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216 of 222 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars West Wing - Danish style
After thoroughly enjoying BBC4's Danish winter offering The Killing - Series 1 [DVD] [2010], I thought I'd try another Danish series. Borgen is made by the same company DR (Danish Broadcasting Corporation) that produced The Killing. The series comprises ten x one hour long episodes which delve into the whole world of Danish government. The series encompasses the...
Published on 22 July 2011 by Mikey

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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Sub Titles bad
The language is Danish so sub-titles are essential. But they are very difficult to read when against a light background. S/titles should be improved.
Published 11 months ago by Derek Batten


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216 of 222 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars West Wing - Danish style, 22 July 2011
By 
Mikey (UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
After thoroughly enjoying BBC4's Danish winter offering The Killing - Series 1 [DVD] [2010], I thought I'd try another Danish series. Borgen is made by the same company DR (Danish Broadcasting Corporation) that produced The Killing. The series comprises ten x one hour long episodes which delve into the whole world of Danish government. The series encompasses the challenges which face Denmark's first female prime minister Birgitte Nyborg Christensen. Birgitte's homelife, the sacrifices made at home, her relationship with ministers in her coalition government, as well as typical defence, constitutional, financial and media scandals all intertwine to provide hours of decent drama.
Having enjoyed The Killing's depiction of Copenhagen city coalition politics, this series features politics on a national level and we see the surprise result of the election, mishaps by rival Conservative and Labour parties, the secret world of Nyborg's spin doctor in addition to the TV1 broadcaster which is always attempting to obtain political scoops.
On a par again with The Killing is the acting - superb! Sidse Babett Knudsen and Pilou Asbæk shine as PM and spin doctor Kasper Juul. Familiar faces from The Killing pop up including Søren Malling (Meyer in The Killing 1) as TV1 editor Torben Friis and briefly Bjarne Henriksen (Theis in The Killing 1) as defence minister Hans Christian Thorsen.
Well written and directed, Borgen is a treat. The Killing 2 fans will recognise Birgitte's husband Philip Christensen played by Mikael Birkkjær. Birkkjær played Ulrik Strange in The Killing - Series 2 [DVD] in late 2011 on BBC4. Asbæk also starred in The Killing 2 as soldier David Grüner in episode 3.
Two of Denmark's finest actors pop up as Labour ministers in the series, Lars Brygmann and Peter Mygind. They fit in very well with the rest of the cast.
Enjoy!

If you want to see even more of Mikael Birkkjær's work, have a look at this December 2011 release of the 2004 film Aftermath [DVD] in which he plays the husband of a character played by a certain Sofie Gråbøl. Recommended!!
Also a 2005 film with Mikael in the lead role Springet and from 2011 Værelse 304 (Room 304) Import (English subtitles). Worth a watch!
Fans of Sidse Babett Knudsen may like to see her first ever film which has been recently released for the very first time on DVD, Let's Get Lost with Bjarne Henriksen and Nicolaj Kopernikus (both from The Killing 1) co-starring. You may like to take a look at three comedies featuring Sidse - Take the Trash ( Blå mænd ) featuring Troes Lyby (Let's Get Lost), Søren Malling (Meyer - The Killing / Torben Friis - Borgen) and Danish film actor Thure Lindhardt. Therapy ( Parterapi ) features Sidse with the another Danish film actor Nikolaj Lie Kaas (soon to be seen in The Killing 3) and Søren Pilmark who stars in the moving film Aftermath. The third comedy is Fukssvansen. These three films easily confirm Sidse's comedy abilities.
Birgitte Hjort Sørensen (Katrine) also stars in the 2011 produced Julie - en kamp om kærlighed whilst Iben Dorner (Sanne the PM's secretary ) can be seen in Those Who Kill - Series 1 [DVD] as a recurring character and in the thriller Kandidaten.

If you can play DVDs from USA (Region 1) with no problem, have a look at PROOF from 2004. Proof is an Irish thriller starring Sidse as an Albanian woman who has been living in Copenhagen after defecting but has now turned up in Dublin searching for her sister believed dead. Proof is excellent and is well worth a watch. The set has four 50 minute episodes with Sidse speaking in English throughout.

Borgen has gone on to win a BAFTA award for the Best International series at the 2012 awards ceremony. Borgen faced diificult competition in the category with nominations from it's DR stablemate The Killing as well as USA's Modern Family and Australia's The Slap. Well done to the Borgen team!
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars West Wing for a Europhile, 3 Nov 2012
This review is from: Borgen - Series 1 [DVD] (DVD)
Will you like this series?
If you like the West Wing, and like European affairs - go for this. Initially I thought it was a pale comparison to West Wing in terms of context, drama and intrigue - but by Episode 2 I was gripped. This is West Wing for Europeans! The political and personal intrigue are fantastically played out against a Danish current affairs context. You might think the political setting is not as dramatic as The Killing - but don't be fooled!

Isn't Danish politics a bit off the pace?
Absolutely not: first of all, the politics is just a backdrop for the aforementioned interpersonal drama. The number of parties in Denmark was a little tough to get my head round, but then the UK and US are a bit boring in this regard! Secondly, the political context and plots touch on topics relevant to any Western democracy: drugs, Afghanistan, corruption are highly relevant more broadly. I'm from the UK and think my country could learn a lot from Scandiavian countries!

