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This Danish TV import comes out of nowhere and slams you into submission....
MHz Networks / 606 Minutes / 2010 / Unrated / Street Date: March 12, 2013
Every television viewer relishes an opportunity to be surprised at something. Boob tube programming – in all its various stripes – is frequently rewarding and dependable, but rarely can it be legitimately unpredictable. It wouldn’t exactly be fair to call the Danish import Borgen the second coming of dramatic TV, but watching this Season 1 leaves you guessing at nearly all of its many cliffhanger moments, and oh, what a thrill that is.
I hasten to give away any major details about this Borgen: Season 1 collection simply because for American viewers with little to no familiarity with the show, its brash, confident newness is a major asset. Let’s just say that like a hyper-melodramatic West Wing, we following Birgitte Nyborg Christensen (Sidse Babett Knudsen) as she becomes the Prime Minister of Denmark (the first woman to ever hold the post), and – surprise, surprise – things do not go exactly as planned.
Borgen is dark, stirring, conspiratorial, labyrinthine: it absolutely feels like a television drama from the opposite side of the world, but it deals with themes of power and bloodlust and potholes in culture at large that feel completely innate to the current American (and global) experience. There are moments in the show where its dramatic ferocity takes on an unfortunately histrionic bent, but the majority of Borgen is so wonderfully maintained that it’s easy to forgive its shortcomings.
A word to the wise: prepare to marathon through these bad boys – once you start one of these discs, you’ll be unable to resist staying up late to finish...