Young and Promising, the hit Norwegian drama about three Gen Y gal pals, is proof positive that great storytelling transcends age.
A Best Drama nominee at the 2016 Gullruten Awards, Young and Promising (Unge lovende) follows the lives of three twenty-something friends in Oslo. Seriously, whether you’re a Baby Boomer or of Gen X, Y, or Z is irrelevant, because we can all relate to experiencing the steps and missteps on the way to full-fledged adulthood.
Series writer Siri Seljeseth, who created the show from her own experiences, stars as Elise, a wannabe professional standup comic. Her besties are Nenne (Gine Cornelia Pedersen, Valkyrien), a struggling writer hoping against hope to be published, and Alex (Alexandra Gjerpen, High Maintenance), who is desperate to get into a top acting school in the city.
We meet the trio when Elise returns to Oslo from Los Angeles after not having killed it on the standup circuit. Her intention to return to the City of Angels is thwarted, so what the heck, she’ll hang around for her sister’s wedding until she can get back to the States. (Make that if she can.)
Alex doesn’t fare any better. Her audition to get into acting school goes pretty well until a bit of improv freaks her out. Nenne, though, seems to have a stroke of luck: While working at her catering job, she meets the top editor of a publishing house.
For Elise, adding insult to injury, if you will, is her unrequited love for Anders (Jakob Oftebro, Below the Surface), a guy she had a fling with pre-L.A. Making matters both better and worse is her living at his flat until she can get on her feet, all while talking herself into believing that things with him are just fine. (Apparently, this trait runs in her family.)
For Nenne, getting a book deal entails almost as much alcohol for editor Sissel (Ingunn Øien) as it does writing for the fledgling author, and Alex’s relationship with boyfriend Kimmo (Ole Christoffer Ertvaag, The Heavy Water War) hits the skids after she goes incommunicado and he goes bye-bye.
Clearly, launching the careers of their dreams and living life their way isn’t easy when Life keeps getting in the way. And when these three high-spirited young women have a row, the truth will out and it isn’t pretty.
Yet they keep putting one foot in front of the other, with a stumble here and a fumble there. Then one gets fantastisk news, another becomes happy as a (Norwegian) clam, and the third, well, let’s just say she needs help…
Time has passed and things are definitely looking up for Elise, Nenne, and Alex in the Season 2 opener. Elise has a job, and she and Anders are moving in together. The already cohabitating Alex and Kimmo are taking steps toward home ownership. And Nenne, now working at a community pool, has caught the eye of a coworker.
Then one shoe, and another, and another, drops…
Young and Promising is real. And it’s worth watching. Binge-watching, even. Each strand is a heartfelt slice-of-life story, each of the lead characters is engaging, if not altogether likable (they have their moments), and the acting is fabulous.
Season 2 premieres in the US today, 2 June 2017, exclusively on Walter Presents.