Welcome to Sweden (TV Series 2014–2015) Poster


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Good subtle humor
spjutster10 July 2014
I'm an American who lived in Sweden a couple of years and speak Swedish. I found this show to be hilarious. I laughed most of the way through it. I do have a feeling that a lot of the subtle humor will be lost on those who have never experienced Swedish culture. I don't know if it will last long here due to that problem, but I for one hope it lasts a while.

The character development did seem a little weak as others have mentioned. The writers need to add more personality to help us connect more to the story. Despite it's shortcomings, I would encourage everyone to give it a chance and see if it can get you to laugh.
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Fun for all, hilarious for English-speaking expats and Swedes
targetgamer28 April 2014
Swedes, like myself, love to hear and see what other nationalities think of us. A lot of our entertainment is about laughing about ourselves and embarrassing situations. We love sarcasm and innuendos as well, but embarrassing situations really is popular.

Welcome to Sweden exposes a wide range of odd Swedish behaviourisms and is as entertaining to laugh with as it is to laugh at. The confused reactions of the character played by Greg Poehler helps to add to the humour.

If you know a Swede or someone who moved there or away from there, this is a funny way to get an insight into this very bizarre culture of the world's happiest people. There are things to learn and avoid from Swedish "wisdom", but in both cases it can be fun to laugh at (or with).

If you don't really like "etno humour", then you would probably rate this TV series a lot lower than me, but I find these 20 minute bitesize pieces of Swedish (and American! as the author is American) humour delightful.

For Swedes who think the series stereotypes us: Yes it does. All entertainment does this. Learn to laugh at yourself (or in worst case, others) and enjoy life rather than whine. :P (Yeah, so we're not all like this, but I'm guessing any intelligent person (even Americans) get that!)
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Great New Comedy
ctelrap17 September 2014
I teach writing. I've written professional comedy, and I've been to Sweden many times. This is a great show. Granted it might be difficult for some who are not as familiar with Sweden, but it is very realistic. It might be hard for the average American to believe, but that's what Sweden is really like. Everyone does speak English there. It's a nice blend of zanier American humor combined with the subtleties of the dryer Swedish humor. We had a Swedish exchange student for a year then we visited her family in Sweden a number of times. They are a wonderful people, and I hope this comedy acquaints some Americans with Swedes and Sweden on some level. Nice job Greg!
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Wonderful, funny, and oh so human
janebenson20015 July 2014
Clever, witty, and culturally insightful about both Americans and Swedes, but even more than that, it is funny and insightful about people in general. Like Seinfeld and 30 Rock, it's more intelligent than your average sitcom, but that's to be expected given the people involved. And as a half-Swedish American, it is great to see actual Swedes playing Swedes instead of exaggerated imitations. Amy and her brother have created and produced something magical and rare. Lena Olin is magnificent and so are the other actors. A great, new, warm, funny take on the classic fish-out-of-water story. The family dynamics are also spot on. Love it.
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Great little show
josh-8297426 May 2015
This is one of the funniest shows I've seen in a long time and I'm just "some guy from Australia who knows nothing about Sweden". I liked the US edit so much that I started only watching the original with subs. It's amazing how much the US butcher it and still manage to make it funny.

I find myself learning more and more words but you sort of have to because it seems like most the subs you find are done with google translate. That's the good thing (and I mean the only good thing) about the US edit, you know what you're reading is what they're saying and a 5yr old has enough time to read it. That being said season 2 seems to have more English in it, it seems like they're trying to increase their audience to include less intelligent and lazy viewers.

