Although now established undeniably as a soap opera, Series 2 of Borgen is not afraid to tackle such issues as who should represent Denmark as an EU Commissioner, rejected as too dry by the compulsively odious Michael Laugesen, Editor of the tabloid rag "Ekspres". In a fast-moving tightly woven plot which manages to cover many issues, both political and domestic, we see Birgitte Nyborg both steelier, more calculating and ruthless as she gains experience in the exercise of power, but also personally more vulnerable in seeking excuses not to sign her divorce papers, unable to face up to the fact that her husband Philip wants a permanent split. The effect of this on their children is also handled sensitively.
A major parallel thread is the evolving relationship between the ambitious, idealistic journalist Katrine and the talented but emotionally scarred spin doctor Kaspar, who loses his emotional detachment when a right-wing move to reduce the age of criminal responsibility touches a raw nerve from his troubled past.
Although a few plot twists may seem implausible, this is absorbing drama, by turns tense, humorous and moving, with some interesting character development and consistently high standard of acting including at the level of minor characters, such as Birgitte's humourless PA who demonstrates that efficiency may count for less than empathy - serving Birgitte's long-suffering young son Magnus a bitter lemon - or the psychiatrist caught smoking in her private office to relieve tension.
Some of the political scenes are rushed through at a frenetic pace which proves hard to absorb via subtitles, and my opinion that "Borgen" is not a good advertisement for coalition government has not changed, but it has reinforced my respect for a small nation with an understandable pride in its essentially liberal-minded, progressive, democratic and egalitarian values.
Riveting, is the word used for the first season of 'Borgen'. Season Two of 'Borgen' is just as riveting, only better,so much better. Sidse Babett Knudsen as the Prime Minister of Denmark has learned the tough lessons for a first term, now,she is tougher, better prepared and an about to be divorced woman. This second term is a tough year.
Nyborg has learned how to take power from a bunch of male politicians who refer to her as "Mommy" whenever she leaves the room. Nyborg, does a lot of brilliant things, and it seems she is at the top of her game. Nyborg and her husband have separated, her children feel alone, her daughter develops an anxiety that is difficult to control, and Nyborg has no one to talk to. Her close mentor had a stroke and she had to fire him. Her spin doctor, Kasper, played by Pilou Asbaek is meeting his devilish childhood head on, his off and on girlfriend, Katrine Fosmark, played by Birgitte Hjort Sorensen, moves from one job to another to find her ethical boundaries. Everyone seems to be in flux, everyone has an edge, everyone is trying to find themselves.
However, each episode finds that Nyborg is becoming stronger, more able to meet her detractors head on. She is still alone, her daughter in trouble, but things are about to come to a head. What we learn is that life is about compromise, political, personal, public and private. Nyborg blames herself for her daughter's problems, the marriage issues, and is now trying to look to the future to see what lays ahead. She has proved her mettle, and shown her colleagues that she is a true Prime Minister, in word and deed.
This is one of the best political series on either side of the big pond. It is a must see for everyone.
This is one of the fundamental series about politics. Far better than House of cards on my opinion, because it doesn't need big actors, shakesperian dialogues and great events to tell the complexity of politics and still make it clear and entertaining. It's not the american kind of entertain, meaning that actor don't have to be beautiful, scenes and settings don't have to be perfect, and photography don't have to distract you from the story. It's a story made of many stories, led by the leader's story (a woman, a mother, a wife, with her problems that never become central in her decision even though the series show how normal this people and therefore how everyday life get usually in the way while they're making big decisions). And it doesn't reduce politics and the story itself to a man vs the world, but it's about compromises, it's about not thinking you own the truth and, even then, you can't just impose it to the rest of the world. In this second season political scene looks a lot like Italy, and it made me appreciate it even more, being italian and knowing they were telling a true story, not just fiction....
Who'd have thought a series about Danish politics could have been so engrossing? But it is. No explosions, no men in vests running around with a gun, no jeopardy. So refreshing. You can see it's taken The West Wing as it's founding father (if you've not see WW you must do so!), and as such its attention to the detailed life of Danish politicians is fascinating stuff. The deals, backstabbing, and Romanesque lives of all involved in coalition government, including stalwart Moderate Birgitte Nyborg - a star performance - a strong, independent woman little seen on films these days, is truly gripping. There are private battles and demons to overcome, too, especially for spin doctor Kasper, and it all adds up to a rich tapestry of brilliant acting and expert writing. Season two is just as good as the first, if not better, and having just about finished season three I have to say Borgen is up there with the best. We also have picked up some great Danish words...