Based on his own experience, Greg Pohler created a show about what it was like to move to Sweden with his Swedish girlfriend. As a person who moved to a different country for love, I really appreciated the plot.
Bruce Evans (Greg Poehler) a celebrity accountant decides to quit his job and move to Sweden with his girlfriend Emma Wiik (Josephine Bornebusch), with whom he has a perfect relationship. He’s all excited and in love with the idea of living abroad and the new life experiences. However, moving to a different country isn’t as easy as it sounds. Bruce has to adapt to a new language, new food, what’s socially acceptable and what’s not; and this in itself is a huge cultural shock, which puts him in many comic situations. In addition to that, Bruce also needs to adapt to Emma’s family, which she describes as “very Swedish”. Birger Wiik (Claes Månsson) Emma’s father, is welcoming towards Burce’s arrival, but the language barrier seems to cause some challenges to their communication. Viveka Börjesson (Lena Olin) Emma’s mom, is a therapist, who is constantly finding reasons to show Emma that Bruce is not good enough for her.
Let’s get one thing out of the way: If you thought the name Pohler was familiar, you are right. Amy Pohler is Greg Pohler’s big sister. Initially, he was not inclined to the showbusiness world, but his move to Sweden inspired him so much that he gave in and joined the family trade. And with help from his sister, who is one of the executive producers, the show’s first season was quite a success. Not to mention that a bunch of her famous friends made some small appearances, like Will Farrel and Aubrey Plaza; not to mention Amy herself.
The show initially aired on Sweden’s TV4, making it bilingual. And after a successful first season, its second season was a complete flop, being canceled after a few episodes. Which is a shame, actually, because the story is quite interesting. But I can see why it’s not for everyone. The show constantly makes fun out of cultural aspects both Swedish and American, such as how American have a need to greet everyone they see and the need for privacy of the Swedish. One of my favorite scenes is when Bruce needs a driver’s license and cannot understand why he needs to learn how to drive a manual car, or why his license isn’t valid outside the US. This probably spoke to me because it’s my biggest issue since I moved here: why do I need to learn how to drive all over again?
I think these little cultural nuances only make sense to people who have lived abroad, making the secondary theme of the show far from universal. But again, I really appreciate it, the show close to my own reality, I strongly relate to the situation Bruce is living. Having said that, it is not one of my favorite shows nor the funniest. It’s the kind of show you put on TV while having breakfast. My husband, on the other hand, LOVES it!