Sitcom: Verdict

As you know, I’ve tried some new sitcoms this summer. One of them, Working the Engels, I thought was a summer sitcom but in actuality was a spring show that was released this summer on Hulu, thus my confusion. While the first five episodes in general showed steady improvement, I do not believe the show is destined for greatness, nor, if IMDB is any indication, a second season. The cast struggles to land a laugh, hampered by poor writing and inconsistent acting, especially from Kacey Rohl and (sadly) Azura Skye.

Welcome to Sweden has maintained a steady pace throughout the first five episodes, with easily the funniest moments happening in the second episode, though some very good moments continued to shine through during subsequent episodes. Greg Poehler possesses a sort of affable-everyman-ness that endears him to his viewers, and begins to overcome the unlikelihood of Emma (Josephine Bornebusch) dating him. Bornebusch herself lends an accomplished self-awareness that enriches the honesty of the show, and she pulls some incredibly comic faces.

A downside to many may be the prevalence of subtitles in the show. It’s a necessity, given the show’s setting in Sweden. However, they are extremely clear and easy to read, and usually less than 40% of any given episode needs subtitling. Plus, they provide excellent opportunity for linguistic humour. It’s a drawback that surely can be overcome by the show’s wit, warmth, and ingenuity.

Greg Poehler and Emma (Josephine Bornebusch) in Welcome to Sweden.

Greg Poehler and Emma (Josephine Bornebusch) in Welcome to Sweden.

Not to mention, the glimpses the show provides of the Swedish countryside are breathtaking. Sweden has always been on my list, but now it’s moving up a little higher!

Working the Engels will no longer be on my Hulu queue, but I am waiting with great anticipation for the next installment of Welcome to Sweden. I hear Greg’s midwestern parents are coming to Stockholm for a visit… should be hilarious!


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