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Series / NŠturvaktin

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Næturvaktin (English translation: Night Shift) is an Icelandic Work Com. It is set in a filling station, and follows the lives of two pump attendants and their overbearing boss.

The protagonist, Daníel, drops out of medical school after suffering a nervous breakdown, and takes a job as a pump attendant. His dimwitted co-worker, Ólafur, dreams of fame and riches as the manager of his cousin's band, but his irresponsible antics and subservience to his boss prevent him from achieving his goals. Their boss, Georg, is a dictatorial bully who boasts to everyone about his five university degrees and has an obsession with collecting empty soft drink cans to claim the deposit.

So far, there have been two sequels: Dagvaktin (Day Shift), set in a hotel; and Fangavaktin (Jail Shift), set in a prison. There is also a feature-length follow-up movie Bjarnfreðarson which, on its opening weekend, proved more popular in Iceland than Avatar.


The show was broadcast in the United Kingdom on BBC Four in 2011.

A US remake is in the works. It will take place in a Los Angeles suburb, change Ólafur's name to Tommy, turn Daníel into a "hunk playing the field" and Georg into a "survivalist".

This show provides examples of:

  • Bad Boss: Georg goes out of his way to torment his employees, especially Ólafur.
  • Butt-Monkey:
    • Ólafur. Picked on mercilessly by Georg, his sister, his brother-in-law, and victim of a Nigerian scammer and other misadventures. Of course, he doesn't do himself any favours...
    • Also Flemming. Not only does he have Georg as a father, he also gets picked on by kids from the neighbourhood, who draw a likeness of his father's glasses and facial hair on his face.
  • The Cameo: Some scenes have Icelandic celebrities, playing themselves, as customers of the filling station.
  • Advertisement:
  • Catchphrase: Georg has five university degrees. Also, Olafur's "Jááááá, sæll!"
  • The Chick: Ylfa Dís, the girl from the kiosk frequented by Daní­el and Ólafur. Quite literally THE Chick. The only other women normally shown are female customers and Georg's mother Bjarnfreður, who really doesn't count.
  • Comic Trio: Georg (the idiot with the plans), Ólafur (the idiot who follows the plans) and Daníel (the sensible one).
  • The Ditz: Ólafur isn't too bright, though he always means well.
  • Foreign Culture Fetish: Georg's unexplained admiration of all things Swedish.
  • Freudian Excuse: When you see Georg's mother you understand a little of why he is the way he is.
  • Hilarity Ensues: Most episodes have Georg trying to explain his way out of a "misunderstanding" that is really the result of his own foolishness.
  • Idiot Ball: Constantly passed around between the three main characters. In particular, the employees miss just about every possible chance to get rid of Georg.
  • Jerkass: Georg manages to offend, assault, or otherwise annoy the hell out of everyone who's unfortunate enough to meet him.
  • Serious Business: Never get between Georg and his empty soft drink cans.
  • Stupid Boss: Georg is full of bigotry and ignorance, despite the way he flaunts his education.

Episodes of this series provide examples of:

  • Beware the Nice Ones: Daní­el can be pushed too far.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Don't ask Georg why, if he has five university degrees, he works at a filling station.
    • Don't read Daní­el's diary. And don't keep calling him "Samuel" either.