Two key Spinoff writers Alex Casey and Joseph Moore share a dirty little secret: they’ve never seen any of the defining ‘important’ TV shows of our time. They launched Catch Up Club to save them (and possibly you). On this day of Vikings celebrations, they sailed to a land of non-fiction ghosts and boating-related pranks. //
Alex: Ves heill!
Joseph: Hello (first rule of Vikings, speak in Viking language for approximately 30 seconds before dropping it entirely)
Alex: Hey, it’s historically accurate. The history books just wrote out the part where a Viking goes “I gotta take a piss”
Joseph: Yes! That was my favourite moment! In, let’s be honest, a rather moment-free episode of television.
Alex: I actually really liked it for that reason, how it was just kind of a relaxed fly-on-the-wall domestic account of Viking life.
Joseph: I guess you are right, maybe I just didn’t realise that all I’ve wanted from TV is a bit of Viking admin. I’m hoping as the series goes we get origin stories of all the Viking stuff we know and love. There is going to be a big episode where a guy figures out how to put horns on their hats.
Alex: That’s the season finalé cliffhanger, will the horns stick?
Joseph: I tell you what – this episode had me on Wikipedia throughout. And also on “misconceptions about Vikings” websites (speaking of which, I don’t think we’re getting the horn hat episode)
Alex: I should really do some more research. All I know about Vikings is that their modern day descendants have inwardly bent little fingers. Shout out to my friend Lisa.
Joseph: My wrist bends all the way so my hand can touch my forearm, is that a Viking thing?
Alex: You sure you got bones there mate?
Joseph: What am I a doctor? Ok, so Vikings. We begin with a bit of a 300-esque battle, where two bros kill every single person.
Alex: Many plaits, many undercuts. A violent introduction to the grisly and confusing haircuts of Viking times. After the opening battle, we see ghosties flying up into the air. Which I have since realised were not real ghosties, but Blue Eyes’ vision of dead people going to Valhalla (Viking heaven).
Joseph: I like to think they were literal ghosts, who will come to help him later in the series. This is set in the olden days, well before ghosts became fictional.
Alex: All I’m saying is, if you’re going to make a historically-accurate show, don’t put ghosties in it because it confuses those people who might be watching it thinking it’s a documentary (me).
Joseph: This show originated on The History Channel in the US.
Alex: So what you’re saying is, ghosts are real?
Joseph: By putting two and two together, the only thing I can ascertain is that ghosts are 100% real.
Alex: Ghosts aside, there were also some crazy-ass dogs in Viking town.
Joseph: Absolutely, they did have weird dogs. I watched this show with my girlfriend, and her main skill is yelling out dog breeds when she sees dogs. Apparently that was an Irish Wolfhound – which doesn’t make sense because they definitely have not been to Ireland yet.
Alex: I’d bloody believe ghosts before I could believe an Irish Wolfhound swam or walked from bloody Ireland to wherever the bloody Vikings are! (my geography and history need work).
Joseph: Meanwhile, one of these brothers has heard rumour of some interesting “land” out west that he wants go check out. Which I presume is England or something. Everyone is like “you bloody idiot, there is no such thing as England”
Alex: But he’s like, “look at the candle. If you hold the candle next to this nail thing, we will get to England – probably”
Joseph: We laugh, but spoiler alert: I’ve read my history books and I’m pretty sure they make it over for a bit. So our mate main Viking takes his son off to see what’s happening at Viking court, and leaves his boo behind for the weekend.
Alex: And within five seconds, a scuzzy pair of rapists show up at her door. But she absolutely beats their asses to the floor. She’s cool, she’s a Viking feminist hero.
Joseph: Straight up cuts them up. They were scuzziest pair of rapists ever right? I’m not one to give advice to rapists, but mates, your intentions were very obvious from the moment you popped your gross heads through the door. Glad she dealt to ’em.
Alex: The Viking lads on tour take a young boy to a Viking bar, like he’s McLovin’ or something. They ask him “hey kid, you ready for poon?”
Joseph: And the kid’s like “I am a child this is too much at once!”
Alex: I know, he seems 5 or 6! I’d like to see Nigel Latta’s hot take on Viking parenting
Joseph: The Politically Incorrect Guide to Letting Your Child Witness His First Execution
Alex: Rough as guts. So, with the child shaking in the corner via witnessing a brutal beheading, Blue Eyes outlays his travel plans to Long Hair with the candle and the shadows and what not. This is where the Norse phrase “we’re going to need a bigger boat” originates from.
Joseph: None of this noble “hey lets see what’s out there” attitude from Blue Eyes goes down well with Gabriel Byrne though.
Alex: They go to some sort of emo mask-wearing jester who builds them a lovely boat.
Joseph: Shit it’s a good boat, very smooth. A real step up from the terrible straw houses they all seem to live in. Why doesn’t the emo build their houses?
Alex: He seems like an unreliable character, remember that they didn’t know if he made a joke boat or not until it was on the water.
Joseph: “Joke boats” was a classic Viking trait. Big section on wikipedia about them. “Psyche!” Vikings were often heard to say in Viking language as a colleague stepped aboard yet another prank vessel.
Alex: Lo and behold, the prankster came through and even had his own “I’m the (vi)King of the world!” moment.
Joseph: So what’s the verdict, you gonna keep on rowing your eye-boats two seasons west on this show?
Alex: I never thought I would say this, but I actually liked this show. I want to see them at least travel to Ireland, and return all the dogs to their rightful land.
Joseph: I’ve got a plate full of Justified and Top of the Lake at the moment. So I might need to put this one on the backburner. But do let me know what happens, they didn’t cover The Great Dog Migration on the Wikipedia page.
Alex: Vikings: The Truth is Out There
Joseph: Good luck! Far vel!
The Spinoff Weekly compiles the best stories of the week – an essential guide to modern life in New Zealand, emailed out on Monday evenings.