Every once in a while, Netflix does an amazing job in recommending me a television show I’ve never heard of. In the case of New Zealand’s The Almighty Johnsons, American viewers likely will not have heard of the show without the SyFy channel or Kiwi relatives. In New Zealand, this thing is huge.
When things got heated for the Norse gods, they bailed and ended up in New Zealand. Not Autstralia. Not Europe. Not even the United States. No, they went where the surf was good and all could turn 21 in peace. Created by James Griffin and Rachel Lang, the show focuses on the Johnson family, which just so happen to be an undercover embodiments of Norse gods.
Axl is used to the lifestyle of a young Kiwi man. He lives with flatmates Gaia and Zeb, drinks beer like a fish and hangs out with his family as sparingly as possible. When his “Grandfather” Olaf drops the bomb that he is the living embodiment of Baldur and that Axl’s brothers are all Norse gods as well, Axl doesn’t take it well. Axl, it seems, is to become Odin the Allfather. Unfortunately for Axl, this isn’t an easy process. In order to become a fully powered Odin and to keep his family alive, Axl must find the living embodiment of the goddess Frigg. Axl doesn’t just have to find Frigg; he has to find her before a group of rogue goddesses find Frigg first.
The Almighty Johnsons is like a buddy-drama-god and goddess-romantic-comedy. Yeah, it’s complicated like that. Throw in a little New Zealand after school special and you’ve got a show that is more addictive than I’d like to admit. The show covers abortion, drugs, a ton of drinking, casual sex and even with all that manages to stay funny and upbeat.
Some important New Zealand terms you need to understand:
- Ta- Thanks
- Flatmate- Roommate
- Kiwi- New Zealander
- Aubergine- Eggplant
- Pissing Down- Raining down hard
- The Bog- Toilet
- Boot- The trunk of a car
- Shoot Through- Leave to go somewhere else
- Getting your end away- getting laid
Things straight from Valhalla:
- Olaf’s gives a speech about “the other Zebra” and dating.
- Thor doesn’t approve of you talking smack in the bog:
- On that note, Thor is a crazy person and Loki (as usual) is just a jerk face
- Eva’s small pub gigs are hilarious as well as dark
- Ty. No explanation needed. Look at this guy:
Things to Throw Lighting Bolts at:
There are a few things that caused me to have weird eye twitches of frustration. Anders (Bragi) is a major man whore and goes out of his way to get Axl to sleep with as many women as possible in the pursuit of Frigg. Olaf, aka Baldur, gets a girl pregnant and then skips out because he can’t show her that he never ages. To both of these situations, Axl seems pretty quick to step in and ask what the heck either is doing, but it still feels super shady after school special.
Like Odin drawn to his Frigg, it is difficult for fans of supernatural comedies, like Neil Gaiman’s American Gods, not to enjoy this show. Season one is now available on Netflix. Hopefully they quickly put up season two before we suffer the wrath of Frigg.