I’m not much of a watcher of streaming platform shows – not out of any specific desire to avoid them, but simply because my attention wanders within minutes of putting on anything. Something about the visual styles and the narrative rhythms feels too familiar and makes it hard for me to tune in and stay focused. But I’m always trying, because the idea of losing oneself in hours and hours of storytelling is, of course, appealing
So I was delighted to find something that grabbed my attention this year and kept me hooked. This was the Netflix show Norsemen, which has been described, accurately, as Game of Thrones meets The Office. Within minutes of the opening, a grizzled Viking leader returning on a ship from a marauding expedition punches a prisoner’s nose bloody, then wonders sadly to a subordinate whether he needs to rethink his “fear-based leadership style” – and I knew it was a show after my heart. (A warning: the show is quite high on violent and sexual content.) Impressively, despite its relentless comedy, the show also manages to build a strong narrative arc across the seasons.
I savoured Norsemen, one absurd piece at a time, over days spent at home. It reassured me that there were some kinds of shows that I could enjoy,and I just had to find them. But then again, my Norsemen journey ended in disappointment – I reached the end of three seasons and began to scan the platform for the next. A thrilling plot about a lost map was just beginning to pick up. But there were no more seasons. I Googled to find out when the next season would be out. It wouldn’t – the show has been cancelled. Ah well.
Read all the articles in the Comfort zone series here.