It's great to have a quick little pick me up and to have something other your standard US dribble to watch (80 different cop/law/hospital dramas). Cast is great and the fact that the only bad actor is an American just makes it funnier. I mean, what's going on with the odd couple? At least they're butchering one of their own shows for once.
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Spot On
poole-56-26165718 July 2014
I am married to a Swede. This show is incredibly close to reality in many, many ways to the hilarity and confusion experienced by many Americans (or Canadians) when in Sweden. Now, according to my wife, who's from Very Southern Sweden, the Characters have Stockholm accents. Like many places in the world, Swedes who are not from Stockholm, dislike the people there- kinda like Wisconsiners feelings towards Chicagoans, who they glowingly refer to as FIBS (F*****g Illinois B****rds). All that aside, this show is unbelievably funny. Swedes in general, I have found, in my 6 trips there and interactions with many in the USA, are generous, caring, funny, outgoing and humble. If you haven't seen this show (NBC, Thursday's 9pm EST), check it out. We look forward to it all week, as does my entire family, as does hers in Sweden, though the show is in it's 2nd season there. Peace~
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Surprisingly funny
taneli-timisjarvi8 December 2014
I started watching "Welcome to Sweden" without any expectations. The series turned out to be very funny and entertaining. It makes a lot of fun about strereotypes and as a Finn I understand those jokes. But I don't think that for example some Austalian guy who knows nothing about Sweden would get all of the jokes. But not all the jokes are based on Sweden or Swedish stereotypes. There are plenty of jokes that anyone can get. There are few characters that are a bit annoying but luckily they don't show up very often. Greg Poehler and his character are my absolute favourites. But yeah, surprisingly good show but I think Swedes and other Nordic people understand the jokes best.
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Lead Character Spoils it All
inikolai2 August 2014
The show could have been so much more, but Greg's awful acting, horribly played-out sad-sack role could have been given so much more depth if it were played by another actor. Any other actor.

The show does play hard on the cultural discontinuities between life in the US and life in Sweden, striking up *every single* possible stereotype (and I've got no problem with that), to the exclusion of other location-agnostic jokes that might be a good fit for that specific situation. The show's writers obviously suffer from a strong lack of creativity or have been specifically told to keep the topic on Sweden. All the time. Yawn.

What would really help take this show into a second season (or at least to the end of this season before being canceled) is if the writers added a little more depth to his wife's character and showed us more of the parents (who seem like engaging actors taking on roles that beg more exploration). I can honestly say that all 5 points that I've awarded this show go firmly to the actors who play the family of Josephine Bornebusch. Hopefully one of the Poehlers is reading this.
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This is a good show, but not for everyone
missrebeless5 June 2015
I've seen too many people taking the stereotypes in a too negative way. This is comedy, and in the end this show is about love and finding peace among differences -with humor on the side. The humor is very not-Swedish and that might come as a chock for Swedish audience.

The acting is often good if not amazing sometimes, but I will say that it isn't always on spot.

The directing reminds me of American shows like 'How I met your Mother'. I think all Swedish people should see Swedish media becoming more international as a positive thing.

People are way too quick with judging this show. I recommned it to anyone that is interested in foreign cultures or just want to see a show that is very heart warming and in the end; just a comedy show for consumtion.
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.. it's been bookmarked
bjarias14 November 2014
Welcome to Sweden is not an easy program for most in this country to get into, especially if there's an aversion to reading subtitles. But for those accustomed to such distraction, you are rewarded with what is one of the most enjoyable half hour sit-coms created. The entire cast is incredible.. having them together for only twenty episodes is frustrating, but we'll always have those twenty to enjoy. And if the work of any actor had to be singled out, it must be that of Josephine Bornebusch. She is just extraordinary, making every scene she is in just easy, enjoyable fun. Should she would want to come to the US and make herself known, she could easily become a major name. If I could have given the producers any advice, it would have been early on to create more episodes in the states to grab a wider audience.. and when going over to Europe to lessen the use of subtitles. It's regrettable state-side audiences are so adverse to them.. it so limits choices, as the majority of the rest of the world comprehends. I've created another bookmark in my 'watch-again' folder, and when I'm looking for sure-fire entertainment WTC will be one of my first choices...BRAVO to all involved!!
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Funny? (Maybe in Sweden)
RJBose10 July 2014
I am married to a Finnish woman, and travel to Scandinavia every summer, and so am very familiar with Scandinavian lifestyles and practices and the challenges of being an American abroad visiting family, not speaking the language (though I can speak some Norwegian). I am also familiar with clever, original, funny television shows, and this is not one of them; (yes, we get it Greg- your sister is Amy Poehler).

