First it started with the crazy "It'll never take off" model of renting movies by mail. Then it kicked the crazy up a notch with the "It'll never take off" model of streaming movies through your computer or game console. And now Netflix continues to brave new distribution paths with Lilyhammer, its first original series that will premiere on their Watch Instantly service starting Monday, February 6th. They've released the first trailer for the series, which stars The Sopranos' Steven Van Zandt as an ex-mobster that goes into the federal witness protection program and decides to start a new life in the quaint Norwegian town of Lillehammer.
While the trailer (thanks to /Film for the find) looks like it could be fun, snow-bound crime shenanigans in an The Ice Harvest, Fargo, The Big White kind of way, it doesn't look like it'll be a game changer for Netflix, at least not in the way that its other original series promise to be. Their premieres don't have firm dates yet, but their future originals include new episodes of Arrested Development, as well as an hour-long political drama called House of Cards that's being conceived by David Fincher and star Kevin Spacey. And on that last project, Netflix truly is braving new territory. They've committed to a two-season order of the show without a single episode even being shot, which is a rarity for networks like HBO with considerably deeper pockets. So, like everything Netflix seems to do, it's either so crazy it'll work or it'll never take off. Only time will tell.