4 February 2006 | Flagrant-Baronessa
Everybody likes Parlamentet...
...because nobody likes our politicians.
Satire is one of the most powerful tools in entertainment and media in the Western world--as recently seen by the publishing of cartoons depicting Mohammed the prophet much to the Muslims' disgust--and "Parlamentet" is just that, except it does not seek to offend Islam, only the Swedish parliament system.
It pokes fun at known Swedish politicians in the Riksdag by dividing comedians into two teams (red team and blue team), red for social democrats and blue for conservatives and letting them compete for the audience's votes at the end of the show, much like the elections held every four years. There is also a host (currently Anders Nilsson) who acts as something like a spokesperson of the Riksdag.
The duel is a half-hour long delight of misunderstandings, sarcasm, doctored images and news clips, and often eerily accurate imitations or parodies of politicians.
I find the subtle jokes and, even to some extent, the puns to be the highlight of this show, especially during "Kunskapsronden" in which the two teams are simply asked to answer questions about various subjects or cultural issues. The blue-team politician Mikael Tornving usually does this quite brilliantly with his deadpan deliveries.
However, as funny as the subtle jokes are, so unfunny are the most of the cruder imitations and excessive body-language usually performed by none other than famous Swedish comedian Robert Gustafsson. It's simply tends to be over-the-top but, when used more seldom, can add to the show in a positive way.
What's interesting to note is perhaps the political orientation of the comedians on "Parlamentet" (there are about 6-7 of them who take turns in appearing on the show); they never switch over from blue to red or vice versa and this of course makes us associate them with being either conservative or socialist in real life. In reality, not a single one of them has commented on their political affiliation, which is probably quite admirable.