Will the subtitles and Danish language put me off?
Depends if you have tried it before. It's not that difficult really - and you might learn some useful words!

I would suggest reading Mikey Eurocimes review.
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33 of 36 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Does power corrupt?, 4 Feb 2012
By 
Antenna (UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Borgen - Series 1 [DVD] (DVD)
Borgen is an absorbing Danish political drama in which each episode focuses on a different issue, as we trace the path of Birgitte Nyborg, the party leader who unexpectedly finds herself in the position to form a coalition government. Bearing in mind that the Danes are used to this form of government, the wheeler-dealing and spinning involved suggests a certain tongue-in-cheek mix of humour and cynicism over their political system. To be honest, I am not sure "Borgen" is a good advertisement for coalitions!

The series introduces non-Danes to some interesting problems, such as relationships with Greenland which has clearly suffered socially from a leaching of its population and a lack of local opportunity. There are also the more familiar topics of sexual equality for women, reducing pollution, corruption in high places, and attempts to control the media.

The characters are mainly strongly developed, with an on-off relationship between two ambitious, attractive characters: on one hand the cynical spin doctor Kasper who is too good for Nyborg not to employ, and on the other the photogenic TV presenter Katrine who cares deeply about free speech and exposing the truth, except, of course in her personal life.

At first, Nyborg's family life seems too good to be true: a handsome husband who has put his career on hold to be the prime carer of their two children. I feared for a few episodes that the series would degenerate into an admittedly well-acted and entertaining soap, but the later episodes gradually inject a darker side, as Nyborg is perhaps inevitably changed by the experience of power. We see how her dedication combined with growing confidence and skills in politicking at work impact on her personal life, where by turns negotiating and acting tough to get one's way are not always either appropriate or sufficient.

My single reservation is disbelief over the lack of domestic support employed by Nyborg to help with her children and running the home. Many working couples with much lesser jobs would have a nanny, and you could say that the Nyborgs' failure to sort this out is implausible and smacks of incompetence.
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42 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Borgen Brilliant, 14 Jan 2012
All I have to say this is fantastic-- a rich - diverse - political twists and trists. More of this wonderfully refreshing Television from Europe is needed. And well done to BBC Four for showing it in the UK. Borgen - Brilliant- beautifully - bodacious beginning to end.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars honest, compelling, courageous, 19 Mar 2012
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This review is from: Borgen - Series 1 [DVD] (DVD)
After so many weasely series that duck hard issues or adopt the far-right agenda, this came as a breath of fresh air. Not only does Borgen seem real (Denmark did get a female PM later), some very difficult things are addressed head on. And the resolutions are based in the notion of individual dignity and mutual respect. Cultural polarization increases as resources per capita shrink. This is the sort of media art that gives me hope for future generations. Now, why does Borgen II (for which I am still checking my mail) cost twice as much?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling, 29 April 2014
By 
Mr. Stephen Edwards "se1955" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Borgen: Series 1 [DVD] [2010] (DVD)
Almost like a thriller with no dead bodies. Beautifully acted, great characterisation. One of the very best TV series I have ever seen.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great story brilliantly acted, 30 Mar 2014
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This account of the mother of a family who almost by accident becomes the Danish prime minister is absolutely gripping. Brilliantly acted throughout. I would strongly recommend to anyone who has any interest in political machinations, the impact of a demanding job on a family and the peculiar difficulties where it is the wife who holds it!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Borgen, 2 Nov 2012
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This review is from: Borgen: Series 1 [DVD] [2010] (DVD)
Another fantastic series from Danish TV. Intelligent, gripping political intrigue that's involving on both an emotional and an intellectual level. Why can't British TV makers trust their audiences enough to give us proper, grown-up drama like this?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Drama at its Best, 21 July 2014
By 
Graham Wootton (Hobart, Australia) - See all my reviews
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I had been aware this series was on SBS TV some time ago and had been highly rated. However, I was unsure that I would take to it because it was in the Danish Language so I only bought series one initially on Blu-Ray. I found that the first ten minutes were heavy going but once you integrated the subtitles and speech in your mind it was almost as though they were speaking English. Gripping, fast paced, brilliant acting, a wonderful portrayal of the compromises of the political process. This is an excellent replacement for watching live TV which in Australia has degenerated into little more than repetitive game shows on food and home renovations. I can't wait to watch series 2 and 3.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars best television series for many years, 19 Jun 2012
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Mrs. G. M. Mulley "Gill M" (Hertfordahire UK) - See all my reviews
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About Denmark, this series says more about the U.K. than any other series I have seen! Moreover, it says what many people feel, having a sort of Liberal Democrat but with guts approach we sadly lack here. Do you feel bad about the American rendition policy (if not you are a stupid, inhumane ostrich)? It gets aired in one episode, and with all the difficulties of adopting a decent policy explored too. Not interested in politics? Hm, they will destroy Europe (again) soon if too many people "switch off". While Borgen is based in politics it has scenes of interest to you too. Are there any work-life balance and/or male versus female priority issues in your family/work place? No? Lucky you! But watch anyway, it's so well done, and not knowing the actors helps British viewers accept the very sympathetic characters as virtually real people. I'm saving up to buy the second series. Gill Mulley
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Borgen: Series 1 [DVD] [2010]
Borgen: Series 1 [DVD] [2010] by Adam Price (DVD - 2012)
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