Norsemen

TV review by
Mark Dolan, Common Sense Media
Norsemen TV Poster Image
Violent, raunchy Viking comedy is a hilarious sendup of GOT.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Community is important, but most moments are played for laughs. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

All characters exhibit an absurd degree of patience with each other and try find reasonable solutions to problems until usually just resorting to the ease of brutal violence.

Violence

A man is repeatedly hit in the head with a shovel; a warrior splits a man in two with one swing of a sword; a man is shot through the eyes with two arrows; two men urinate in the mouth of a sleeping slave; a man sticks his finger up his rectum and then puts it in a slave’s mouth; slaves are sacrificed to the Norse gods by decapitation; a man’s ear is cut off; a man punches a woman in the face after she insults his intelligence; a man is hit on the head with from behind with an axe; a slave is punched in the face for complaining about the communication style of the chieftain; a warrior wears a necklace of severed penises collected during a raid; a boy hits a man repeatedly in the head with a shovel.

Sex

A man grabs a woman’s breast over her clothes; a couple French kiss with tongues visible; a man is impotent when being intimate with his wife and he blames it on that fact that all his previous sexual experience has been raping strangers when on Viking raids; the Vikings discuss a female warrior’s participation in the raping of a number of monks during their last raid; a woman caresses and man’s leg and move her hand to his crotch.

Language

"C--k;" "f--k."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Vikings drink mead and are encouraged to get drunk at a feast.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Norsemen is a raunchy and violent comedy from Norway about everyday life among a clan of Vikings. Much of the humor is based in the anachronistic behaviors of the Vikings as they deal with relationship problems or work politics using modern language and contemporary social attitudes. There are jokes about sexual organs and a number of references to the raping (and pillaging) that happens during Viking raids. Older teens who have an appreciation for absurd humor in the vein of Monty Python will definitely enjoy this.

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What's the story?

NORSEMEN takes place in the year 790 and follows a clan Vikings as they go about the mundane activities of everyday life in their village waiting for the next raid. Among the characters we meet are: Arvid (Nils Jørgen Kaalstad), a good-hearted but dim warrior who feels like he needs to settle down; Rufus (Trond Fausa), a worldy Roman slave and thespian who can’t believe how terribly slaves are treated; Orm (Kåre Conradi), the chieftain’s petty brother of who longs to rule the village, and Freya (Silje Torp), Orm’s warrior wife who has little respect for her husband’s lack of raiding experience. We watch these characters deal with universal issue like marital relationships, funerals, and conflicting management styles, using contemporary language and progressive social attitudes, yet in the end problems are often solved using era appropriate violence. Nosrsemen is essentially a comedy of manners among a group of rather brutal people.

Is it any good?

Funny, raunchy, gory -- yet still well-meaning at its core -- this is an absurd, Python-esque look at the lives of a village of Vikings. Filmed like a very serious period adventure piece, like Game of Thrones, and not like a comedy, only adds to the humor, much of which is grounded in  the anachronistic behaviors of the Vikings as they deal with relationship problems or work politics using modern language and contemporary social attitudes. In what seems like the show trying to offer something for everyone, their are also a number of physical comedy bit that come off as quite low-brow in contrast to the rather subtle, behavior-based humor of the rest of the show. Ultimately, no matter what kind of comedy you like: slapstick, farce, black, social satire, mannered, mean spirited or good-hearted, Norsemen will deliver at least a couple of laughs in that style.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about pain-based comedy. Why Is it acceptable to laugh at someone, for example, getting hit in the head with a shovel when we know how bad that would hurt? When does it go from being funny to being mean?

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  • Is Norsemen an accurate portrayal of how Vikings lived? What makes anachronisms funny? 

TV details

For kids who love historical comedy

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