Norway is a beautiful country with a rich culture and long history. It also has an active film and television industry that captures all aspects of what life is like in Norway. While Norwegian shows and movies may not get the same exposure as those from Hollywood, they’re just as captivating and addicting. And they can also be helpful if you’re learning the language!
Norwegian TV shows are funny, dramatic, and offer insight into the lives of Norwegians. And the good news is that there are plenty of great Norwegian shows and movies on Netflix that will both teach and entertain you.
Some of these series include comedies, dramas, and historical sagas. Others are movies that show you what it’s actually like to live in Norway. No matter what your tastes are, watching any of the shows on this list will help you learn to speak Norwegian naturally and confidently.
So without further ado,
The Best Norwegian TV Shows and Movies To Binge-Watch on Netflix.
While visiting his hometown on the Swedish border, Oslo police detective Nikolai Andreassen is drawn into an investigation after a local man commits suicide. Anniken Høygaard-Larsen, the co-investigator, thinks there’s more to the story though and that Nikolai’s brother may be involved. After planting evidence to protect his younger brother, Nikolai finds out that there really was more to the story. It just wasn’t what he expected.
Borderliner is perfect if you love crime and police dramas. It also shows a side of Norway that not many see – its rural side. This series will have you hooked from the first episode, and you’ll get a firsthand look at life in a small Norwegian town.
2. Home for Christmas
Home for Christmas is a much more light-hearted look at life in Norway, and it shows something everyone struggles with at some point in life – love and romance. Johanne, a 30-year-old nurse in Norway, is feeling pressure from her family to find a boyfriend. When she has Advent dinner with them, they ask her about dating again. Fed up, Johanne lies and says she’s bringing her new boyfriend to Christmas dinner. The series covers the 24 days before Christmas as Johanne frantically searches for a partner.
Home for Christmas will get you in the mood for the holidays and also teach you how to express your emotions more clearly in Norwegian. From love and happiness to frustration and disappointment, this series will show you how Norwegians discuss their feelings.
3. Norsemen / Vikingane
Dubbed by The Guardian as “Monty Python meets Game of Thrones”, Norsemen is an epic comedy series about the life and conflicts in Norway during the 700s. The series covers everything from day-to-day routines in a typical Viking village to more dramatic events like rival tribes fighting each other for control over land and water.
Interestingly, each scene has been separately filmed in both Norwegian and English. You can choose which language you’d like to view.
Norway has a unique history and Norsemen can be a good introduction to the roots of Norwegian society. There are 3 seasons of the show, and it’s definitely binge-worthy.
If fantasy is more your style, Ragnarok is a popular Norwegian series that reimagines Norse mythology. The show is set in the fictional Norwegian town of Edda, where inhabitants have been plagued by climate change and air pollution caused by the factories owned by the Jutul family. It’s not until Magne, a teenage boy who learns he is actually Thor reborn, comes along that the town starts to feel hope in their struggle against those destroying our planet.
Ragnarok stands out from other series on this list because it adds a modern twist to Norway’s rich mythology. In addition to learning more about the legends of Norway, Ragnarok will help you understand words and phrases related to these legends as well as current events, like climate change.
5. Elling and Mors Elling
Elling, a sensitive and mentally disabled man who has been living with his mother for the last 40 years, is faced with an unfortunate reality when she dies. He moves into a psychiatric institution, where he meets Kjell. They quickly become friends and after two years pass, they’re allowed to leave the institution and move into their own apartment in Oslo. Adjusting to life in the real world is difficult, but the two adapt and eventually blossom in their own ways.
Elling is a feel-good comedy that has some occasional serious moments. There’s also a prequel available on Netflix, Mors Elling, about Elling’s mom. The two films give a realistic view of life in Norway, and you’ll learn a lot of useful phrases for navigating everyday situations by following Elling’s story.
Amalie is a dancer and the protagonist of Battle. In the story, she’s preparing for an upcoming competition and the stakes are high. Before she’s able to compete, Amalie falls victim to some bad luck and risks losing everything she has worked for.
Battle is a high-energy dance movie similar to its Hollywood counterparts like Step Up. The story is very visual too, which makes it pretty easy to follow. The language is pretty simple and straightforward, so it’s a good choice if you’re a beginner or intermediate Norwegian speaker.
Become Fluent in Norwegian
If you’re looking to immerse yourself in the Norwegian culture and language, then Netflix is a great place to start. With Netflix, you can learn about Norway’s history, see its amazing landscapes, and understand how Norwegians see the world.
And if you don’t understand all the dialogue yet, don’t worry! There are subtitles for the movies and shows on this list, so you can study along with your favorites and pick up a lot of new words and phrases. Before you know it, you’ll be able to follow common Norwegian conversations and understand everything!
Watching Netflix is only the first step though. If you truly want to become conversational in Norwegian, you’ll also need to practice speaking. That’s what makes the Pimsleur Norwegian course the perfect complement to Netflix. With Pimsleur, you’ll start speaking Norwegian from your very first lesson and you’ll learn the most important words and phrases quickly. And by using both, you can completely immerse yourself in Norwegian without ever leaving your home!