Ceri Levy recommends some telly:
My latest TV discovery, and at the moment they are few and far between has been Lilyhammer. Starring and co-written by Steve Van Zandt, he of E-Street band fame as well as Silvio Dante from The Sopranos, Lilyhammer tells the tale of an American hood, Frank Tagliano, who picks Norway as his preferred choice to take on a new life in return for grassing on his crime bosses in New York. Why Lillehammer? Because he enjoyed the 1994 Winter Olympics so much. Obvious, really.
The series revolves around his integration with the local community and he is unable to leave his old ways behind him. Soon he has “cajoled” people to do as he sees fit, and bribes, blackmails and threatens those who he feels are in need of it, becomes a bar-owner, takes on a small gang of local inept wastrels to be his crew and is thought the be an Arabic terrorist by the local Police, who are often to be found selling waffles at local events. Small town ways meet city criminal. Frank also drives an electric car.
Lilyhammer is a perfect tonic for the months as the nights draw in. Set in snowy landscapes, the cast is wonderful and Van Zandt is masterful as the most loveable criminal to appear on our screens for a long time. This is a fish out of water story wherein our fish learns to swim pretty well and we are rooting for a successful outcome for our villainous but charming anti-hero. We salute you Little Steven!