Netflix released a blog post and a short video interview, looking back on Lilyhammer on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the original release of the series. Lilyhammerthe first Netflix original series, starred Steven Van Zandt, who plays guitar for Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band and played the character of Silvio Dante in The Sopranos. In his recent biography, Van Zandt remembered meeting Netflix chief Ted Sarandos as one of the best and most meaningful of his career, and so it’s fair that in the video (which you can see below), it’s these two that are reminiscent of a time when Netflix only had one original series.
The series starred Van Zandt as a former New York mobster named Frank “The Fixer” Tagliano, who had moved to Lillehammer, Norway to start a new life. Due to its setting, it featured cool visuals and grabbed attention as it featured scenes where the characters spoke exclusively in Norwegian with subtitles.
“Looking back, Lilyhammer was perhaps an unorthodox choice for our first show,” Sarandos wrote in the blog post. “But it worked because it was a deeply local story that we could share with the world. The jokes and references worked locally and the shows’ more universal themes traveled perfectly.”
You can see the video below.
The series ran for three seasons between 2012 and 2014. Apparently the only aspect Van Zandt needed to be sold on was Netflix‘s binge model. Per Sarandos blog post:
The meeting was great and Stevie loved every idea except one. When I told him that we wouldn’t be airing the episodes one a week, we’d be airing the whole season in one go. It stopped him in his tracks. “You work and suffer and someone can look at a year of your work overnight? That sounds a little weird,” he said. “It’s not weird,” I told him. “It’s like working on an album.” He laughed and agreed.
It’s hard to say that Netflix didn’t at least make an effort to speak its language.
You can still check out all three seasons of Lilyhammer on Netflix.