#134 – Lilyhammer review (2012 – 2014) Netflix series

Created by: Anne Bjørnstad & Eilif Skodvin

Starring: Steven Van Zandt, Trond Fausa Aurvåg, Marian Saastad Ottesen, Steinar Sagen, Fridtjov Såheim, Rhys Coiro & Tony Sirico

* The Story *

Frank(y) (the fixer) Tagliano (Steven Van Zandt) is a new York gangster who finds himself the target of a failed assassination attempt. He decides to leave the Mafia life and enters the witness protection programme and chooses to go to Lillehammer in Norway as his escape. Frank saw the town at the 1994 Olympics and he’s thought it was a paradise ever since.

The show follows Frank as he adapts, improves and adjusts to the new way of life. Will he fall back into his old ways of doing things or find a fresh start in the snow.

* My thoughts *

I enjoyed this show right from the start. I knew Steven Van Zandt could handle being a gangster on television. He is after all Silvio Dante on the Sopranos, the greatest TV series of all time. But like Silvio I wondered would Steven Van Zandt be crushed by the pressure of being the boss or in this case the leading actor carrying the show. Luckily for us he’s nailed it and he’s great.

I really enjoyed the full cast of characters and fish out of water situations that each episode deals with. There’s plenty of Sopranos references too which I love.


There’s a fantastic theory floating about the Internet that the show all takes place in the mind of Silvio Dante. As we know he ends his run on that show in a coma. The fan theory says that all of the events of Lilyhammer are inside his mind. This is given so much credibility even on the show. Frank and Silvio are very similar in style and mannerisms. There’s music used from the Sopranos, cast members are brought back and at one point while in hospital an elderly man tells Johnny that “it’s all in your head Silvio”. What the fuck is that if not concrete proof.

I just had so much fun viewing the show through this light. It’s up to you but if just made the show more enjoyable for me.

The show has a very familiar vibe to that of both the film and series of Fargo. Sure they both have snow but there’s also so many surreal and unusual story lines that seem too weird to believe but also seem so over the top and strange that they just work well.

One thing that Lilyhammer does well is nail the pace and the music on the show. Of course it helped having Steven Van Zandt who spent so many years singing in the E street band with Bruce Springsteen as the music supervisor.

Lilyhammer is always moving. There’s always several stories in motion at the same time. There’s either the Mafia, British gangsters, cops, FBI, hitmen, women, pregnancies and wild antics just non stop.

Torgier is one of the great right hand guys. He’s a bit of a screw up but he’s the most genuine and loyal guy and you fall in love with the guy throughout the shows run. His relationship with Johnny becomes for both of them maybe the best friendship of their lives. They really just have so many great scenes and heart-felt moments together.

Johnny & Torgeir

*Lilyhammer trivia*

Lilyhammer is the first original series produced by Netflix!

The shows title spelt as Lily is after Frank’s late dog Lily who’s urn we see in the first episode.

James Gandolfini and Edie Falco were supposed to cameo as their Sopranos characters in the final episode of season 2. Frank was to stumble across them in a cabin. Van Zandt was in talks with director David Chase to direct the scene, but plans ended with Gandolfini’s sudden death in 2013.

Angelina ‘The Ex’ Tagliano is portrayed byMaureen Van Zandt, married to Steven Van Zandt (Frank/Johnny) since 1982. Maureen Van Zandt also played Steven Van Zandt on screen wife in the hit show The Sopranos (1999).

Check it out, try it out it’s a good time. It’s just a shame the show was cancelled after 3 seasons. But hey I’m happy with 24 episodes of entertainment!

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 7/10

11 thoughts on “#134 – Lilyhammer review (2012 – 2014) Netflix series

  1. If it weren’t for school, I would have kept pace with every single movie on this planet. Whenever I go in to read movie details, cinematic art, director visions and stuffs it enthralls me. Films and their analysis lures me to the void for sure but…. Goddamn it why can’t we study films in school

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah I know what ya mean man but hey there’s always time to do as much research as you want and watch as much as possible. There’s so much out there too, I’m trying to watch more 1950’s and 60’s films these days

      Liked by 1 person

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