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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another excellent series from Denmark,
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.
29 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars HOW Much????,
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....
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!,
Another fantastic series from DR.
Borgen is a BAFTA winning Danish drama series from the producers of 'The Killing'. If you enjoyed 'The Bridge', 'The Killing' or 'Wallender', then you'll love this series.
Although a tale ostensibly about politics it is thoroughly absorbing as the main character Birgitte Nyborg (played by Sidse Babett Knudsen) struggles to balance her own ideals and ethics with the reality of being the leader of one of Denmark's minor political parties.
The series opens with the run-up to election night, and the knives are out and the result is anyone's guess in the close-run battle. Can Birgette hold things together both in Parliament (Borgen is Danish for Castle - the nickmane of the Danish parliament) and at home?
I won't spoil things by giving any more away (you can easily Google plot lines if interested) but I found it one of those series where having watched one episode, I quickly followed that with another (and another) - so lots of unintentional late nights! The previous series that gripped me in a similar way was 'Breaking Bad' (another recommendation if you haven't seen that series).
A deserved 5 stars from me. What a pity that DR (the Danish equivalent of the BBC) has stopped after 3 series in the same way that they did with 'The Killing'!
I managed to get a genuine, sealed R2 copy of the series for around half of Amazon's price but am enjoying it so much that I'd have happily paid more.
Incidentally, watch out for a new series from DK called 'The Legacy' - which will no doubt be coming to BBC Four in the near future.
If you are a fan on 'Nordic Noir' then buy Borgen - you won't be disappointed!
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best political drama series since the West Wing,
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.
5.0 out of 5 stars Well worth the money.,
Brilliant! I never thought I would be this interested in a story about foreign politics. Believable charismatic characters, clever story lines interweaved into a taught plot. Loved it. Shame there is no more.
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent & addictive,
Totally addictive! Great to have the whole trilogy - once you start you will want to see all episodes! A good antidote if you have overdosed on Nordic Noir (not sure if that is possible though).
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic,
A fabulously engaging television series, in my mind one of the very best. Definitely worth a watch even if you're not into politics. It's onw of those programmes that can appeal to a really wide audience. The characters feel real and likeable, the Danish setting is fascinating and the storylines are gripping. The final four episodes got me particularly emotionally involved!
3 of 5 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.,
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.
5.0 out of 5 stars BORGEN TRILOGY,
Proper T.V. drama......Even in Danish....And they knew when to finish it before it became stale
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What more could you want?,
Intelligent scripts, coalition politics and personal relationships brilliantly intertwined, powerful women, characters you get to really know and have empathy with, great acting and wonderfully filmed in Copenhagen. Really, what more could you want?
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Borgen Trilogy [Blu-ray] by Sidse Babett Knudsen (Blu-ray - 2013)