Borgen - Series 1 [DVD] 
Borgen - Series 1
A new version of Borgen - Series 1 is available to order with slim-line packaging.
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Borgen is a drama sensation from the producers of the acclaimed series The Killing. Following the intricate and complicated lives of politicians, media spinners and the reporters who feed off their triumphs and failures, Borgen uncovers a world of political and personal intrigue. The setting is Borgen, the nickname for Denmark's Parliamentary building, otherwise known as "The Castle". After scoring her party a landslide victory through her idealism and work ethic, the smart and sexy populist Birgitte Nyborg now faces the biggest dilemma of her life. The question is: Will she succumb to pressure of compromise on her ideals and face consequences both on and off the political stage?
"Simply unmissable" *****--The Times
"Intriguing from the start, deftly paced and retains interest throughout" *****--The Financial Times
"Why can't we [the UK] make political dramas this gripping and sexy?" *****--The Independent
"Absorbing drama with a captivating performance from Knudson, possibly the most fully rounded female character on TV" - *****-- The Independent
"Birgitte Nyborg is the best thing since The Killing's Sarah Lund"--The Guardian
The international success of Danish thriller The Killing, and its subsequent American remake, opened many people’s eyes to the quality of Scandinavian drama. The first series of political thriller Borgen was, consequently, one of the first to capitalise on it.
It comes from the producers of The Killing, as it happens, but the similarities between it and Borgen aren’t that plentiful. Rather than crime, Borgen focuses on the Danish Parliament, and the people within it. Of particular interest is the country’s first female Prime Minister, Birgitte Nyborg Christensen, who comes to power off the back of a heavy victory. As she soon discovers, though, the pressures of government are very different. This densely plotted, twisty, compelling drama takes time and diligence in exploring this, and soon becomes extremely absorbing.
Laced with the same intelligence, depth and commitment of The Killing, Borgen richly rewards those willing to look further afield for their television drama. Those going in expecting the same thing they’ve been served up before, though, might just be disappointed, not least because the subject matter is different.
But the quibbles aimed in the direction of Borgen are mild at best. For ultimately, the ten episodes of this first series, which are willing to explore both the politics and families within Danish government, are gripping, compulsive television drama. From start to finish, it’s a terrific series, and long may it continue. --Jon Foster
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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.
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!
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.
This is a classy tale of politics, before and after the general,election. Birgitte Nyborg, played by Sidse Babett Knuds becomes the country's first female prime minister. We meet spin doctors, ministers of various committees, political intrigue, scandals, love affairs. And everything that goes on in small towns. It seems as if Borgen is a small town. Nyborg's marriage suffers, her children act out as does her husband. What is she to do? We move along with her as she solves one problem after another. Many characters abound, and we come to love and hate some of them. The press and journalism are featured in all their glory. We see familiar faces from the Danish series, 'The Killing'. This is a glorious view of the Danish political scene.
The first ten episodes are spell bounding. I want to know more, thank goodness there are series two and three to come. The acting, the city, the politics are brilliant!
Highly Recommended. prisrob 04-06-13
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