“I assumed it was an American production. That is not meant as praise.” Read on for the verdict on last night’s TV.


Lilyhammer, BBC4

“You might expect that Lilyhammer would be The-Sopranos-meets-The-Killing, a rich blend of grand American masterpiece and Nordic noir. It’s not. It’s more like fish-out-of-water fare… But it has a certain charm to it, and Van Zandt is very watchable. I quite like it.”
Sam Wollaston, The Guardian

“There is the raw material here for a comedy of cultural collision. But apart from a nice moment when Johnny finds a sheep’s head in his driveway and assumes it’s a Mob warning (it’s actually the main ingredient for his neighbour’s lunch), there’s very little wit to the thing.”
Tom Sutcliffe, The Independent

“It is a Norwegian import but watching it, I assumed, especially from some of the humour, it was an American production. That is not meant as praise.”
Andrew Billen, The Times

Trouble on the Estate, BBC1

“It was a depressing account of demoralised people, with every likelihood that things are going to get worse as austerity bit. And it wasn’t very easy to say what it was for, besides ensuring that Shameless won’t slip down quite as easily as it might do otherwise.”
Tom Sutcliffe, The Independent

“What was remarkable about the film was less its content than its conclusion. It highlighted the success of local families in petitioning to keep the local swimming pool open, but what it wallowed in was the oceanic gap in aspiration between the parents who took their kids swimming and those who hardly scolded theirs when they excluded from school for violence towards their teachers.”
Andrew Billen, The Times

Vikings, BBC2

“I got a little impatient for the main event, for the great voyages and invasions. Enough of these village people, bring on the pillage people.”
Sam Wollaston, The Guardian

“There’s more than a touch of the Viking about the Coast presenter [Professor Neil Oliver] with his wild hairdo and his Norse vowels. Whether you’d ever see him wearing a leather jerkin pillaging his way across Europe is far harder to say.”
Matt Baylis, Daily Express