Coming to DVD in a four box set March 12th from MHz Networks is one of the most popular television series BORGEN.
This series tells the story Birgitte Nyborg (Sidse Babett Knudsen), the leader of the Moderate Party who rises to the position of Prime Minister by underhanded political dealings. She learns quickly that a new time still hasn’t shed old traditions.
Now her world changes becoming country’s leader and having to rely on husband Phillip (Mikael Birkkjaer) to take more responsibility with their children Magnus (Emil Poulsen) and teenage daughter Laura (Freja Riemann). As a professor, the pressures cause him to make decisions I think a more secure man might think twice about.
Watching her every move is TV1 and reporter Katrine Fonsmark (Birgitte Hjort Sorensen), a young woman who has secrets of her own and has no problem finding out secrets of others. The studios editor Torben Friis (Soren Malling) has to keep the stories coming out of the parliament straight, even when they are twisted. One of those doing the twisting is former Prime Minister Michael Laugesen (Peter Mygind) who is out to bring it all down.
Prime Minister Nyborg, with the help of her spin-doctor Kasper Juul (Johan Philip Asbaek), she must navigate a political life that is filled with dealmakers, old ideals and open democracy – and keep her family together.
FINAL WORD: Knudsen is the spot on choice for taking this role. From the moment she enters the story it is clear what kind of woman she is – and that doesn’t always help her cause. She is so relatable with her issues of home life, marriage, kids and charmingly enough, her weight.
Her character is solid, and sincerely focused on wanting the best for her country and, at the same time, trying to progress along with it. It is the old guard still in place that from the moment she takes office, make it their duty to stir up trouble and cast her in a bad light. From underhanded dealings to secrets built in the system, Nyborg is never caught off guard long and her family pays the price.
Birkkjaer as husband Philip loves his marriage and his family but, as with most partnerships where one is more successful, problems arise. The tear between being a regular husband and the husband of the first female Prime Minister doesn’t come with a prep list.
Sorensen as Katrine the ambitious reporter is a serious duality. One on hand she has no problem pointing out the secrets and lies of others but doesn’t seem to be able to do the same for her own life. Sorensen grabs this role and takes viewers on a ride that is unpredictable at times. Where Katrine is, Asbaek as Kasper is not far behind. This character is truly amazing filled with issues begging for a psychiatrist’s sofa and oodles of time. Yet, at the same time, Asbaek plays this character with skill, grace and a hint of humor.
Mygind as Laugesen is slick by every stretch of the imagination. With the help of the eyes and ears firmly planted in the parliament, no mistake goes unpublished. I will admit to throwing a shoe at the screen a time or two whenever this character showed up on the screen with another way to challenge Nyborg’s character.
Other cast include: Thomas Levin as Ulrik Morch, Benedikte Hansen as Hanne Holm, Anders Juul as Simon Bech, Lisbeth Wulff as Pia Munk, Iben Dorner as Sanne, Bjarne Henriksen as Hans Christian Thorsen, Lars Knutzon as Ben Sejro and Morten Kirkskov as Niels Erik Lund.
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.
TUBS OF POPCORN: I give BORGEN an amazing four and a half tubs of popcorn out of five. Sometimes not knowing what to expect is a good thing and such is the case for BORGEN. The show is slow and deliberate in each step it takes with stories that are full with anticipation and outcome.
Knudsen captured me instantly with her strong nature even when that was the last thing she wanted to be. Taking on the problems of a country and the people within her own government, her solutions had me applauding. The issues of family life are so true-to-life that it draws the viewer deeper into the story.
Every character in BORGEN has a purpose and a mission that causes clashes as each follow their own agenda. From the storyline of Greenland to making sure women have a place in Danish government, none of the important issues BORGEN addresses are to far from home for American viewers.
The relationship between the government and the media is also an interesting one. Bringing these two stories together offered surprises, twists, understanding and even, dare I say, compassion. Knudsen’s character as Prime Minister knows the dangers of tackling all of these issues yet is stead fast and will surprise a new audience with this amazing series.
Television has re-awakened audiences to new and innovative shows that go far beyond what watchers have ever known. Now, with the different methods of viewing, the ability to experience television shows from other countries gives BORGEN an even larger reach for a following. I, for one, can not wait to see what Season Two has to bring. These characters are just in their infancy and I am anticipating what is to come for the Lady Prime Minister, her family, the cabinet and journalists who, in a very short time, I’ve come to expect much from.
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.
In the end – the rise to power sometimes requires a high price will be paid.