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'Borgen' Is Back

Television
by Melissa Silverstein
May 31, 2012 12:35 PM
2 Comments
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I have been a huge fan of Borgen since the moment I started watching it.  It has become a huge success and won the BAFTA last weekend for International TV show.   Season two starts this Sunday, June 3 at 9pm on LINK TV.   You gotta do a bit of work to find the channel (I am on direct TV and we have it- DIRECTV channel 375 and Dish Network channel 9410.) Here is info on Link TV.   If you don't get the station you can also stream the episode for free for 2 weeks here.

For those of you uninitiated, the show tells the story of Birgitte Nyborg (played by Sidse Babett Knudsen) the first female Prime Minister of Denmark (which the country made happen in reality last year.)  Season two picks up two years into Birgitte's term and the first episode focuses on the Danish presence in Afghanistan.  She goes to the front and meets soldiers and then after an attack tries to figure out if she should keep the troops in the coalition or pull them out.  What is so great is that there is not one second where you have any issue over the fact she is a woman, she is a leader has to make a decision about a long and unpopular war.  She has to negotiate with all the other parties who make up her government and it really shows how difficult the business of leading and governing is.

The show also shows the personal toll of leadership.  Birgitte's marriage has fallen apart.  Her husband, who took a less demanding job when she was working her way into power in her party, wanted to take a job at a company and he couldn't because it had relations with the government.  He got sick of her schedule and his level of responsibility and left her.  There is no doubt that the show makes clear how difficult this is, but it also shows the different societal responsibilities placed on men and women.  Many a woman takes the back seat because that is their role and it is interesting to watch a guy struggle, and fail, to play that role.

Here is a clip from season 1 right before Birgitte's election. 

Put this on your summer schedule.

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2 Comments

  • No | June 2, 2012 2:19 PMReply

    I stumbled into this show by reading the above posting: Borgen is a very good political show. Unlike the American presidential system, which is non-parliamentary, it is really interesting watching how the show's Birgitte Nyborg as Prime Minister, and as the leader of the Moderate Party, has to deal with other parties in her cabinet, who can topple her government by denying her support. You also see the personal cost and how the Danish media isn't that any different from American media. A really good show. The one odd thing is that show's title Borgen means castle in Danish, but is translated as "government" in subtitles. Who would want to watch a show called "Government."

  • no | June 2, 2012 2:29 PM

    My one critique of the show is that Birgitte doesn't have any close women friends, which is somewhat unusual. All her close friends and associates are male: her husband, her deputy and her media adviser, and all of those relationships become strained when she becomes prime minister.

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