The title of Greg Poehler's new comedy Welcome to Sweden, about a New York accountant named Bruce who leaves his life behind to follow girlfriend Emma (played with sharp elegance by Swedish actress Josephine Bornebusch) to her homeland, is a risky one. Perhaps you're not particularly keen on visiting the Scandinavian country or watching a comedy where Emma's interactions with the wonderful Lena Olin, who plays her therapist mother, are largely subtitled? Get over it, Yanks. Exec-produced by Poehler's sister, Amy, and based on his own experience of moving to Sweden for love, the show is romantically old-fashioned think the best Mad About You episodes and delightfully weird (somehow celebrity cameos by the likes of Will Ferrell and Gene Simmons work).
Poehler (who surely will play Greg Kinnear's brother in a movie one day) makes a terrific fish out of water, struggling to hold his liquor with Emma's naked father and brother in a sauna, or pretending to be Canadian in his Swedish-language classes because of a new friend's anti-American sentiment. In an interview with a job agency, his caseworker says he may be able to help him ''thanks to your good English.'' ''Okay,'' says Bruce, ''I think I speak a little bit better than just 'good' English.'' I'm sure great cultural norms are being affectionately skewered here the series has already been picked up for a second season in Sweden that went right over this viewer's head. But as the title suggests, the wit and heart of the show are available to all. A-