Christmas Countdown: Home For Christmas (Hjem til jul)

Johanne (Ida Elise Broch) is a thirtysomething nurse, who feeling pressure from her family, lies and says she has a boyfriend that she will bring to Christmas dinner that year. She has 30 days to find one.

It does sound like a setup for any of your Hallmark movies, but the Norwegian series Home For Christmas (Hjem til jul) season 1 is weirder and more sexually frank than the plot description would indicate.

Johanne is a bit of a mess, but she’s sweet and kind. She has a great best friend and roommate, Jørgunn (Gabrielle Leithaug) and she does love her family. Her several suitors, including the 19-year-old Jonas (Felix Sandman) and coworker Henrik (Oddgeir Thune), are all great in their own ways and it would be great if she ended up with any of them.

But it’s less about who Johanne ends up with as much as it is realizing her life is rich and full regardless of having a love interest. While it’s a six-episode series, it’s only around three hours total and feels as satisfying as any romantic comedy you’ll see.

(I’m specifically focusing on the first season. There is a second season that’s a little bit more of the same and goes in some odd directions in places. If you enjoyed the first season, you’ll still like the second. It just doesn’t quite make it to the heights of greatness the first season does.)

Home for Christmas is streaming only on Netflix.