Preview: Swedish Dicks 1×1 (Sweden: Viaplay)

Funnier in Swedish


In Sweden: Available on Viaplay

You’ll probably know Peter Stormare from somewhere. Maybe it’s from the Coen Brothers’ Fargo or The Big Lebowski. Maybe it’s from Terry Gilliam’s The Brothers Grimm or Steven Spielberg’s The Lost World: Jurassic Park. If you’re a TV fan, you’ll probably remember him as John Abruzzi in the first two seasons of Prison Break. But he’s been in a lot, lot more than that.

Since he has an accent, naturally he’s usually cast as a foreigner to American soils, although such is US TV, he’s been able to use pretty much the same accent to play Germans, Russians and Italians, without anyone noticing he’s none of those – he’s actually Swedish.

And for his latest role, which he co-created with his fellow ‘Viking Brother’ Glenn Lund, he’s even able to play a Swede – or an ‘ex-Swede’ as his character prefers it, since the former stuntman is now living in LA and working as a private detective. Running his own agency, ‘Swedish Dick’, he’s asked by a new client, a DJ, to track down his laptop, as it’s been stolen by a rival DJ and it has all his sick new beats on it. Stormare quickly tracks down the thief, a young fellow Swede (Johans Glans), and retrieves the laptop. However, things aren’t quite as they seem and by the end of the episode, the technically literate but fragile Glans has joined the more robust Stormare as a PI in the new retitled agency ‘Swedish Dicks’.

The show aired on Swedish Internet channel Viaplay in September and has been picked up for global distribution by Lionsgate, with a US airing promised for early 2017 and maybe a UK Netflix/Amazon pick-up at some point soon after that. This isn’t all that surprising, since like TV4 Sweden’s Welcome to Sweden, it’s clearly been made with a global audience in mind, since half the dialogue is English, half Swedish.

Oh, yes – have I mentioned yet that Stormare’s arch-nemesis is his former partner, Keanu Reeves? Yes, Keanu Reeves.

Now that says global, doesn’t it? 

Unfortunately, the scripts still say ‘Swedish’, since the show is undoubtedly Swedish in tone: Stormare’s gun is actually a hairdryer, the bad guys generally only want to be doing right by their sons and most of the jokes are in that favoured Swedish comedic artform – slapstick. Few of the jokes work in English and I only ever found myself gaffawing at the Swedish jokes. I mean this is the sort of level we’re working at most of the time – even regular guest star Traci Lords can’t save this:

Swedish Dicks is pretty gentle comedy at best, but it’s not awful. Indeed, it’s pretty amiable stuff, and Stormare and Glans are a personable, if silly pairing. It’s not thrilling, though, and I certainly don’t want to watch any more of it after having watched the first episode, not even for Keanu, since you can watch all his appearances in this 12-minute YouTube video.

But if that’s whet your appetite, here’s a trailer for the whole series and maybe the whole thing will be on your TV screens soon: