Although the new TV show, Welcome To Sweden, has already be renewed by Swedish TV4 for a second season, it will still be another few months before Americans can see their first episode.
This semi-autobiographical comedy stars Greg Poehler, moving to Sweden to live with his Swedish girlfriend. Poehler, brother of Park’s and Recreation‘s Amy Poehler, wrote the script and stars as an American who navigates Swedish customs and lifestyle, as he maintains his relationship with his gorgeous girlfriend. While his girlfriend is comfortable back in her home country, Greg has to tone down his American ways to fit in with the Swedes, and the results are hysterical and very accurate.
Already, there has been a plethora of talented guest stars including his sister Amy Poehler, as well as Aubrey Plaza and Will Farrell, the latter who is also married to a Swedish woman, speaks fluent Swedish and lives in Sweden part of the year. Greg boyishly tries to fit in and through his eyes, we see how he is not in America anymore.
This is not the first time that the main character has found themselves stuck in an unfamiliar world. Here are three other favorite comedies about a stranger in a strange land.
Steven Van Zant, “Little Steven,” has reprized his Soprano’s Frank “The Fixer” Tagliano role and like Greg Poehler, has wound up in Scandinavia country-Lillehammer, Norway. He found himself there under the Witness Protection Plan. In this black comedy, only available on Netflix, Frank acclimates himself into the Norwegian culture by putting his own spin on starting his own business and creating a bit of Jersey in this remote area of Norway.
Once Upon a Time
Emma Swan winds up in Storybrooke to stay with the son she gave up for adoption as an infant. Although she has no intention of staying there for more than a few days, Emma soon finds herself working in Storybrooke and caught up in the magic and the Faery Tale stories of the people around her. Each character has a faery tale past and each episode focuses on one character story. While present day Storybrooke is a cute town, Faery Tale Storybrooke is lush and enchanting.
Emma wants out, but the longer she stays in Storybrooke, it becomes more obvious that she is the key to solving the problems in this town.
Hart of Dixie
Chic native New Yorker, Dr. Zoe Hart has moved to Bluebell, Alabama to share an office and fulfilling the the directive of her biological father’s will. There, she meets her arch rival Lemon Breeland, the woman who is engaged to Zoe’s soulmate and the daughter of the very doctor that is trying to force Zoe out of Bluebell. The different characters first seam alien to Zoe, but soon, she finds herself enamored with the town as well as some of the peculiar residents.
Bluebell is a quirky southern town with all sorts of unusual traditions, such as celebrating Pirate Thanksgiving, as well as many activities and quaint festivals. But the main activity is love. This is a light romance with a many dashes of comedy.
Due to the fine print on the repayment of a student loan, native New Yorker, Dr. Joel Fleischman finds himself bound to Cicely, Alaska, for a number of years. The local residents are a mishmash of local people as well as adventurers and soul seekers from around the states. Joel constantly finds himself butting heads with his landlord Maggie. Maggie has her own set of baggage, as every one of her old boyfriends has died a premature death. And in the background, is the sultry voice of Chris Stevens, actor John Corbett, spewing out eclectic quotes, stories and music.
The writing on Northern Exposure bordered on the metaphysical, while we follow Joel as he tries to make sense of his new town and how he ever wound up there in the first place.