On DVD, and not a moment to soon, is the MHz release of the highly acclaimed (and I’m acclaiming it as well) Danish series BORGEN.
This series tells the story of Brigette Nyborg (Sidse Babett Knudsen), Danish Prime Minister trying to have a career and family. Divorced from ex-husband Philip (Mikael Birkkjaer) they sharing the responsibilities of caring for daughter Laura (Freja Riemann) and Magnus (Emil Poulsen).
Still hoping that there is something between them, Nyborg is struck with the news that Philip has a girlfriend and wants her to meet their children. Knowing she must move on she dives deeper into her work.
She visits Afghanistan as Denmark is deciding if downsizing their contribution in that country is warranted. Visiting the camp, along with journalist Katrine Fonsmark (Birgitte Hjort Sorensen), the trip turns deadly as soldiers are killed. Now, Nyborg must return to her country and is embroiled in bitter debates on how best to make sense of the soldiers lost and still do what’s best for everyone concerned.
When Katrine returns and realizes she doesn’t want to write trashy stories for THE EXPRESS, the tries her hand at being a spin doctor for one of the cabinet members. When that doesn’t work out she returns to her roots at TV1 and rekindles a relationship with Kasper Juul (Pilou Asbaek), the Prime Ministers media advisor and spin-doctor.
When Nyborg decides to take on bringing peace between two African countries, her daughter Laura becomes ill and the two collide as tensions for peace means thousands of lives saved.
This season seats change, positions are made clear and lines are drawn as the Prime Minister refuses to be sacrifice what is right in trade for what another party may want in exchange for votes.
FINAL WORD: I cannot say enough about this series. Since watching the first season a few months earlier I was instantly hooked. Yes, it has the drama of the U.S. series THE WEST WING mixed with NEWSROOM but there is something amazing here and it has to do with the stellar cast and the countries issues so openly discussed.
Knudsen is born to play this role and that’s the absolutely true! She has a commanding presence as the Prime Minister and keeps her emotions in check constantly (which also must be exhausting). When she does finally release emotion its with a righteous anger knowing that there may be no answers to her questions.
Her intensity just seeps through the screen and into the viewer, which always made me wonder what she would do next. Managing to surprise me in quite a few episodes is what makes a good character along with a good storyline and Knudsen envelopes them both. There are so many places this character can go and I, for one, will be waiting on pins and needles for what is to in Season Three!
This season Asbaek as Kasper has a chance to reveal more about his character. Season one dropped breadcrumbs for the audience as to what made this spin-doctor tick. Audiences are going to be shocked at secrets that had to surface now in order for this character to grow. He’s still quick on his feet, quick in mind and a little outspoken but that’s why I like him!
Sorensen as Katrine goes through a lot of transformations this season as well. She seems more dedicated in her journalistic skin refusing to throw mud at anyone for any reason.
Other cast include: Soren Malling as Torben Friis, Ulrik Morch as Thomas Levin, Benedikte Hansen as Hanne Holm, Lars Knutzon as Bent Sejro, Soren Spanning as Lars Hesselboe, Morten Kirkskov as Niels Erik, Peter Mygind as Michael Laugesen, Ole Thestrup as Svend Age and Iben Dorner as Sanne.
TUBS OF POPCORN: I give BORGEN four and a half tubs of popcorn out of five. The large massive hollering you might have heard today sounding so thunderous was my absolutely horror that I would have to wait for the next season two be available. The good news is that I will be watching both seasons prior to seeing the third because it’s THAT good and worth revisiting.
This is what television should be – intelligent, riveting, though provoking, stellar in its presentation, open, and sometimes controversial. From week to week politicians come and go whether by design, disaster or self-decision but never, ever count them out. There is mystery, cover-ups, and serious political douchbaggery of all kind in BORGEN.
With that said there is no way to NOT have an opinion on each character and it be rooted deep! For instance, I think the Prime Ministers husband is a total wuss for not standing behind his wife, I think Hanne Holm should be editor of THE EXPRESS and get rid of that total rag-writing sore loser Laugesen, Bent Sejro needs to get back in the game and I’m hoping he does in Season Three. On a personal note – Kasper and Katrine need to get that house they keep looking at and get out of that box of an apartment, just saying.
This is what the series has done to me! I love each character for their own uniqueness and am always surprised in the director each episode takes. From family, to politics, to country BORGEN reaches out to touch it all.
This series is from the producers of THE KILLING and has also won awards from BAFTA for Best International Television series of 2012. That only adds to what I know will be a solid reputation for BORGEN to be one of the best new dramas to hit U.S. television.
From MHz Networks is bringing the best of world programming to American viewers. BORGEN is just one of many programs they have to offer with more including SPIRAL, THE YOUNG MONTALBANO, BECK and ANNO 1790 plus more! MHz networks have stations in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Minneapolis, Denver, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas and Washington, D.C. MHz can also be found on iOS, Android, Google TV, VOD and the MHz Home Entertainment with more at www.mhznetworks.org.
In the end – the rise to power sometimes requires a high price will be paid.