Author Topic: The Night Shift (Næturvaktin) (Icelandic petrol station based comedy)  (Read 12075 times)

With BBC4 starting to show The Night Shift (an icelandic comedy set in a petrol station) back on 9 May 2011, I was surprised not to see any mention on here.

The series so far is still available on iPlayer:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b0116qjx/The_Night_Shift_Episode_1

Anyone else seen it, and what do you think?

Danger Man

  • Let's stand together
Watched the first episode.

Well made but I couldn't tell the difference between 'very dry' and 'laughter free'.

Does it pick up as it goes along?

mikeyg27

  • That's one way of doing it.
I think it's great. Admittedly the characters are pretty much all variations of something that's been done before (the fascist boss, the hopeless dreamer etc) but I still think Georg is a stellar example of the despotic boss with an inflated sense of self worth. It seems to shift in tone quite a lot, but this bothers me far less than usual here and in fact is often used for comedic effect, for example when Daniel's parents came to admonish him, and a heartfelt emotional scene was heavily undercut by Georg refusing to let Daniel's mother use the toilet.

According to Wikipedia it's the first part of a trilogy. I hope BBC4 pick up the other parts.

vrailaine

  • Don'tyoueversay Ijustwalkedaway Iwillalwayswantyou
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Great, I've been searching for a version of this with english subtitles for a while now.

Enjoying this series. Can't seem to find DVDs of the three series on UK websites. I hope BBC 4 will show the next series and film. Found this interesting though.

http://splitsider.com/2011/04/the-absurd-mayorship-of-jon-gnarr-icelands-comedian-politician


vrailaine

  • Don'tyoueversay Ijustwalkedaway Iwillalwayswantyou
    • I'm on twitter, don't want it googlable so just ask
Can't find it for download anywhere, can't watch iplayer, gah.

the icelandic dvd has english subtitles, asides from the first print iirc.

23 Daves

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Not seen this, but it looks as if this show was the basis for the Icelandic film "Mr. Bjarnfredarson", which I happened to see when I was in Iceland last year and went on to become my favourite film of the year.  Hilarious, poignant and satirical (it rips a lot of wooly socialist hippy-isms to shreds, and also takes enormous pokes at dubious middle class parenting skills) it's just wonderful. 

Looks like I'll have to give this a look, then.

Incidentally, the actors who plays the "fascist boss" used to roadie for the Sugarcubes, and is now mayor of Reykjavik.  (It's a long story, but suffice to say after the banking crisis there a joke party he created ended up getting elected in protest). 

I've watched the first couple of episodes, and certainly will watch the rest in the next few days. When checking the programme out on wikipedia I noticed that it was part of a trilogy, with the other parts being set in a hotel (wait, settings in a hotel and a petrol station, is there a possible Partridge influence?), and a prison.

Apparently the Yanks are looking to remake Næturvaktin, capitilizing on the demand for work based comedy.

Yes, I watched this when it was on. Really enjoyed it (mainly because I could listen to Icelandic all day!), like I enjoyed most of BBC4's Iceland season, particularly Jar City.

Got a bit addicted to this, and since today is my day off I thought I'd watch em' all. Næturvaktin is worth checking out on the Iplayer. I'd like to thank the people on this forum for bringing it to my attention.

vrailaine

  • Don'tyoueversay Ijustwalkedaway Iwillalwayswantyou
    • I'm on twitter, don't want it googlable so just ask
Not seen this, but it looks as if this show was the basis for the Icelandic film "Mr. Bjarnfredarson", which I happened to see when I was in Iceland last year and went on to become my favourite film of the year.  Hilarious, poignant and satirical (it rips a lot of wooly socialist hippy-isms to shreds, and also takes enormous pokes at dubious middle class parenting skills) it's just wonderful. 
Oh goody, I read some negative reviews of it in comparison to this, so it put me off checking it out first.

Just watched the second episode there, really enjoyed it. Highlights so far include the photo album of the old guy looking uncomfortable, the staged robbery and Olafur going on about the Scooter money.
Lowlights so far include fixating on the bald guy's actual hairline.


It was the announcement of some US station picking up the rights that first brought it to my attention, no that you mention it, that was nearly 2 years ago though so I doubt much is coming of that.


23 Daves

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Oh goody, I read some negative reviews of it in comparison to this, so it put me off checking it out first.

