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Caryn James

Lilyhammer: Take the Gun, Leave the Sheep's Head. Silvio Goes to Norway

  • By Caryn James
  • |
  • February 6, 2012 9:00 AM
  • |
As Frank “The Fixer” Tagliano, a mob guy who has crossed too many people, Steven Van Zandt looks and sounds exactly like Silvio Dante, his character from The Sopranos, right down to the giant pompadour and petulant lower lip. The similarity is intentional and for a short time a problem. There’s a reason secondary characters are secondary. Much as we love him, do we really want a whole series about Sil? But as soon as Lilyhammer makes its offbeat swerve, this new series really takes off. Frank rats out his boss and asks to be relocated to Lillehammer because he remembers it from the ’94 Olympics as the land of beautiful snow and beautiful women. Suddenly he’s Giovanni (“Call me Johnny”) Hendriksen, importing his tough-guy ethos to Norway, and Van Zandt convinces us we do want to see what happens to Silvio in the gentle land of snow. It’s not always so different from hunting down a victim in the Pine Barrens, but this victim is a wolf. Not a metaphorical wolf, an actual animal.

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