In Sweden: Aired starting in March on TV4 in Sweden
In the US: Thursdays, 9/8c, NBC
International co-productions are the future. Television is just getting so pricey and risky to make and the margins are getting so thin for most shows that pretty much anything you care to think of of any import is going to have foreign money in it somewhere.
There are right ways and wrong ways to do a co-production, though. Taxi Brooklyn is the wrong way. The wrong way. If you try to make a TV show like Taxi Brooklyn or in the same way as Taxi Brooklyn, you are doing it the wrong way.
You might ask if there is a right way, though. Certainly, taking the foreign money and making the show you always intended to is a right way. But another right way is for both parties to be properly involved, equally skilled and have equal input.
Welcome To Sweden isn’t quite the right way, but it’s close. It sees an American celebrity accountant move from New York to Sweden to be with his girlfriend, where he has to learn about and adapt to Swedish ways. Cue the stereotypes?
Not quite. The show was created by Greg Poehler and Swedish writer/actress Josephine Bornebusch, who also star in it and produce it. It’s based on Poehler’s experiences of being an American living in Sweden for the past seven years. It has both Swedish and American writers, and is half in Swedish, half in English. It’s filmed in Sweden and first aired on Sweden’s TV4. It features a host of cameos from famous Americans, usually but not always playing themselves, including Patrick Duffy, Gene Simmons, Amy Poehler and Aubrey Plaza from Parks and Recreation, and Will Ferrell (who’s married to a Swede and can speak Swedish). It also includes cameos from famous Swedes, including Malin Åkerman, Lena Olin, author Björn Ranelid and Abba’s Björn Ulvaeus.
So there's a lot more nuance to the show and it's even quite funny, which is a bonus. It's international co-production done right. Almost.