The Swedish countryside and lifestyle depicted are very accurate, as are some of the stereotypical characters and situations presented. I have no doubt that this show was a hit in Sweden, and perhaps even across the Gulf of Bothnia in Finland where the same punch lines could be successfully delivered. For an American audience, however, this is just another lame knock-off of an overly familiar theme (doesn't even "Little Steven" have some show about being in a witness protection program just across the border in Lillehammer, Norway?)

What I found most tedious, however, beyond the lack of originality or real humor in the very predictable set-ups and contrived circumstances, is that the lead character (executive producer Amy's brother) seems to be doing a second rate impersonation of just about every sad sack Ben Stiller character we have ever seen, becoming increasingly visibly flustered in uncomfortable and subsequently often humiliating, circumstances, e.g.throwing up over the side of a small motorboat because he gets seasick on the 20-minute boat ride- (hilarious!). It gets tiresome with Mr. Stiller, who is sometimes quite funny nonetheless. This convention, and dragged out by Mr. Poehler, however, seems to be the one long, unfunny one trick pony in this lame storyline.

Welcome to Sweden, indeed; I suspect it will be a mercifully short visit.
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One of the WORST sit-coms this year...INCLUDING "Sean Saves the World"
hddu10-819-3745819 July 2014
There is really so little to like about this show; it's a nepotistic slap in the face for anyone expecting to be even mildly entertained on a Thursday eve. Essentially a mix of contrived, cliché characters that play on a familiar theme; an awkward American trying to fit into a foreign culture. Yet for this formula to work, one has to like (or actually tolerate) the American in question, and Greg Poehler (Amy Poehler's brother....surprise!) is just too painful to watch; apparently years of being Amy's brother and being told he's pretty talented himself actually gave him the delusion he could act. Yet from the very opening scene with a cameo from Amy herself, it is blatantly apparent that the talent, timing and overall ability to pull-off a lead in a sit-com sat on only one side of that table. Once in awhile obscenely bland shows like this can spring forth an "Urkle" which saves it from cancellation, yet the cloyingly predictable bumbling uncle who is clearly a reincarnation of "Belkie" from "Perfect Strangers" (i.e. the foreigner who wants to be American) is just sad. Bad editing, bad writing, bad acting and a BAD choice overall.
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Wave the White Flag
jennifermilquetoast25 July 2014
It would be perfectly understandable should Sweden choose to declare war on the United States after seeing this revolting mockumentary of a foolish American Imbecile moving to a country filled with stereotypical foreigners. The American is portrayed as a completely clueless man who doesn't seem to understand that he is in a different country where people have different customs. While a fish out of water is often hysterical, this American is simply a fool, undeserving of any admiration or sympathy. It appears that NBC thinks that the television audience on Thursday from 9 to 10 pm is comprised mostly of 5 to 12 year olds who like watching a screen filled with buffoons. And, the subtitles are at best annoying, and at worst, a suppressant to what little comedy is present.
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Smelly fish out of the water
sherlock-tempest10 August 2014
I agree with many reviewers that "Welcome to Sweden" is packed with old fashioned stereotypes and that it is overall painfully badly written and executed, with very few glimpses of intelligent laughter-provoking jokes and acting.

It is therefore really a mystery how it has been given a second season. From a Swedish perspective, however, I see a couple of things that I think might have contributed to the "success" of this series despite the at best lukewarm reviews by many critics and audiences.

