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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another excellent series from Denmark, 15 April 2014
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This review is from: Borgen Trilogy [DVD] (DVD)
Borgen is a first class political drama comprising thirty episodes split over three seasons. The series boasts very good production values, expert writing with not too far fetched plot lines plus excellent acting not only among the leads but also in the numerous support roles. The jewel in the crown is the truly outstanding performance given by Sidse Babett Knudsen as the well intentioned and ambitious first lady prime minister of Denmark working out of an important government building known as Borgen

The first two seasons centre on the various complications that beset both the home and working life of prime minister Birgitte Nyborg. Here the actress manages most successfully to portray an entire field of human emotions including the obvious frustrations when ideas and ambitions bump heads with reality and also with the occasional moments of intense distress. In common with many left leaning politicians, awash with compassion, Nyborg is forced to accept a certain flexibility when her own interests are involved which includes having to fund the expensive private treatment for a daughter suffering from serious anxiety problems. She deals reasonably successfully with the criticisms and privacy invasions of an intrusive press but does not seem to appreciate the full ramifications of the career stall inflicted on her husband who is obliged to abandon his own hopes for advancement. The almost inevitable breakdown of the marriage is Nyborg's major disappointment and she cannot resist blaming her former huband for what she considers a premature abandonment of the marriage.

There is a change of emphasis in season three which includes the tribulations, sexual frustrations and arguments over presentation of a televisions newsroom as well as the continuing political drama. The essential plot line is that after a hiatus of two years from politics Nyborg is anxious to return to the front line which demands the creation of a new party based on essentially centre left policies. Two years as a lecturer and board member have hardened Nyborg for she is now prepared to demand preferential medical treatment, break a vow of silence given to a whistle blowing pig breeder and realise the importance of surrendering a seriously expensive watch prior to mass exposure on television. Season three plot lines demand the virtual disappearance of the former husband and in the final episodes the marginalisation of Kasper Juul, Nyborg's former spin doctor who had a very important role in the first two seasons.

Trottman
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I liked Borgen a lot, but didn't quite love it. That puts me in a tiny minority., 12 April 2014
By 
K. Gordon - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: Borgen Trilogy [DVD] (DVD)
I liked Borgen, respected it, enjoyed it. But I didn't LOVE it, as opposed seemingly everyone in the universe (OK I found one Luke-warm review out of about 20 by major outlet writers - the rest were flat out raves). My wife loved it. My friends. So maybe I need to see it again? But 30 hours is a big investment in something that didn't blow me out of my chair.

It's about Danish politics, and the almost accidental rise of one woman - Brigitte Nyborg - a member of one of Denmark's 8 parties to the role of Prime Minister – after her less- pragmatic, better known male rivals self-destruct. It followers her, and those around her -- her team, the press, her political rivals -- as they try to stay balanced in the always choppy and morally confusing world of politics.

There's no question the show is extremely well acted. And the characters cover a wide range of jobs, temperaments, levels of honesty and ethics, while almost all remaining human beings (I do wish the leader of the far right party wasn't quite such a cartoon). The human problems the lead character faces as the pressure of high office takes its tolls on both her family and her ethics are believable and moving. And I loved that all the major characters are allowed to be flawed and make bad decisions while still being treated as decent people at heart.

Yet, for me there was something a bit too neat, a bit too old-school in the show's 'crisis of the week' approach, where almost every episode sometimes wildly complex political issues and situations manage to get resolved. While the personal issues are allowed to work in a more serialized way, evolving slowly over time, I don't love how the show pushes to close the book on a brand new political crisis almost every episode. It leads the show to need sudden convenient twists that can feel melodramatic at times, and sometimes makes our heroine just a little too perfect, a little too much smarter than everyone in the room for me to buy it.

