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After the great Danish show “The Killing”, eager to check out more from this kind of surprising newcomer in producing internationally renowned tv shows (and movies, of course, but that history is already quite long), I stumbled across “Borgen”. Originally I was thinking that it would be another crime show, and was confused when after one or two episodes, there still was no assassination attempt on the newly elected Danish Prime Minister (just Birgitte, seems the Danish all call each other by first names), but she was instead struggling to balance her family life with the requirements of office.

This show is ideally seen back to back with “West Wing”: you cannot have a clearer view on the differences between running the same office in a very large and powerful versus in a very small and, let’s say socially ambitious country. Everything that is pretentious and loud in the West Wing (tv show or real life alike) is humble, silent and hands-on in the castle that hosts the Danish government. Governing Denmark is thwarted by lack of babysitters, by dissatisfaction of husbands, as much as by cunning coalition partners, inept ministers, media corporations with an agenda and international crises. You do have the characters similar to the brains of West Wing here, but they are not primarily running their mouths. As much as I enjoyed the over-writing of the Aaron Sorkin characters, I did also enjoy the frequent stunned silence of the Copenhagen staff when there was nothing left to say and no visible way out of the malaise.

Very very good tv, two seasons aired, a third in preparation, to which I very much look forward!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Borgen_(TV_series)

Reviews:

http://joehubris.com/node/72

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/tvandradio/8998115/Borgen-BBC-Four-review.html

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