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"Lilyhammer" Trailer: I Love F*uckin' Cheese At My Feet! I Stick Motherf*ckin' Provolone In My Socks At Night, So They Smell Like Your Sister's Crotch In The Morning. Alright?

By Seth Freilich | Trailers | January 4, 2012 | Comments ()


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While Netflix botched sh*t up royally with that whole Qwikster business, it's still moving ahead on another of its big plans, namely, original content. Almost a year ago, we learned that Netflix outbid HBO to get the chance to bring us two seasons (26 episodes) of "House of Cards." Starring Kevin Spacey, with a pilot directed by David Fincher (both will also exec-produce), the show is a political thriller based on a novel and 1990 BBC miniseries. Political intrigue, Spacey and Fincher ... even if it's a remake, I'm in. And, of course, Netflix recently made many squeal with delight as the ultimate landing spot for the I'm-almost-ready-to-believe-there-will-actually-be-a fourth season of "Arrested Development."

Well a few months back, news quietly leaked out that Netflix had a third bit of programming up its sleeve, in the form of 16 episodes of "Lilyhammer." There was a trailer I was going to post for you at the time, but it quickly got yanked offline. Now, however, Netflix has gone official with a press release in advance of the first 8 episodes being made available on February 6. "Lilyhammer" stars Steve Van Zandt as a mobster who gets witness relocated to the Norwegian village of Lillehammer (often mispronounced as "Lilyhammer," you see). It's got a very My Blue Heaven vibe to it, in a good way, I think:

Can Van Zandt's over-the-top schtick, great in small doses on "The Sopranos," carry a full eight hours? I don't know. But this looks fun and at least worth a shot. I mean, hell, did you see Silvio stare down that goat? Plus, the quote I used from the entry of this article is absolutely hilariously delivered by Van Zandt (you'll have to take my word on this, for now, as the quote was excised from this new version of the trailer).

Plus, I really want to support Netflix in its fledgling efforts to become a content provider. And on that front, I actually disagree with the always smart and interesting Alyssa Rosenberg (seriously, you should consider her Think Progress blog regularly required reading), who is suspect of Netflix's wide-swinging approach to the original content game. As she sees it:

What's been great about Netflix as a streaming and DVD delivery service has been its breadth. ... It would likely be easier for Netflix to ... effectively decid[e] that it's going to court a niche audience for its originals business, or at least one niche at a time. But it's a harder thing to develop consistently excellent programming across a wide variety of genres, tones, and subject-matter tranches. I can understand why the company would prefer to try for that, though: after causing a lot of confusion and doing itself a lot of damage, I'd want a master-stroke to bring in new or disaffected former customers, and to make a lot of my audience very excited. I'm just not entirely sure how it'll pan out.

I agree with and understand her trepidation, as this very well may be an expensive and complete failure for Netflix when all is said and done. But there's little question that the company needs to get into original content to survive, given the increasing online competition for content streaming (iTunes, Amazon and YouTube, to say nothing of the original channels themselves) and the splintering of content availability. (Plus, Netflix just recently lost its deal with Starz, which insiders say was the company's most valuable source of movie content.) Netflix needs to make big moves to stay relevant in the long term and keep a subscriber, which is really what's behind the push to develop original content. And I just don't think a narrow-niche-focus would cut it.

Look it - you're reading Pajiba, so you love "Arrested Development." Many of you will likely watch it on Netflix, and if they developed a similarly-styled comedy, we'd all probably watch that too. But we sadly know many people who have still never seen "Arrested Development," despite the number of times we've told them their humorless assholes for not doing so. And those people almost certainly won't jump on board with Netflix, if they're not already subscribers, because of a new "Arrested Development" season. And that apathy would likely extend to a similarly-situated comedy. But maybe some of those folks will watch "Lillyhammer" or, more importantly, want to see what Fincher and Spacey have up their sleeves. And then, suddenly, Netflix has us and them both subscribing, at least for a little while. And if it can manage to hold on to us all, it's got a much bigger subscriber base than if it had honed in on a little niche.

Again, I wholly agree that this may not pan out at all. "Lillyhammer" isn't likely to garner them many new subscribers and, particularly given the lack of promotion, feels more like a beta release/experiment to simply wet their feet with the idea of actually distributing original content before the two big dogs arrive with, presumable, ridiculous pomp and marketing. And those will really be the make-or-breaks for Netflix, "Arrested Development" with its hype, and "House of Cards" with its rumored $100 million price-tag.

"To new beginnings."

Oh, and because I can't help it, having mentioned My Blue Heaven:



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