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Series / Næturvaktin

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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.
  • Catchphrase: Georg has five university degrees. Also, Olafur's "Jááááá, sæll!"
  • Cerebus Syndrome: At the start it's a sitcom about some guys working at a gas station with a horrible boss. The second series has rape and murder, not played for laughs. The third takes place in prison. The movie's main plot is a full-blown exploration of how abused children go on to abuse their children, the lasting consequences of such abuse, and how the characters find themselves in life. It never stops being funny and the characters had depth from the beginning, but the focus shifts considerably towards the drama side.
  • Character Title: The movie is called Bjarnfreðarson, referring to Georg's last name. Notably, last names in Icelandic aren't used the way last names in English are, so the use of his last name (a matronym) symbolizes the way that Georg is defined by being the son of his mother.
  • 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.
  • Extreme Doormat: Daníel.
  • 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.
  • Know-Nothing Know-It-All: Georg tends to be this.
  • Momma's Boy: Georg.
  • My Beloved Smother: Bjarnfreður to Georg.
  • New Season, New Name: Season two of Næturvaktin is called Dagvaktin; season three is called Fangavaktin.
  • Serious Business: Never get between Georg and his empty soft drink cans.
  • Stealth Insult: Georg loves to 'encourage' people on the basis that they're of 'average intellect'.
  • Stupid Boss: Georg is full of bigotry and ignorance, despite the way he flaunts his education.
  • Worthless Foreign Degree: He's not a foreigner, but Georg supposedly has five university degrees from Sweden... and yet he works at a gas station.
  • Why We Are Bummed Communism Fell: Bjarnfreður was bummed, and so by extension was Georg.

Episodes of this series provide examples of:

Alternative Title(s): The Night Shift 2007