It's not entirely impossible that it isn't as good as the series - as I haven't watched a single episode of that yet, I wouldn't know.  I'm not sure where you can get the film from, anyway.  It was available for sale in Iceland on DVD, but I haven't seen it anywhere since.  Is it commercially available (with subtitles) outside that country yet? 

vrailaine

  • Don'tyoueversay Ijustwalkedaway Iwillalwayswantyou
    • I'm on twitter, don't want it googlable so just ask
Commercially? Maybe not, definitely saw it up on some places though... Guess it's possible that they didn't have subtitles though.

icehaven

  • Please don't hi five people in Tamworth
Incidentally, the actors who plays the "fascist boss" used to roadie for the Sugarcubes, and is now mayor of Reykjavik.  (It's a long story, but suffice to say after the banking crisis there a joke party he created ended up getting elected in protest).

This, along with the sparseness of the show itself, further confirms my suspicion that there are only about 45 people in Iceland.

320,000. Imagine living in a country where the entire population amounts to that of a medium-large UK city!

I registered here to talk about this show and the movie. I don't think they're particularly funny, but as somebody who enjoys character development and character-driven comedy I am really fond of them. The first episode isn't up to scratch at all, but the series really grew on me as I learned to love the characters.

The movie was incredible, a really good (and unexpected) attack on emotionally abusive parents. I would be able to "advise" people on how to see a version with English subtitles. Don't give me that look, maybe I mean that I'll tell you where to buy a DVD copy. I've accepted the terms of the agreement.

I'm five episodes into this and am enjoying each episode more than the last. The poster who said the subject matter and characters are not exactly original was quite right, but the sparse and lonely nature of the setting allows the three main characters so much time to develop and reveal themselves 'in their own time', if that makes sense. It reminded me a lot of Magnus Mills' books, especially The Restraint of Beasts. True, it's not exactly laugh out loud material, but by about the fourth episode I was in hysterics at Georgi casually extolling the virtues of the Swedish nudist commune he wants to take the works outing to. I am dying to see the other two parts of this trilogy, but I am absolutely gripped by this and really want to see where Daniel's story goes.

icehaven

  • Please don't hi five people in Tamworth
320,000. Imagine living in a country where the entire population amounts to that of a medium-large UK city!

I registered here to talk about this show and the movie. I don't think they're particularly funny, but as somebody who enjoys character development and character-driven comedy I am really fond of them. The first episode isn't up to scratch at all, but the series really grew on me as I learned to love the characters.

The movie was incredible, a really good (and unexpected) attack on emotionally abusive parents. I would be able to "advise" people on how to see a version with English subtitles. Don't give me that look, maybe I mean that I'll tell you where to buy a DVD copy. I've accepted the terms of the agreement.

I really like how your username disappearing behind the other writing makes it look all 3D. I'm tempted to extend my name now so it does the same, maybe ''Ice Haven, while not the best example of Clowes work, is nonetheless....''

I'm five episodes into this and am enjoying each episode more than the last.
This is exactly what everybody I've recommended this to has said. It's definitely a real grower.

You should watch the film if you're interested in where the characters are going. I've only seen the ten episodes of the sitcom, so I've skipped a bit, but it hasn't mattered at all. You won't be spoiling the sitcom if you watch the film early.

I really like how your username disappearing behind the other writing makes it look all 3D. I'm tempted to extend my name now so it does the same, maybe ''Ice Haven, while not the best example of Clowes work, is nonetheless....''
You'd be missing a trick by putting spaces in there and allowing it to wrap.

I didn't break CaB on purpose.

What is the second part of the trilogy (assuming the film is the third)? And is it available?

Second Part
Third Part
Movie

I haven't been able to track down the second and third with English subtitles.

I'd imagine it's highly unlikely they've been subbed, if the BBC are only just showing the first series. I found the movie on a torrent site but without subs. I have a mate who is an academic specialising in Norse mythology who seems to be in Iceland all the time judging by his facebook updates. Maybe I'll quiz him on this.

wasp_f15ting

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This is absolutely hilarious...

Thank you so much for linking it as there is no way I would have picked it up.

vrailaine

  • Don'tyoueversay Ijustwalkedaway Iwillalwayswantyou
    • I'm on twitter, don't want it googlable so just ask
Easy enough to get the movie with subtitles.
I reckon BBC will air the other two shows at some point cos this has been incredibly well received considering what it is and all. Don't know whether they were subtitled or not already though, as I said up further, I recall reading numerous reports that their were English subtitles on the Naeturvaktin DVD.

