Since leaving our screens forever this year, there’s been a Girls-shaped hole in our viewing schedules. Step in, Young & Promising – the Norwegian drama has received countless comparisons to Lena Dunham’s creation, and now you can watch it on Channel 4. The drama follows three ambitious young women living in Oslo, all trying to follow their dreams and establish creative careers. Fresh, engaging and full of witty moments, here’s why we can’t stop watching…
What’s the premise?
Elise (Siri Seljeseth) returns home to Norway to renew her US visa. Her attempt at breaking into the LA stand-up comedy scene ended with a job as a Bob the Builder mascot at a shopping mall, so – needless to say – the visa interview doesn’t go to plan. Now stuck in Oslo, she meets up with her friends Nenne (Gine Cornelia Pedersen) and Alex (Alexandra Gjerpen). Nenne is an aspiring writer trying to catch a break with her novel, and Alex keeps botching up her only goal of getting into drama school.
How is it similar to Girls?
Young & Promising aims to portray 20-something Oslo women in the same real and raw way as Girls did in New York. Like Girls' creator Lena Dunham, Siri Seljeseth both writes the series and plays the lead character – it’s all highly autobiographical, based on her own life experiences and those of her friends.
What are critics saying?
Originally, the show was only expected to draw in a small number of female Nordic viewers. It’s now a big success, and currently on its third season in Norway. The Guardian describes it as “compelling – and brilliantly uncomfortable – viewing”, while the New Statesman called it the “best new TV comedy about struggling millennials”.
Anything else to know?
Despite Norway being the world’s third most gender equal country, the show has covered new ground when it comes to how women are portrayed on Norwegian TV. Seljeseth says she wanted to show women “as something other than a high achiever, someone’s girlfriend or even just a dead body in the woods”. Scandi-noir, eat your heart out.
Where to watch it?
Young & Promising seasons one and two are available to watch on Channel 4’s on-demand service All 4 now.