Borgen Series Three, Episodes 1 A Child of Denmark & 2 The Land is Built on Law

As Sidse mentioned at  Nordicana earlier this year Borgen 3 has a different feel to it.  After tonight’s two introductory episodes I would say it felt less political and more personal, but I wouldn’t be surprised if that changes over the course of the series.  Initially it felt a bit empty but Katrine’s haphazard torn apart private life seemed to fill that hole.  Kaspar seems to have very much taken a back seat and Torben seems to have taken some of the limelight at the TV channel.

Katrine’s emotional roller coaster twisting and turning through the roles of new mum, reporter and single woman was painful to watch.  It contrasted nicely with Birgitte’s organised smooth flowing personal life where the biggest problem was a virtual continental skype breakfast with her love interest!  It was interesting to note that her character was driven by wanting real political change rather than money, whereas some real life politicians seem to have a tendency towards wanting money rather than political change.

The usual devices of press conferences, tv show interviews, telephone calls with important information and whispers in beautiful lobbies seemed much the same as series 1 &2.  New character Alex Hjort added a bit of  smarmy middle management tactics to make the audience feel for Torben and add in the public/personal life trope which Borgen has always faced full on.  He also seems to embody a general point of view that all that is good in life is based on ratings, sexiness and cash.

Politically the character of Birgitte has always taken chances and appealed to an idealist’s viewpoint.  Would she have set up a new party in real life? I am not sure, but this is a tv show and it is certainly a great device to show how strong she has become and to allow discussion and debate on various political viewpoints in the show.  Her ex-husband Philip didn’t seem to think it was an unusual step for her so we will just have to roll with it!

Some beautiful photography and colour palettes just as in series 1 & 2 along  with some stunning furniture.   Katrine’s apartment was a great contrast to Scandi minimalism as it was previously, but this time with added chaos and baby bits all over the place.  It was great to see characters riding bicycles too. The new political HQ looked like it may have come from the set of The Killing but in Borgen the lights were on, somebody was definitely home and the kettle was on!

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6 comments

  1. andylawrence71 · · Reply

    Reblogged this on euro but not trash and commented:
    An excellent review from the University of Stirling’s Nordic Noir discussion group.

  2. Series 2 is just starting to air here, so some of what you are saying have been “a spoiler” but I don’t really mind, as the series is one of my favourites. I will just have to keep quiet about it to the rest of my family. Thanks for posting.

  3. Thanks for your comments/reblog andylawrence and forestwoodfolkart. Always appreciated!

  4. So what did people think? It seems too early for me to know how much I’m going to like it. Was a bit of a departure the first two episodes from seasons 1 and 2. I still liked it. It felt like meeting old friends, but things have changed a lot. Birgitte is still the Queen, but working her way up from the bottom again with Hesselboe the King. Will Kaspar return to be her knight in shining armour? I can’t see Jon being happy just being a pawn in the New Democrats. It’s certainly not just black and white.

  5. I am just wondering how much of this series was “lifted” from American political movies and the TV series of the 1990s, West Wing? Of course, the twist is focusing on a female politico and surprising that it was almost a year before it really happened in Denmark & Germany. Denmark is fortunate to have this series because my opinion is that considering the subject and characters, it could not have made it in England or America. Hope this is an opportunity for Danish film and the actors involved. Now, if they could only come up with their version of BBT!!!!

  6. William, thanks for your comment. At any event where the writers of Borgen have spoken they have been quite open about their admiration of the US show The West Wing. There is a blog post here that may interest you: http://cafethinking.wordpress.com/2012/02/04/why-borgen-is-not-the-west-wing/
    By the way what is BBT?

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