The Viewer: Borgen

Images via noblepr.

The Viewer is watching Borgen.

Well, The Viewer has been watching Borgen. She’s not writing about it while she’s watching it, as it has already been established that multi-tasking while watching a subtitled TV show is a non-starter.

But we’re veering perilously close to the revelation that the ‘The Viewer’ is essentially a device to give TV posts a different angle on this blog and not a real person. So let’s not labour the point.

Anyway. Borgen is a Danish drama from the people who made ‘The Killing’. It follows Birgitte Nyborg from her not-entirely-unexpected-due-to-a-bit-of-spin election victory through the corridors of power, and in process shows the sacrifices she has to make in terms of her political and personal conscience.

The Viewer likes a bit of political intrigue. But she said that whole premise sounded horribly cliched, so she didn’t bother watching it until the Sky Plus box starting threatening automatic deletion due to lack of interest.

How wrong can one be? Turns out that Borgen (“The Castle”) deflects attention from a fairly traditional narrative arc with slow burn unravellings of major characters and a prime minister who wears leather skirts whiles she’s flattening Justice Ministers for telling porkies. And not even in a kinky way. In a proper, empowered woman kind of way.

We’re at Episode 7 now, and having calmly dealt with Secret Service buggings of political rival’s offices, the CIA abusing Greenland’s airports and a visit from the president of Turgistan, Birgitte is facing her toughest challenge yet. A husband who has started bitching and moaning that he’s bored looking after the kids, that he’s not getting much sex and generally feels unfulfilled. There’s even a flighty young female student with a crush floating around, ‘accidentally’ leaving scarves at their home.

A whole Smarties split corner yogurt got thrown at the TV when that happened. Some of it’s still there.

Apparently, The Viewer is furious that despite a carefully planned childcare agreement referenced several times in early episodes, Philip is complaining like a Geordie Shore cast member whose tanning booth privileges have been revoked.

It was around this point that The Viewer seemed to forget it was a TV programme and not a fly- on-the-wall documentary and began to make vague threats about visiting Philip in Denmark to tell him how fortunate he is to be married to a woman like Birgitte. When it transpired that Birgitte’s sidekick Kasper Juul is not the super smooth spin doctor we’ve come to love, but an unhinged maniac with unresolved mother issues whose real name is Kenneth, I had to employ the gag.

More later. When the restraints are loosened and she is ready to find out whether Kenneth’s going to scupper Birgitte’s parliament and whether Philip can resist the lure of the scarf wearing student.

If you’ve seen it, don’t spoil it. One of us is on the edge of our dairy stained seats here.

MORE Borgen: Birgitte Under Fire

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