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The long-awaited return of Norwegian hit Norsemen comes back at a time where the world has nothing better to do than social distance and watch Netflix.
The Monty Python-like cult comedy has taken a long hiatus (nearly three years) since its last season, and seemingly with good reason. A very strong prequel, the third season (or season 0 if you are a reader in Norway) boasts battle scenes and landscapes far more expansive than the original scale of the preceding two installments.
This time around, viewers are treated to an origin story following Jarl Varg and his descent into the evil man fans know all too well. Coupled with this, our recurring band of Viking misfits return.
Characteristic of what a prequel should offer fans, Norsemen does a tremendous job at telling an engaging story while also containing inside jokes and origin stories that enrich what came before. Season three both serves as a gripping stand-alone caper as well as a compelling addition to the overarching plot creators Jon Iver Helgaker and Jonas Torgersen are telling.
Long-awaited context for the show’s recurring gags – like the enigma of the shitting-log stalker, Liv’s life as a slave, scrotum whipping, and why everyone hates Orm with a burning passion – is merely scratching the surface of all this installment has to offer.
Norsemen has also always been a show that has tackled social commentary in its own comedic fashion, and this season is not without its fair share of that. Similar to how previous episodes saw to the chastisement of fellow Vikings taking “fashion risks” in adding horns to their helmets, plenty of other Norse traditions are hilariously debated by the beloved cast, from the existence of dragons to the power believed to be instilled on omens of misfortune like nithing poles.
The show goes so far as to even include social commentary on comical complexities like distinguishing friend from foe on a battlefield barren of uniforms, how sturdy a war-table should be, and the troubles of making small talk at a wedding when you don’t know anyone. These small but enduring charms the show employs even includes the best running joke of all: how to avoid a person that everyone is equally annoyed by, Orm (played by Kåre Conradi), a joke one really needs to see for themselves.
This slapstick masterpiece’s only flaw may be in that there aren’t enough episodes of it, each season only coming in at six thirty-minute entries each. And, unfortunately, the current state of global affairs might make the wait for the next chapter even longer than any would come to hope for.
Luckily, however, the show did manage to assure fans of hope for another season down the line. Without spoiling too much, series three does end with a great deal of foreshadowing that should make clear the road ahead of where season two left off. I hope it’s not too long before we next see this amusing band of Vikings on their next (hopefully international) caper… it’s bound to be a good one.