One: Sweden is a tiny country in this big world and Swedes are in awe of the US. When American celebrities (and former ones) show interest in us or even come to our little pond to connect and work, we get all excited and our newspapers and social media go berserk. The series' cameos, no matter being terribly unfunny, therefore attract an automatic audience. Greg P may be a terrible actor and writer, but through his sister Amy he is certainly a strong door opener to a very attractive US market, where not many Swedish TV series have made it before. And yes, nepotism is a big thing in Sweden too so connections beat quality.

Two: I think there is an American nostalgia or fascination with Sweden, based on a very limited postcard idea of Sweden, which gives the series a good portion of US viewers. The fact that the series is located in Swedish contexts, with Swedish actors and spoken Swedish, can itself be enough to fulfill a desire of viewers with a connection to Sweden. The quality of the show is in that light not the main thing.

I think both Swedish and American audiences deserve much better comedy than this and I can only wish that more talented, intelligent and modern first time writers will get a similar bombastic chance one day in the very small and closed TV world in Sweden.
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A disaster from beginning to end
britfunkmaster15 July 2014
First some disclosure: I am a British man living in Sweden with my girlfriend who is Swedish and I've watched all 10 episodes. I wish I hadn't.

When I first heard about the show, I was looking forward to how it would tackle the experiences of the newly-arrived foreigner so I was understandably eager to watch. Unfortunately, I was sorely disappointed. There aren't many words that can come close to describing the unremitting awfulness of this travesty of a sitcom but I will give it a try.


Bland, safe and unfunny are the first words that come to mind. After one episode, it's immediately apparent that Greg Poehler is NOT a seasoned writer nor is he someone who has spent a long enough time performing stand-up to hone his craft. This rapidly becomes clear as the jokes are poor, trite and have no real payoff. The whole thing seems underwritten and that's always a big problem for a first-time writer. The joke-per- minute ratio is too low which has led some US critics to label the show 'subtle', 'amiable' and 'gentle'. These are code words for 'there's not much going on but we're going to be kind'.


Another serious problem with the show is the 'barely there' storyline. Not much happens in each episode. Greg misunderstands and complains about something. The end. That's it. Most egregious of all, however, is the lack of logic in most of the situations. As the series progresses, very little makes any sense such as: Why would a top accountant to the stars in the US take a job as a tour guide in Stockholm when he doesn't know the city? Why is he so good at accounting that people demand him back in the US? Surely there are other accountants over there. Why is Amy Poehler in a very conventional office? Why does Aubrey Plaza fly to Sweden to get Greg to return? It gets more and more illogical as it proceeds.

=Acting and characters=

The two leads do not convince and they very clearly have no chemistry. The others are poorly developed including the layabout brother and the parents. Lena Olin and the man who plays the father are head and shoulders above the rest but even they can't do much with such a poor script. The worst character is the America-loving uncle. His cringe- worthy acting and characterization made me leave the room.


It's not often Will Ferrell isn't funny but here he manages that feat brilliantly and the other cameos are equally pointless. Gene Simmons is particularly bad but I really feel sorry for Aubrey Plaza who usually delivers funny, dry humor in Parks and Recreation. Here she is wasted.


I do not want to come over as intentionally nasty but this sitcom is devoid of any redeeming features whatsoever. I cannot fathom why NBC would ever go near this appalling excuse for entertainment and the fact that it's got a second series in Sweden says more about the way things work over here in Sweden than it does about the Swedes having any real love for this horrible program.
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Unbelievably BAD NBC sitcom
migcap187 August 2014
One of the MOST unfunny sitcom in my memory banks!!! Lead Actor CAN'T ACT!!!! He isn't likable on any level and seems more like a deadbeat then successful accountant or ANYTHING.

As a American who's lived in other countries. I understand that when you live in places other then your homeland there can be lots of funny moments adjusting.

