Shrinks have been popular on American TV for many years now, and in many ways Norwegian comedy series Dag feels very much like it could have been made in the US. However, in true Scandinavian tradition the humour is as dark as the protagonist’s moods. I’m not sure if Dag actually has any qualifications as a psychiatrist but his people skills could probably use some work.
Dag (Atle Antonsen) is a relationship councillor with a 90% divorce rate. This is far too low as far as Dag is concerned. He doesn’t believe in relationships. He thinks people aren’t made to live with other people. His secretary Malin (Agnes Kittelsen) despairs as this doesn’t bode well for repeat clients. Meanwhile, his friend Benedikt (Anders Baasmo Christiansen) is trying to sleep with any strays whilst at the same time avoiding his ex’s (Ine F. Jansen) family who seem bent on hurting him. His sister (Marianne Refsnes) tries to find Dag love with no success until Eva (Tuva Novotny) comes into his life.
There’s something strangely compelling about Dag and it’s hard to put my finger on exactly what. The Scandinavian humour is dark, thick and dry. Combined with the rather offbeat and tongue-in-cheek drama, Dag has a heart but is disinclined to let you see it that often. There is a depth to the drama which is downplayed, but if series 1 is anything to go by, there’s much more to follow.
Dag season 1 is released on DVD by Arrow Films and is out today.