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'Welcome to Sweden' fan recap: Family business

Season 2 | Episodes 3 and 4 | “Scrapbook/Skidresa” and “Parental Guidance/Svartsjuk” | Aired July 26, 2015

We’re four episodes in, and the writers of Welcome to Sweden continue to trudge through the details of Bruce and Emma’s pending nuptials. I understand their hesitation. Half the time I don’t think Emma likes Bruce at all. And we know that Viveka and Birger would rather their daughter marry a tall, handsome Swede whose natural athleticism far outweighs his need for a scrapbook that proves his ability as a ski master.

Bruce: The winter Olympics are the Olympics for pale people.

Yep. That’s exactly how you’re going to win over the future in-laws, Bruce. Keep it up!

Birger is annoyed that Bruce has been invited along on the traditional family ski trip. But his irritation is soon assuaged with a good old-fashioned sing-along during the drive across town. When Emma enrolls Bruce in ski school, the former basketball player is offended. Who cares if he hasn’t ever snow-skied before? He is a free-throw genius! Unfortunately, without his scrapbook, he is unable to convince the guy behind the counter that he doesn’t need lessons. To the bunny slopes!

Later that day, Bruce calls his mom to complain about how Swedish people actually think skiing is a sport. Everyone knows it’s an activity.

Nancy: What? Skiing is like walking in long shoes in the snow. You live in a strange country, son.

Ah, yes. The American painted as the idiot. Maybe that’s why some of the jokes fall flat, in my opinion. Is my patriotic pride getting in the way?

Of course, there’s the flip side of the equation. And his name is Gustav. Emma and Bruce encourage him to get an apartment, a job, a girlfriend, and a dog. He comes back with a stolen dog and is frustrated when he can’t rent a seven-bedroom apartment because he doesn’t have a job. He was going to get one after signing the lease. Duh.

Meanwhile, at the ski lodge, Bruce tells Emma that his parents are coming to help out with the wedding. After a quick, embarrassing mishap with famous skier Anja Parson that involves a line of snot from Emma’s nose to her cheek, the engaged couple prepare for the arrival of Wayne and Nancy.

Good news! The Evanses want to pay for the entire wedding! Bruce and Emma may choose between Wayne and Nancy’s hometown church in Ohio, or a destination wedding at a church seven miles outside of their hometown. Nancy lays a thick helping of guilt all over the conversation, thanking Emma for allowing her only son get married in Ohio. It’s the best gift that she will ever receive in her entire life.

Time for Plan B. All Bruce and Emma need is a little white lie to get them out of the wedding from hell. They decide to go with an oldie but goodie: Emma’s dad is sick. They rush to the kitchen to share the devastating news. Unfortunately, Wayne beats them to the punch. Nancy is very sick. Emma smells a rat. Bruce cries uncontrollably.

That night, the entire family shares a meal. Viveka becomes extremely jealous when Nancy offers to take Emma dress shopping. Birger becomes physically ill when Wayne offers to buy his summer house. No one knows that Birger has been sabotaging sales with rumors of mold, rats, and ghosts.

Wayne visits the house the next day and is astounded by the inexpensive price. Poor Birger nearly has a heart attack when Wayne tells him that he’s going to tear down everything on the property. Meanwhile, Emma pops out from behind a dressing-room curtain in a dress that looks like the love child of tulle and lace. Since Nancy loves it, Vivika pretends to like the monstrosity too. Emma pulls her mother inside the dressing room, begging her to have an honest conversation. The dress is hideous! Emma weeps in her mother’s arms. Family time can be so fun.

While Emma and Viv are bonding, Bruce gently asks his mom about her sickness. Call in the cavalry—Nancy has hemorrhoids.

Bruce takes this news as a sign that he and Emma should bite the bullet and demand a Swedish wedding. His parents concede. Birger jumps on the honesty train and tells Wayne that he’s not selling the summer house. Viveka pounds the vino and Nancy steals a huge loaf of bread for the plane ride home.

Welcome to the rest of your life, Bruce.

Welcome to Sweden airs Sundays at 8/7C 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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