BUT, there's no funny moments here, some have written from the Swedish perspective it funny, COOL I take their word for it. But from this side if the pond I have to agree that I find NOTHING funny in Greg Poehler character. Lazy, self-absorbed Yank unwilling to work as a Accountant and unqualified to do anything else including learning the language of his new country!?!

One, Special Guest aren't funny,

TWO, Greg Poehler CAN'T ACT and it shows when he's next to REAL ACTORS especially Lena Olin. And I generally love anything she's in and enjoy seeing her speak in her native tongue.

The other cast members are good in their rolls and Bornebusch is very attractive, I can see a guy moving to be with her in another country, BUT.

THREE, there's no chemistry between them.

Even though it been given a second season in Sweden...

Strike 1,2,3 = you'll OUT. Time to put this show out of it misery... At least for us in the STATES...
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s-gordon11181 August 2014
I was looking forward to this show since I knew Amy is one of the executive producers and that she would be guest starring in it as well.

I've watched every episode so far that has aired in the US, and I only chuckled a few times. I had high hopes that this would be really funny but so far I've been bored with it. There are many amusing parts, but not amusing enough that I would never want to miss an episode.

Also, I'm not finding Greg's character very likable or funny. I think I'm finally going to give up watching it and listen out for other people's comments if it gets any better later down the road. Maybe if Amy sees these comments she will turn it around ;)
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I want a third season!!
elifornix15 August 2018
As an expat living abroad for 27 years I can relate to all the situations reflected in this TV series. I have not been to Sweden but when you live in a foreign country there are many strange situations you have to go through! funny and not so funny! I had a lot of fun watching this. I read a lot of bad comments about this series and I wonder where all the hatred is coming from??. Give me a third season!!!
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Jam-packed with the liberal agenda!!!
integr8d9 August 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Though fairly libertarian myself, if you fancy yourself a liberal and need/want your political, social and economic views validated with every other line of a TV show, honey, you've come home.

I just watched an episode that deals with female priests, the tradition of fathers walking their daughters down the isle being verboten because of what it symbolizes, a higher power largely not being believed in, the death penalty and so many other cat nip issues it was hard to keep track.

That it was an NBC show is not surprising in the least.

So if you want to stream a series that's 'cute' and are either largely decided in your views or insensitive / incognizant of the fact that ideology is being shoveled into your brain hole, this is a humor'ish way to pass the time.
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lacks gravitas
aquamanUK24 May 2014
I watched all 10 episodes: I did not find the character Bruce to be a character that was 'likable'. He was missing personality. His character is a slimmed down version of his father, Patrick Duffy's portrayal of typical Americana. Aubrey Plaza? WHO?? Never heard of her and she was not funny. I read about her and it states she does deadpan humour. Her humour was DEAD and non-existent. I see it has been picked up for a second series, I hope the writers can actually make Bruce and Emma - likable characters because at the moment everyone I know who has watched all the episodes simply think - bruce to back to USA and stay there as the rest of world has a more evolved mentality towards life.
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Quirky, Not Everyone's Cup of Kaffe
taos6529 April 2015
Warning: Spoilers
***Spoiler Alert*** If you don't want to know anything that goes on during some episodes, don't read!"

I don't know if my NBC affiliate picked up Welcome to Sweden, I found it on my DirecTv app. Knowing little about it, I had all episodes sent to my Genie. I've gotten through a few episodes, and am finding it to be uncomfortably enjoyable.

I've read some of the other reviews here, and it's apparent to me that a few reviewers aren't familiar with Amy Poehler's non-SNL work, or can't imagine her connection to this project other than the sanguinity between the producer and the lead actor. But the opening sequence is a dead giveaway that Welcome to Sweden is related to Parks & Recreation.

The people who don't know who Aubrey Plaza is definitely never watched Parks & Recreation, and are obviously unacquainted with creepy, deadpan, spontaneous, lazy & manipulative April. Fans often confuse actors with the characters they portray, but Plaza admits to having some April in her. She steals April wholly to portray herself here. Will Ferrell also plays oddball here - not Ron Burgundy or Chazz Michael Michaels, I've seen this character before but I can't recall where off the top of my head. He is married to a Swedish woman in real life. It's too bad that Will Arnett isn't a part of Amy's life anymore, he would make a great addition to this cast.

