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'Welcome to Sweden' recap: Money, money, money

Season 1 | Episode 4 | “Get a Job” | Aired July 31, 2014

When I was in high school, a lovely blond foreign exchange student sat next to me in computer literacy. She was kind, respectful and smart. I remember asking questions about her home and thinking that her answers were interesting, yet I don’t remember what country she was from or her name.

That’s how I feel about Welcome to Sweden. After four weeks, I have learned to appreciate Bruce’s plight to fit into an unfamiliar world. Emma is adorable and sweet. There are funny moments here and there. But if I never saw another episode again, I would look back with fondness on that darling little Swedish show starring Amy Poehler’s brother. What was his name again? Then I would go back to binge-watching Game of Thrones so I could understand what everyone is talking about on Twitter.

I’m not giving up, though. This show was a huge hit in Sweden. And as long as they keep booking celebrities, I’ll be happy to sit through 24 minutes of pleasant people figuring out ordinary problems. Plus, I have high hopes for the American-loving uncle featured in the pilot. When is he coming back?

On with the recap!

Bruce visits his favorite bakery to purchase a selma (a doughnut on crack) and is surprised when his credit card is declined. It turns out that you need an income to keep money in your savings account.

Welcome to SwedenNever fear. Bruce has a successful girlfriend who is happy to support him. Just as long as he goes easy on the starch when he irons her blouses and keeps dinner warm until she gets home from work. Bruce recognizes he is one step away from yoga pants, so he confides in his school friend Hassan. Hassan encourages him to go to the arbetsförmedlingen.

Easy for me to say.

The arbetsförmedlingen is the public unemployment office. Bruce saunters into the building and drops his resume on the officer’s desk. He needs a job and he needs it now. The officer is ecstatic to discover Bruce’s accounting skills and has countless opportunities for him to serve Sweden.

Newsflash: Bruce doesn’t want to be an accountant. He wants to follow his heart. And in order to follow his heart, he needs a Swedish driver’s license. This costs a lot of money (that he doesn’t have), and the waiting period is three months.

Just as he is sharing with Emma how hard it is to follow your heart in Sweden, his train of thought is interrupted by a Gene Simmons sighting. Gene Simmons. As in Kiss.

Hooray for celebrity sightings!

W2S Gene SimmonsBruce hides behind a ficus tree. Gene Simmons is not amused. By the way, Gene Simmons likes to be called Gene Simmons, and Gene Simmons has tracked down Bruce to help him with his taxes. The fact that he met Emma and chatted her up was an added bonus. Later Bruce casually mentioned he spent an hour taking care of Gene Simmons’ taxes. And that’s how you tie a bow on a 30-second cameo. I miss Will Ferrell.

Hassan has volunteered to help Bruce practice driving in his taxi. Bruce notices a sign that has “fart” in the middle of the Swedish word and giggles like a prepubescent boy. Then Hassan tells a joke and his accent is so thick, I can’t follow along. That was two minutes that could have been given to Gene Simmons. I’m just saying.

Back at the arbetsförmedlingen, Bruce tells the officer that getting a driver’s license is out of the question. The officer says that there may be a job for him where he can put his English to good use. Bruce walks down to the docks, reads one line from a script and is given a position as a tour guide. There’s one problem, though. This gig takes place on a boat. You know what happens to Bruce when he’s on a boat.

Ahoy! Bruce is literally and physically miserable and is fired within minutes of his first puking. He heads back to the arbetsförmedlingen, ready to give in and take an accounting job. He runs into Hassan, who was also fired from his job. Hassan reminds Bruce to follow his dreams, reach for the stars and every other inspiration that you can find on a million Pinterest boards.

He thanks Hassan for setting him straight and returns home to put on his yoga pants.

Welcome to Sweden, Bruce.

Welcome to Sweden airs Thursdays at 9/8C on NBC.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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