The NBC sitcom Welcome to Sweden couldn't get much more personal for Greg Poehler. Not only is it based on his life — he married a woman from Sweden and moved there — he also stars as, Bruce, a money manager to the stars who follows a woman to Stockholm (where much of the show was filmed). Then there's Poehler's sister, Amy, who serves as an executive producer and appears in multiple episodes.
Welcome to Sweden, which has been renewed for next summer, wraps its freshman season on Thursday, Aug. 28, with back-to-back episodes starting at 9/8c. In the first, "Separate Lives," Bruce returns to the U.S. to help his former client, Amy Poehler (playing herself), resolve some financial issues. And in the second episode, "Home," things get complicated when he winds up in an awkward situation with Aubrey Plaza (also playing herself). Greg Poehler filled out our TV Guide Magazine showrunner survey to explain why we should visit Sweden.
TV Guide Magazine: I've got room in my life to watch just one more show. Why should it be yours?
Greg Poehler: Because it's sweet and charming and funny and slower-paced. And if you don't like my face, the screen is often filled with other, more beautiful Swedish people.
TV Guide Magazine: Who should be watching?
Poehler: Anyone who loves to read while watching TV. Or anyone who ever wanted to travel to Europe. Now you don't have to. We're bringing it to you. Every minute you watch saves you hundreds of vacation dollars.
TV Guide Magazine: What happens if we don't watch your show?
Poehler: Not entirely sure, but I believe it creates some sort of international incident.
TV Guide Magazine: What's the best thing anyone has said or written about your show?
Poehler: The Los Angeles Times called it "the best thing to happen to network television since Modern Family." I believe that newspaper is known for its impeccable taste.
TV Guide Magazine: What's the worst thing?
Poehler: Actually, the U.S. reviews have been incredibly kind to us, which we are thrilled about, especially since it led to our renewal. But one reviewer said I looked like Zac Efron, "except 10 years older and without a personal trainer."
TV Guide Magazine: Who was right?
Poehler: Both. Fat Zac Efron is the best thing to happen to network television since Modern Family.
TV Guide Magazine: What's an alternate title for your show?
Poehler: Reading While Sweding.
TV Guide Magazine: Give us an equation for your show.
Poehler: Seinfeld minus Seinfeld plus IKEA minus annoying instructions divided by Diff'rent Strokes minus "whatchootalkinbout Willis" times ABBA plus sibling rivalry minus rivalry.
TV Guide Magazine: Come up with a premise for the spin-off.
Poehler: Inventive Road Trip starring Christopher Wagelin (Emma's brother, Gustaf). Gustaf embarks on a journey through all 50 of the United States selling various inventions. This premise — like Gustaf's ideas — is not that well thought out.
TV Guide Magazine: What credit of yours would you like to forget?
Poehler: I don't have enough yet to have the luxury of you forgetting one.
TV Guide Magazine: Tell me one thing about your cast.
Poehler: I don't think the Swedish actors get nearly enough credit for acting, wonderfully and believably, in English.
TV Guide Magazine: What other series would you most like to be an executive producer on?
Poehler: Girls. I love what they do and mostly would just like to feel young hanging out with those kiddos.
TV Guide Magazine: Let's scare the network. Tell us an idea that didn't make it to the screen.
Poehler: I've wanted to have a legit reason to get a Mohawk in real life, so I wrote approximately 20 "Bruce gets a mohawk" stories in Season 1 that didn't stick. Trying again for Season 2.
TV Guide Magazine: Finish this sentence: "If you like _______, you'll love our show."
Poehler: Frank Stallone.
TV Guide Magazine: Pick another show and start a fake feud.
Poehler: I'm pretty sure we would kick the cast of Fargo's ass.
TV Guide Magazine: What other show would you like to do a crossover episode with and how would that go?
Poehler: I'd love to do a crossover Parks & Recreation episode on their set (with their cast all playing themselves). If only to give their fans a little more of that magic.
TV Guide Magazine: How will your show change the face of TV as we know it?
Poehler: If this is successful, all shows will be imported from other countries. Everyone will read while watching TV. There will be no more U.S. productions. All American actors will be out of work. I will be the man who took down Hollywood. (Alternatively, we could just be remembered as a cute show that made people laugh once in a while.)
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