Watch knitting or salmon fishing in real time or sit through a 7-hour train ride across the Norwegian mountains on Netflix.
The unique, Norwegian phenomenon of “slow TV” has just become an export. Eleven programs landed on Netflix this weekend in English language markets, including the US and Australia.
“Slow TV [is] a Norwegian TV series that documents ordinary events in real time,” writes Quartz (via E24). “Its online release will bring one of the most bizarre phenomena on television to millions of viewers worldwide.”
A million Norwegians, as many as 20 per cent of the population, watched the first slow TV broadcast in 2009, documenting the Bergen Railway’s 7-hour ride crossing the mountains.
A still bigger event was the 134-hour broadcast from the Hurtigruten coastal express two years later, which became almost a national festival as people crowded along the shore as the ship passed by.
The Hurtigruten broadcast isn’t included on Netflix at this time, but you’ll be able to see a total of eleven programs, including the Bergen line, the Telemark Canal, salmon fishing, knitting and a “National firewood night”.
“I hope people realise that it’s not a screen saver for your TV,” one project manager said jokingly to the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation (NRK), who created the format.
Actually, foreigners have been curious and fascinated by the phenomenon. It could also, perhaps, have an effect on tourism, says Audun Pettersen at Innovation Norway.
“It’s great news for Norway and Norwegian tourism. NRK has been pioneering the development of this types of television, and the programs have created an interest in Norway as a tourist destination.”