First session with ‘Dag’ on Sky Arts

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How does Scandi comedy compare to Scandi crime? We look to the man with the answers…

The first episode of the award-winning series Dag has made us rethink how we see Scandinavia represented on our screens. There is no dark crime driving this narrative; just dark comedy.

On Friday viewers tuned into a double-bill episode on Sky Arts to meet the marriage counsellor Dag (Atle Antonsen) in his naturally negative habitat; deflating the romantic ideals of his clients endeavouring to fix their relationship. What they are not expecting is the harsh pessimism from a man who uses his Pez head as a Valium dispenser. However, our dry and generally misanthropic main protagonist is soon lost for even the bluntest of words when he experiences an unexpected ‘meet-cute’ with Eva, played by Tuva Novotny (Crimes of Passion, 2013 and ID:A, 2011).

Of course, we are familiar with how funny Nordic film and television can be. A prime example is the Danish TV series Klovn (2005- ) which garnered success, leading to its own movie Klown (2010); exploring black comedy and extremely controversial humour.

The praise for the programme has amplified the refreshing depiction of the notoriously icy and aloof ‘Scandinavian personality’: “As is often the case with Scandinavian comedies, the humour’s as black and dry as a lump of coal” – Gary Rose, Radio Times. Viewers also took to Twitter to show how the show’s veer towards comedy, as opposed to crime and drama, has taken UK audiences by surprise:

Ooh, this looks promising. Not Scandinoir – Scandi comedy. #Dag

@SkyArts Super funny! A must watch

It’s subtitled, but it’s hilarious! #Dag is quality!

I’m usually a Scandi Noir kinda gal but guna give #Dag a go on Sky Arts here….lets see how the Nordics do comedy

Just catching up on #Dag the Norwegian comedy that started last night @SkyArts I kinda like it. #scandicomedy

Just watching Norwegian comedy #dag on @SkyArts. It’s funny and I love the man cave.

#Dag on #Skyarts Canny good Scandy-comedy . Already chuckling aloud. Good start.

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Dag continues to conquer love and disdain on Fridays at 9pm on Sky Arts