Borgen: Season 2 (DVD Review)1 Sep, 2013 By: Erik Gruenwedel
$49.95 four-DVD set
In Danish with English subtitles.
Stars Sidse Babett Knudsen, Birgitte Hjort Sørensen, Pilou Asbaek, Mikael Birkkjaer, Benedikte Hansen.
Who knew Parliamentary politics could be so entertaining?
In the second season of “Borgen,” (which means “government” in Danish and has been optioned by NBC Universal), Birgitte Nyborg (wonderfully played by Sidse Babett Knudsen) has become Denmark’s first female prime minister, in charge of a fragile coalition of dissimilar political groups.
Unlike the United States’ two-party system, much of the world’s governments comprise coalitions operating under parliamentary rule whereby the leader (prime minister) may actually represent a minority political interest.
Nyborg, who heads the Moderates, is a compassionate pragmatist, willing to compromise — to a point. She’s also a newly single mother of two, including a teenage daughter with anxiety, and dealing with an ex-husband who has moved on with a younger girlfriend..
Nyborg’s media director, Kasper (Pilou Asbaek), is a cunning strategist who harbors demons beyond unabashed infidelity. His obsession for opportunistic political reporter Katrine Fønsmark (Birgitte Hjort Sørensen) appears almost contrived.
If congressional politics appear dysfunctional in the United States, the ruling coalition in Parliament is rife with backstabbing and scandal — one misstep away from crumbling and triggering new elections.
Through this minefield of intrigue, “Borgen” expertly weaves Denmark’s historically progressive culture with myriad contemporary issues, including the war in Afghanistan (Denmark is a supporter of U.S. foreign policy), early retirement, pensions, crime, taxes and the environment, among others.