It seems that some people were expecting a sitcom, but got art nouveau instead.

The characters are all odd, actually. Bruce is nothing short of the biggest Doofus this side of Andy in P&R, except Bruce displays greater maturity & work ethic, but has fewer of Andy's endearing qualities. I think many people expect Emma to be less strange than Bruce, and the only reason I can find for this is that most people assume that beautiful women are somehow more polished, more mature - in effect, perfectly normal. But Emma is not. People ask, why is she with Bruce? Why should she not be? Just because she's pretty does not mean she isn't neurotic, strange, or a Doofus in her own right. Just as her parents had all these expectations that they feel Bruce doesn't live up to that we viewers can see are either reasonable or not, so we viewers shouldn't be placing our prejudices on Emma. Pretty women can be hot messes.

Emma's family are a hoot. They make perfect sense to me. I've been in the situation of being brought into a family I don't know, as a live-in girlfriend, and to say it's awkward is an understatement. Add a culture clash and more than a little neuroticism, and you have this quirky show that I want to continue watching.

As for the people who just can't believe this has been picked up for a second season: Amy's recent endeavor, Parks & Recreation, had a 1st season of 6 episodes. A second season wasn't a given. The third season didn't even start until January of the TV season, because there was talk of cancellation. Similarly, Amy's former SNL castmate, Tina Fey, was getting awards for 30 Rock, with almost no audience share. I can remember when they got, I don't know if it was a SAG award, or a Golden Globe, in season 1 or 2, and Tina thanked their "dozens and dozens" of viewers. Yet these shows went on to carve niches out, P&R not so much as 30 Rock; still, P&R will be an instant cult classic.

Welcome to Sweden isn't perfect. It's odd, discomfiting, droll, peculiar, and a bit offensive. Just what I'd expect from the Poehlers.
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I expected it to be at least a little funny
city_mouse11 July 2014
First, I'm curious how all the other reviewers saw this show before it aired tonight 7/11, in the US?

I didn't laugh once, I figured with Amy Poehler involved that is has to be funny, but nothing, I found it boring. It was also annoying that they spoke in Swedish and I had to read subtitles through most of the show, maybe if you speak Swedish and English, this would be more interesting..I don't know how anyone found it even remotely funny though.

2 stars because I'm giving it a second chance, I will watch the next episode in hopes that maybe the first one was just s flop.
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3 stars bc 1 for each ep it takes to realize this isn't good
jerrnini16 July 2015
I started to watch because it was an interesting concept and I never knew Amy Poehler's brother was Greg Kinnear. After the first episode I thought it was definitely different but not necessarily in a bad way. So I kept watching. Well I ended up getting through 3 episodes before realizing the show is pretty bad. The main character being an accountant to a bunch of celebrities that harass him despite probably having someone on their payroll to do such things seemed too forced. Seeing Gene Simmons was the last straw. The Swedish brother is the only funny character. And the episode when they go to the immigration office was the worst.
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Oh the pain...the pain will robinson
Isee-stupid-people12 April 2019
This is the worst drivel ever associated with the name Poehler and there has been plenty of stinkers. There is nothing redeeming about this except for maybe the scenery. If you came here looking for Swedish comedy your in the wrong place. What you'll find is some horrible setups written and conjured up by NBC.
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This is so accurate!
sofiabontempi21 May 2017
Warning: Spoilers
I absolutely love this show! I can relate so much to it, with my mother being like Emma (swedish )and my father being like Bruce(very traditional and American). This show perfectly captures what Sweden is really like! I would love a third seasons considering they leave the show on a cliff-hanger with Emma being pregnant.
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