.

  5. Only looking for shows that air right now? since that kinda limits :)

    Else i can say that i dont think there is any counterparts anywhere in teh world to compare to some of "Fredrik and Filips" shows.

    Try "Grattis Världen" or "100 höjdare"

  6. @izi - thats the thing. all the tv shows seems to be american. and I feel like I need some swedish shows to get into swedish pop culture.

    @floridian - for some reason that just sounds like a lot of work. even though I know its not at all. I have recently been downloading podcasts though. thats taken a lot of work to listen to those.

    @anonymous - kind of looking for something thats going on now, yes. whats grattis världen? Ive heard of 100 höjdare but not the other.

  7. so how long until american television adopts the same premise as I Ditt Ansikte? We are very fond of taking reality shows ideas from Europe and making them into our own.

  8. I have a better suggestion at 9 on a Monday evening, a class with ABF learning to cook gourmet food and sampling some wines, also getting to know some great people.

  9. You can watch previous episodes of I ditt ansikte on the website of Kanal5. Or you can download them.

    Filip & Fredriks show "High Chaparall" might be a good pick to download for the same awkwart kind of feeling. Especially for an american.

  10. @travis - its true america loves european reality. and then america sends those very same reality shows back here. its a vicious cycle.

    @anonymous - while a good idea it doesnt really get me into that swedish pop culture. plus I am an excellent chef. no one heats up frozen meatballs like I do.

    @tobias - I actually have seen a couple of episodes of High Chaparall. and to be honest I wasnt really all that impressed. I had heard good things and maybe ended up with my expectations being a bit too high.

  11. Grattis Världen is the Filip & Fredrik's take on the travelling-genre. I think they did ten episodes, each following them visiting a different country.

  12. I just realized a must-watch for you: Sunes sommar! Perhaps you have already seen it, but if you havn't, please download it. It's a bit old but everyone has seen it in sweden, in my opinion swedish humor at its best.

  13. @anonymous - oh I like the sound of that. I might have to check it out.

    @izi - I haven't seen sunes sommar. Ill check it out though for sure.