Finished the series off there today, delighted it didn't disappoint. Does the next series continue with the same three guys in new jobs or is it some sort of parallel world?

Pretty much love Iceland, all impressive geographically and Bjork and Sigur Ros and Múm and these guys.

The movie references the new jobs and the petrol station, so it must be the same world.

23 Daves

  • Break a leg!
    • Left and to the Back
The Best Party (who Jon Gnarr leads) have a manifesto suspiciously similar to the Lib Dems, mind you:

Quote
To help the households in the country: Family is the best thing in society. Governments need to meet the needs and demands of households. An ironclad shield wall needs to be raised around the households in this country. Icelandic households deserve only the best.

To improve the quality of life of the Less Fortunate: We want the best of everything for this bunch and therefore offer free access to buses and swimming pools so you can travel around Reykjavik and be clean even if you're poor or there's something wrong with you.

Stop corruption: We promise to stop corruption. We'll accomplish this by participating in it openly.

Equality: Everyone deserves the best regardless of who they are and where they come from. We will do our best for everyone so that everyone can be together on the best team.

Increase transparency: It's best to have everything aboveboard so that the general public knows what is going on. We say we support that.

Effective democracy: Democracy is pretty good, but an effective democracy is best. That's why we want it.

Cancel all debts: We listen to the nation and do as it wishes because the nation knows what's best for itself.

Free bus rides for students and cripples: We can offer more free things than any other party because we aren't going to follow through with it. We could say whatever we want. For example, free flights for women or free cars for people who live in rural areas. It's all the same.

Free dental services for children and handicapped people: This is something that is lacking, and we definitely want to take part in promising it.

Free access to swimming pools for everyone and free towels: This is something that everyone should fall for, and it's the election promise we're most proud of.

Take those responsible for the economic collapse to court: Felt we had to include this.

Complete equality of the sexes

Listen more to women and old people: This bunch gets listened to far too little. It's as if everyone thinks they are just complaining or something. We're going to change that.

Georg turning out to be a homosexual wasn't handle well. The finale was solid up to that point.

If they had showed him hitting the bottle after his world had fallen to pieces earlier on in the episode. Possibly being intoxicated on the flight or taking part in celebratory drinks throughout the day while Olaf worked digging ditch the reveal would have been more believable. He could of course just be a lightweight when it comes to alcohol.

Apart from the scene with Flemming said not to be his son I didn't see any hints over the course of the series to suggest it. I interpreted the admiration for trainee who wasn't formally hired as being fatherly. Georg's repressed sexuality as the explanation for his anal retentive behaviour, does that mean he'll be a calmer person from now on? His fantasy of commune life not delivering bring him back to normal. It might just be me who missed the giveaways if they were there.

Poor Ylfa left behind looked devastated. I hope she makes the journey over to Sweden to surprise Daniel.

I accept the terms of the

  • Everybody, summertime love! You remember me.
You should watch this movie to answer all of these questions.

Kishi the Bad Lampshade

  • fingering gold in his mind
SPOILERS FUCKSAKE JIM

vrailaine

  • Don'tyoueversay Ijustwalkedaway Iwillalwayswantyou
    • I'm on twitter, don't want it googlable so just ask
Yep, pretty safe to say that was one occasion where it was really obvious to use spoilers imo. Pretty sure the only bit I've actually retained from it is how he's apparently a homosexual so it's okay enough I guess.

Just like this.

23 Daves

  • Break a leg!
    • Left and to the Back
The more I watch this, the less Georg seems like an eccentric oddball, and the more he seems like an aggravating middle manager in the wrong environment.  The "it wasn't me, it was one of my sub-ordinates" line is something I've actually heard for myself in offices (more commonly expressed as "It wasn't my idea to approach the work in that way, he seems to have got it into his head that was the best thing to do").  He seems pathetic because he's the manager of a night shift in a 24 hour petrol station, rather than a middle-manager on the second floor of a small office block - but replace the objects and the situations, and the general pettiness is quite transferrable and would seem no less obnoxious elsewhere, but perhaps not quite so eccentric.

So yes, it has taken me this long to work out that the creators are probably arguing that a lot of managers are just weird lonely figures with Stalin fixations.