Seeing Norway through NRK TV.

Explore Norwegian Life and Society Through These NRK Series

Here are some recommendations to get you started!


Television may not be a substitute for an academic textbook, but it can be a powerful form of storytelling. Check out the NRK TV shows below to dive a little deeper into Norwegian life and society, keeping in mind that stories told undergo transformations in the telling. From historical themes to children’s television, here are a few series you’ll want to spend some time with.

NRK TV for Language Learners

For Norwegian learners, an additional benefit of exploring Norwegian life and society through NRK series is that one can hone domain specific language skills related to politics and other societal forces. Turn on the subtitles so that you can read and listen at the same time. 

Most of the NRK series below are available in Norwegian only. For those who don’t speak Norwegian, there are a couple of decent no-fee possibilities for generating English captions on streaming video:

  • Microsoft Edge and Google Chrome have a live captioning feature that can be activated in the accessibility settings. Make sure to install NRK TV as an app on your device in order to allow seamless integration. 

  • The browser extension NRK TV Language Learning Subtitles allows viewers to see both Norwegian and English captions side by side, with no lag time.

Streaming video extensions like Language Reactor, designed specifically as a tool for language learners, are only functional on a limited number of video platforms at this time, though there’s hope for further development on this front!

NRK Series by Theme

Historical Periods

Vikingane (2016–2020)

A delightfully funny treatment of the intrigues and downfalls of Viking times. Three seasons unravel an epic world in which the players are petty and driven by their own quixotic agendas. This series isn’t so much concerned with historical accuracy as it is with showing that humans – no matter who they are – will inevitably act like humans. 

Trailer of Vikingane (2016–2020).

Stream here for free.

Gutta på skauen (2022–...)

Moving ahead to WWII, Gutta på skauen uses quiet humor to tell the story of resistance fighters who never quite measured up to their own heroic standards. Sequestered in the woods and ready to do what they think is right, this handpicked quartet is prone to overthinking and gets easily caught up in the details. 

See trailer here. Stream here for free.

Flus (2022–...)

Set in 1990s Oslo, Flus follows a young man of immigrant descent who tries to keep his nose clean while growing up at the intersection of gang activity, violence, and drug trafficking. Economic precarity makes non-involvement impossible to achieve. The more our main character gets dragged into the action, the more you care about what happens next. 

Stream here for free.

Trailer of Flus (2022–...).

22. juli (2020)

A fictionalized account of the events leading up to the mass killings in Oslo and on Utøya in 2011. Multiple storylines reveal how things unfolded that day from different perspectives, covering the confusion and fear, unfounded suspicions of immigrant involvement, and more.

Trailer of 22. juli (2020).

Stream here for free.


Folkets konge (2022–...)

If you’re interested in the role of the present king in Norway’s constitutional monarchy, Folkets konge is for you. The series covers the life of King Harald V, from his early years as a refugee in America during WWII to his modern day role as “all of Norway’s grandfather.” 

See trailer here. Stream here for free.

Makta (2023–2024)

Have you seen House of Cards, about the struggle for power in the American Democratic party? Makta tells a much more down-to-earth version of political maneuvering within the Norwegian Labour Party in the 1970s and 1980s. Fans of Gro Harlem Brundtland, Norway’s first female prime minister, will definitely want to watch this.

Trailer of Makta (2023–2024).

Stream here for free.

Debatten (2011–...)

When it comes to learning about critical debates in Norwegian society, Debatten is the place to turn. The show broadcasts twice a week and guests are hand-picked to represent different perspectives on current events. Topics range from public health policy to crimes of honor and everything in between. 

Stream here for free.

Fame and Money

Lykkeland (2018–2022)

An engaging dramatic series about the 1969 discovery of oil in the North Sea at the Ekofisk platform. Through the eyes of local workers and American oil speculators, we watch the fascinating development of the oil industry in Stavanger.

See trailer here. Stream here for free.

Cammo (2023–...)

The show explores the existential realities of a Norwegian influencer on the down and out. Facing bankruptcy after realizing that she hasn’t paid taxes for a number of years, Cammo finds friendship with a woman who has Down Syndrome while trying to get a grip on her own identity. 

See trailer here. Stream here for free.

Exit (2019–2023)

What does conspicuous consumption look like in Norway? As if a cautionary drama for more traditionally frugal Norwegians, Exit shows us the shocking excesses of four multi-millionaires who seek to escape the boredom of everyday life through sex, drugs, and shady dealings. 

See trailer here. Stream here for free.

Language and Belief

Dialektriket (2013)

Curious about the richness of Norwegian dialects? Dialektriket is a charming exploration of regional variation in the Norwegian language, presented in an accessible (and even funny) manner. From preservation, to change, pride, and shame, there’s a lot to learn here about what Norwegians think of their own tongue. 

Trailer of Dialektriket (2013).

Stream here for free.

Svart humor (2017–2018)

The TV series heads to the streets of Oslo to find out how people respond to language, cultural differences, and more. Equipped with a most disarming smile, host Yousef Hadaoui manages to balance challenging questions with warmth and humor. 

Stream here for free.

Presten (2017–...)

