A Storm For Christmas, an 8-episode Norwegian tv series about eight people stranded at the Oslo Airport at Christmas. Let me guess -- one of them is dying, another having an affair, a third carrying stolen merchandise, and there will be a little girl asking Santa Claus to either reunite her divorced parents or bring back her dead parent. It actually sounds kind of fun, and we'll get to see Norway.
Scene 1: A male-female Bickering Couple get off the train, fumble around for their tickets, and yell at each other and their surly teenage daughter. (The guy is Sindre, and the girl Kaja). Kaja must be the Christmas wish girl.
Scene 2: They gawk at a skinny black man with a Santa beard jogging up the escalator. He runs across the airport, rushes through security, and jogs to "Santa's Corner" (in English), where a line of kids are waiting. He's wearing mismatched, dirty clothes and acting bizarre, so I thought he was crazy. But apparently he was hired to be Santa Claus. The kids want entitled things, like iphones and Burburry handbags. A young blond woman passes him.
Scene 3: The young blond woman stops at a kiosk for a Coke (yeah! I could barely find any soft drinks in Europe. It was all...ugh...beer or wine, even at McDonald's).
Marius (Jon Øigarden), the middle-aged manager of the kiosk, steps out to make a phone call, muttering "No, no, no, no, no!" His doctor's appointment today to discuss his test results has been cancelled! The dying one! He runs into the disabled bathroom and looks in the mirror and cries.
Uh-oh, someone else wants in: a middle-aged man and woman, who smooch while saying "Mmmmm! Mmmm!" I guess they're kissing for the taste. They start mounting each other, or whatever heterosexuals do, while fully clothed. The affair couple!
Scene 4: A black-haired lady Celebrity sits in a car with a bearded man, Asle (Kalle Henne) , who is drinking. She asks how tall he is. "6.4" (presumably translated from meters and centimeters.) 'Where's Ingvid? She'll make us miss our London flight!'
Ingvid , the Affair Lady who was going "mmmmm...mmmmm" in the last scene, arrives and announces that all private flights are cancelled, but there are still some commercial flights left. The Black-Haired Celebrity , Ida, fusses: "But then we'll have to go through security, like the nobodies!"
On the way into the airport, where there is a two-story tall photo of Celebrity Ida advertising something, they pass a sinister-looking man who is smoking. A sure sign of evil! He must be a kidnapper or a terrorist!
While Sinister Guy ( Dennis Storhøi) checks on his flight cancellation, a lady priest wearing an orange vest passes. She stops to help David (Jan Gunnar Roise, left) , a bumbling man wearing a Hawaiian shirt. They flirt over a discussion of hot dog toppings (he likes prawn salad on his). Then he pauses to call his wife, who has already arrived in Malaga, Spain.
Realizing that she won't be taking him back to her hotel room tonight, Lady Priest moves on, past Sinister Guy, who tries to take the FastTrack through security. But he has an economy ticket, so he has to stand in one of those endless monkey-bar lines.
The Three Celebrities get to use FastTrack, but they still need to go through security, past star-struck grins, clicking cell phones, and cries of "Oh, wow, it's you!" Celebrity Ida doesn't handle it well. Back Story: She is a singer with a super-best-selling record album.
Scene 5: Bickering Couple, Surly Daughter, Affair Guy, Santa Claus, Three Celebrities, Sinister Guy, Hawaiian Shirt, Lady Priest, Coke Girl, Kiosk Manager. That's not eight, it's 13! The ones traveling are all in the security line, bickering, making jokes, trying to entitle their way past each other. Sinister Guy cuts through the line and gets in, but it doesn't help: his flight is cancelled. He tries the VIP Lounge, but his passkey doesn't work. Sinister Guy has been demoted or fired! He calls his agent, who tells him that he has indeed been demoted to business class due to a bad review and low ticket sales. Back story: he's not a terrorist, he's a pianist.
Affair Lady is also looking at the Cancellation Board; her husband calls to berate her for having a cancelled flight, like it's her fault: "Just do what you have to do, and get here!" Ok, I apologize, Affair Lady is not the same as Celebrity Ingvid; they just look alike, and viewers are deliberately misled when she arrives late immediately after the bathroom hookup scene. There are 14 characters, not 13.
Scene 6: I guess 14 is not enough. A suitcase goes through the chute and into baggage handling, where the only guy under age 60 in Norway, Henrick (Valter Skarsgård, top photo), grabs it. His friend asks when he's going to start a family. "Never. You have to have a wife to have a kid." Maybe he's gay, but more likely he's straight, and going to find love during the storm.
Scene 7: A plane is landing in heavy turbulance. A young Spanish-speaking woman and her young son are terrified, and start to pray. Up in the cockpit, the pilots complain that the autopilot is out, so they will have to land manually, and visibility is nil!
Meanwhile, Coffee Kiosk Manager serves Hawaiian Shirt. They discuss Malaga. And Young Guy is loading luggage, when he finds a dog in a cargo bay! That's cruelty to animals, and illegal! So he brings it inside to look for its owner.
Scene 8: Oh, no, not another new character. Olav (Ravdeep Singh Bajwa), a nattily-dressed South Asian guy, is strutting through the airport like he owns the place. He's waylaid by a fellow employee, who states that he's on standby, so he can't go home.
Hey, after all that set-up, we didn't get to watch the airplane land! Now the Spanish-speaking woman and her Very Sick Son are trying to get on their connecting flight ro New York for his Very Important Operation, but all flights leaving Oslo have been cancelled, She begs the clerk to do something. Like what -- force the plane to take off?
Meanwhile, Affair Lady is strategizing on how to get home to her abusive husband so he doesn't beat her up. A boat? Affair Guy tells her not to worry about it: "Let's just book a room so we can have more sex." This enrages her.
Scene 9: Sinister Guy sits down at the kiosk, complains about the expensive beer ($11 U.S.). Hawaiian Shirt recognizes him from a newspaper article -- next to him -- about how his career has tanked. Everyone at the kiosk gives him advice on how to re-start.
Meanwhile, the Lady Priest goes outside and prays for assistance, because there are so many people who need help in this airport, and she can't take care of all of them. We see their faces as she prays. The end.
Ok, there are 18 characters, not eight -- 19 if you count the dog. Are any of the guys gay? Several expressed no heterosexual interest during their stories. I'm going to guess Coffee Kiosk Manager (a bit femme), Young Guy (story arc about a dog, not finding true love), or Nattily Dressed Olav. Only time -- and the next seven episodes -- will tell.