Roozbeh wrote a blog entry where he points out how Hollywood media tends to make a lot of silly and phony mistakes when depicting Arabs and Middle Eastern culture. Reading Roozbeh’s entry one could be made to believe that the lack of attention to details are limited to the middle east. I found his mention of how 24 had used the named of a former Iranian president to name some of its arab antagonists amusing, as is not to different from what I remember happened when the series The X Files placed an episode in Norway. The ‘random’ name of one of the people was Mr Brundtland. Which is not a common name in Norway at all, but it is the surname of a former Norwegian prime minister. And the average dress style was probably as representative of modern Norwegians as the dress styles of the first pilgrims are of todays US citizens :)
Funnily enough one of Norway’s largest newspapers made an article just 5 days ago, an article that talks about how Norwegians are depicted in US movies and TV. They mention for instance that Norwegians have been depicted wearing lederhosen on multiple ocassions, for instance in The Sorpranos, which is a Bavarian tradition, and which has nothing to do with Norway at all.
Another fun quote from that article is from CSI where they are reconstructing the face of a dead Norwegian woman and one of them says something along the lines of “There are a few Norwegian brunettes, but she is most likely to be blond, and then puts on the reconstruction a platinum blond wig”. Anyone who has been to Norway would know that there are more natural brunettes than natural platinum blondes. And most of the women who are platinum blond are so for the same reason they are so in the US; hair bleaching. In other words the colouring of the curtains doesn’t match that of the rug. :)
Another example of not caring too much about the details I remember, which is not directly related to Norway though, is from the movie Swordfish. At the start of the movie there is a Finnish superhacker stopped at the border, whose name was something like Axel Torvalds. Then later on when he speaks ‘finnish’ with his laywer, they actually speak German. Also if they wanted to style him after Linus they should probably have him speak Swedish and not Finnish as Linus is from the swedish speaking population of Finland :)
So Roozbeh, don’t worry, everyone gets misrepresented by Hollywood :)