Presten follows the life of a radio personality who decides to turn his back on the entertainment industry to become a minister. Full of awkward moments and self-conscious encounters, the series manages to strike an interesting position between civil and religious life. 

Stream here for free.

Norwegian Minority Groups

Mánáid-tv (1991–2016)

A children’s show that explores Sámi languages, traditions, stories and more. The Sámi Act of 1987 was instituted to give protective rights to the Sámi people after an extended period of “Norwegianization” beginning in the 1700s. To some degree, this show represents the continuation of Sámi languages and culture into the next generations.

Stream here for free.

Kvenske historier (2017–2022)

The series looks at the history of the Kven people in Norway, exploring daily life, language, and traditions. It wasn’t until 1996 that the Kven people were granted minority status in Norway, and Kven was recognized as a minority language in 2005. 

Stream here for free.

Migrant Groups & Culture Gaps

Jordbrukerne (2021)

A quirky series about four men (and one little girl) who take over a farm in Telemark as a cover for other illicit activities. As the business of agriculture begins increasingly to take over plans, the group accidentally ends up creating Norway’s first halal farm and cheese production center. 

See trailer here. Stream here for free.

Norsk-ish (2020–2023)

The twenty/thirty-somethings of Norsk-ish navigate between two worlds in this series about what it means to manage the expectations of immigrant parents while also making it as an adult in Norwegian society. This is a thoughtful show about finding one’s own pathway in new terrain. 

Trailer of Norsk-ish (2020–2023).

Stream here for free.

Neighborhood & Workplace

Side om side (2013–2023)

Side om side captures the everyday lives of several families residing in the fictional neighborhood called Granli. At 10 seasons, it’s one of NRK’s most-watched comedies. The more you watch, the more you feel like you know these people.

See trailer here. Stream here for free.

Borettslaget (2002, 2006, 2008)

Comedian Robert Stoltenberg plays all the big roles in Borettslaget, a comedy about a housing association at Carl Berners Plass in Oslo. Filmed documentary-style, the series shares big and small moments in the lives of Roy Narvestad (apartment manager) and a diverse cast of other building residents. 

Stream here for free.

Etaten (2006)

Comparable to The Office, Etaten pokes fun at the bureaucratic life in the Planning and Building Authority. Daily stress levels here are measured by the rash on office manager Tor’s neck and the frequency with which he hides out in his parked car.

Stream here for free.

Oslo zoo (2018–...)

Oslo zoo follows the life of an unemployed social anthropologist trying to make it on the academic track. Amir lets his girlfriend believe that he’s gotten a job at Blindern, but actually spends his time as an Uber driver, encountering a host of oddball situations. 

Stream here for free.

Art & Music

Kunstnerliv (2021–...)

Kunstnerliv touches on the lives of contemporary Norwegian artists and their artist role models. The series meets artists in their studios, childhood homes, and in the shadows of the artist who inspired them, taking time to understand the many influences that emerge in the artistic process.

See trailer here. Stream here for free.

Maskorama (2020–...)

With masked musical performers, Maskorama calls itself “a little guessing game” that challenges viewers and a panel of “detectives” to figure out the celebrity identity of costumed singers in their lineup. It’s an interesting way to get to know Norwegian celebrities who may not necessarily be involved in the music industry.

See trailer here. Stream here for free.

Melodi grand prix

Melodi grand prix is the show that selects Norway’s top musical artist to compete in Europe’s Eurovision song contest each spring. There are creative performances and catchy tunes from all corners of Norway, and finales all the way back to 1965 are available for viewing.

Trailer of Melodi grand prix.

Stream here for free.

Youth Culture

Skam (2015–2017)

A highly popular series about the complexities of high school life on Oslo’s West End. United by a common interest in going in on a bus together during Russ season, friendships are forged by navigating everything from eating disorders to religious belief. 

See trailer here. Stream here for free.

Førstegangstjenesten (2019–...)

Get to know the many talents of comedic actor Herman Flesvig, who plays multiple roles in Førstegangstjenesten. The series focuses on the storylines of four very different recruits undergoing training in the Norwegian Armed Forces. 

Trailer of Førstegangstjenesten (2019–...).

Stream here for free.


Kometkameratene (2008–2010)

A charming puppetry series about six aliens who come to earth in order to investigate essential concepts of human life. Funny and philosophical at the same time, adults will enjoy this show just as much as kids. 

Stream here for free.

Superkrim (2012–...)

With new episodes airing each Easter season, Superkrim is a mini-mystery series begging to be solved by viewers. Each episode is followed up with a solution key explaining what happened. Great series for language learners who enjoy crime genres!

See trailer here. Stream here for free.

Slow TV

Hurtigruten minutt for minutt (2011–2012)

The show allows viewers to travel the coast of Norway in real time. You may not actually feel the ocean spray on your cheeks, but you’ll definitely hear it. 

Stream here for free.

Reinflytting minutt for minutt (2017)

Similarly, Reinflytting minutt for minutt brings viewers on a reindeer herding journey through Finnmark. We follow one family’s efforts to move their herd from winter to summer grazing lands. 

Trailer of Reinflytting minutt for minutt (2017).

Stream here for free.

Powered by Labrador CMS