Warning: mild, general spoilers for the 3rd season ahead

In the series' 3rd (and last) season, there was, for me, some compromise of what had seemed the show's own moral core. While I applaud the idea that effective politics is largely about pragmatism and compromise, in the show's 3rd season it starts to feel like Brigitte has become ALL about pragmatism and compromise to get what she wants , and that the show itself isn't seriously challenging her shift. Without some ideological, moral core I found it harder to care who won out. There is a clever last second reprieve that solves the problem to a certain extent. But I spent a lot of the last season feeling increasingly uncomfortable that the series itself DIDN'T seem to be uncomfortable, as it's heroine increasingly seemed a woman whose talents were exploiting the political machinery as an end in itself -- without deeply, critically questioning her character, or making us face the intriguing but uncomfortable possibility that perhaps she isn't the truly good hearted, nobly intended politician we all wished for, and that she had always seemed to be.

None-the-less, a LOT is good in the show, and given it's near universal enthusiastic embrace (and the fact I certainly quite liked it, even if I didn't love it) I may just be forced to hang onto my blu-ray set, and one day give it another go.

The Blu-Ray is of quite nice quality in both picture and sound quality. This isn't the kind of show that will push your equipment to it's limits, but it supports this well-made drama quite well.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well deserved accolades for an excellent series, 3 Jan. 2015
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This review is from: Borgen Trilogy [DVD] (DVD)
What a great series, no surprises that it's a BAFTA winner!. Having read the excellent reviews on Amazon, I was pretty confident I wouldn't disagree and I most certainly did not. The story is based around the Danish parliament and the characters involved directly or indirectly with the political mechanism of the day to day running. The casting of the series is excellent throughout. The highs and lows experienced by Birgitte Nyborg, the female lead, during her political career and private life, are at the heart of the story. I was so glad I hadn't watched it on TV! Buying the trilogy on DVD, I could watch all episodes of the three series, one after the other.
Well worth the money, I will most certainly watch it again next year.
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34 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars HOW Much????, 10 Dec. 2013
By 
pmov (London, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Borgen Trilogy [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
One of the best political dramas ever. Period. But pricing on this doesn't make sense with 3 series purchased separately being nearly £10 cheaper....
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic series, 20 Dec. 2014
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This review is from: Borgen Trilogy [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Great watch - fantastic acting, great story arc
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5.0 out of 5 stars This show is seriously good. I am a big fan of good drama ..., 9 Mar. 2015
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This review is from: Borgen Trilogy [DVD] (DVD)
This show is seriously good. I am a big fan of good drama ( mad men, sons of anarchy, west wing, sopranos), but this is my new favourite. Great storylines, believeable and relatable characters and fantastic acting. I demolished the 30 episodes in two weeks and now can't stop thinking about the show. The third season has got slightly less public acclaim, but I was a real fan. Highly recommend!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent series even if I don't speak Swedish, 22 Nov. 2014
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This review is from: Borgen Trilogy [DVD] (DVD)
excellent series even if I don't speak Swedish, first seen on BBC4 been meaning to buy it for some time
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BORGEN TRILOGY, 27 Aug. 2014
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This review is from: Borgen Trilogy [DVD] (DVD)
Proper T.V. drama......Even in Danish....And they knew when to finish it before it became stale
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4.0 out of 5 stars It is a really engaging TV drama with great writing, cleverly drawn characters, 10 Jan. 2015
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This review is from: Borgen Trilogy [DVD] (DVD)
This is the first time that we purchased a box set - a completely different viewing experience! We bought this because we had managed to miss this series on BBC. It is a really engaging TV drama with great writing, cleverly drawn characters, stylish production values and spot-on casting. It tends to lose its coherence in the transition from season to season three.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best political drama series since the West Wing, 8 April 2014
By 
Alan Jones (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Borgen Trilogy [DVD] (DVD)
It could be argued that Borgen is even better than the West Wing, not as slick as its American predecessor but ultimately more subtle in its examination of issues, and perhaps even more satisfying. Although each episode has a theme and a story, the overall examination of political and personal compromise is handled with confidence and skill. The acting is of the highest standard, complementing the exceptionable writing. After viewing each episode the motives, needs and weaknesses of the characters gradually reveal themselves in an empathetic and believable manner.
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Borgen Trilogy [DVD]
Borgen Trilogy [DVD] by Sidse Babett Knudsen (DVD - 2013)
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