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1  
2014  

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Cast

Series cast summary:
Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall ...  Himself - Presenter 3 episodes, 2014
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tv mini series | See All (1) »

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Documentary

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Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

2 February 2014 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Det goda livet i Skandinavien See more »

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KEO films See more »
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User Reviews

 
You can get a more realistic picture of Scandinavia from an Ikea catalog
23 February 2014 | by JWJanneckSee all my reviews

If you were to believe this series, Scandinavia is a paradise filled with lush woods and pretty blond people going to fancy restaurants, sitting in open-air hot tubs and occasionally (and humanely!) hunting cow-sized deer-like animals.

HFW, the presenter, and whoever is responsible for the content if that's not the same person, obviously know absolutely nothing about their subject, and really don't bother to learn anything, or even give the impression on knowledge. Fancy restaurants are important to them, as is confirming their stereotypes of Scandinavian life by meeting stereotypical people living it.

There are short moments of breaking through the Ikea image, like when in the Sweden episode HFW talks to a woman from Husby, who lived in Sweden all her life and still feels foreign there. It's only a quick break from serially shooting/enacting Swedish auto-stereotypes (the wonderful equality, the parental leave, shooting moose, outdoor hot tubs, crayfish party, Systembolaget), all of which are of course entirely free of non-white, non-blond(ish) people. Rising inequality is noted, but primarily dealt with by sweeping the camera over the mansions of the rich (and attending the taping of a rich-people-themed soap opera), the short walk through Husby is mostly spent, not on inequality, but on the everyday xenophobia met by that Swedish woman of Middle Eastern descent.

There are many interesting things to say about Scandinavia, and to learn from it, good and bad. But you will hear none of that in these "documentaries." If you are not familiar with the place, they are a waste of time, and if you are, they are highly annoying.


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