Tag Archives: Lars Brygmann

Unit 1

You are already wondering what on earth to do when Borgen finishes in two weeks’ time, are you not? It’s understandable. There will be no more The Killing. Don’t know about more Bridges, and we have all seen Wallander several times over.

Rejseholdet

But do not despair. Unit 1 is here. (Honestly, what a title. But no doubt I shall get used to it, and will soon talk about it in three languages.) I mean Mord-kommissionen, as it is in Sweden. Or its original title Rejseholdet, as the Danes know it.

It’s not coming to BBC4 next, unfortunately. But desperation for more murderous Danes and role model female detectives will send you hurtling into the nearest HM.., no it won’t. You’ll probably buy it online. It’s what we do these days. Anyway, Rejseholdet, aka Unit 1, will be available to buy from tomorrow.

You will love it.

If you don’t, it will be your own fault. I have gone on at length about it, for years, and here we finally are. It’s season one only, which I think means the first nine episodes. There is a total of 32, so no doubt the rest will follow, once they have you hooked.

Rejseholdet

It is being sold as something starring Mads Mikkelsen. Only as a member of the team, however. It’s even been described as having his brother Lars in it. (Troels, you know.) I think only as a minor character in one episode, just like Søren Malling who is Meyer/Torben. And then there is Lars Brygmann, the other Troels (Höxenhaven), when he was younger and much sweeter.

Rejseholdet

And anyone else you can think of, most likely. It also has a few people you might never have met, but who will soon become your best friends. Like IP, who we look out for every time we land at Kastrup. What’s more, for those of you who believe Denmark is always dark and cold and wet, you will now get the tourist’s Where’s Where of this lovely country. The murderers obligingly murder somewhere new each time, and we get to visit the whole country.

Very nice.

I almost envy you coming to this fresh. I definitely envy you getting the English subtitles. We are still labouring away with the Swedish ones. Not me, but the rest of us.

(Here are a few links to my previous rantings on the lack of Unit 1 in the UK. Link 1. Link 2. Link 3. Link 4.)

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It’s enough to make anyone go crazy

Politics, you know. Maybe we should be less harsh on our own politicians, especially those in power. Who Have All Gone Absolutely Mad.

Now that we see quite how crazed the post of Prime Minister has made Birgitte – and she started out so very sensible – it explains how less wise men have turned certifiable in such a short time.

Political power… I wouldn’t wish it on my best friend, and I don’t want to be ruled by my enemies.

And how easy it is to do something a little silly. The kind of thing that us ‘normals’ get away with every day. Go celibate and don’t drink. Do the Danish thing and stick to smoking in the cold. Unhealthy, but you stay almost sane.

Who’s going to replace poor Höxenhaven? His smarmy face was getting to me, but we are losing politicians by the bucketful. That dreadful Minister of Finance is bound to smarm even more now.

Katrine and Hanne

We had carelessly discussed interns earlier in the day. For a totally different reason, but the name Lewinsky came up. Oh dear. It was the witchiness again.

Do ex-politicians go back to normal afterwards? Or do they simply regret the passing of power?

I agree with Daughter; it is sad when labour parties no longer have workers working for them. But at least the lady journalists stood up to their shady boss. They did, didn’t they? Hope it wasn’t just a passing phase.

We want Rejseholdet!

And we want it now. Are you listening, BBC4? Pretty please?

What I mean is, seeing as British viewers are now clamouring for – almost – anything Danish, especially with a woman at the helm, we could do with a speedy purchase of Rejseholdet, aka Unit 1.

It’s old, so should be affordable, and it would be a pleasant way to spend the time before we get Borgen 2 or Forbrydelsen 3. Has been available in English speaking countries, so should come with ready made subtitles. (Unlike us at CultureWitch Towers who are working with the Danish original, complemented by Swedish subtitles.)

Rejseholdet

Old, but not too old. They do have mobile phones. And sex. Not to mention a strong woman – Ingrid Dahl – heading her team of Denmark-wide detectives. It’s ideal. I’m surprised no one has thought of it. And if they have, what’s happening?

Just think! 32 episodes of beautiful Danish crime, and the marvellous Charlotte Fich doing a Lund/Nyborg. (And two Troels connections.)

Men who love women – Borgen style

Interesting the way they play with titles. Some men loved some women some of the time, but for the rest it was the usual misogyny. I’m surprised Denmark hasn’t already legislated equal numbers for women on company boards. Norway did.

And interesting how both men and women lie to get where they want to go. I did feel the unelected minister had rather a lot of degrees. Meanwhile, Kasper is good at his job, but not good at all when it comes to women.

It’s the children I feel for. They didn’t ask to be the children of the Prime Minister. Husband Philip is also being good. I expect if it had been anywhere else, they would at least have someone in to help with the chores. Father of the PM would like to, but he gets in the way, poor man.

Both of Sarah Lund’s dead detectives are still doing well, each in their own way.

Sidse Babett Knudsen and Nicolas Woodeson in Borgen

The episode featuring the state visit was good in that it probably showed pretty much what it must be like having to be polite to someone with questionable politics. I suppose we thought Mrs Prime Minister would be able to withstand his demands, but it was so much more realistic this way. Let’s hope her devious solution also happens in real life some of the time.

Still suspect the PA of being more than fishy. Lucky draw indeed!

Borgen

At least she knew it was a Tupilak. I wouldn’t have, but when your mother is the Prime Minister of Denmark you know about Tupilaks, with or without souls. Not that good old mummy had time for shopping while in Greenland. I’m trying to decide if the curtseying secretary is inept, but kind, or if she’s a spy. Buying the Tupilak was almost more thoughtful than you’d expect an idiot to manage.

The art for the PM’s office was fun. It became a running gag, but I suppose it’s come to a natural end by now.

Very good to have the Greenland angle in an episode. Few people know much about it, and here the Inuit almost got a voice of their own, however brief. I wouldn’t mind more.

Greenland cemetery

Last week comments about Borgen were along the lines that it’s intelligent television. Maybe it is. Or maybe we are just getting too used to too much rubbish, and are easily pleased when something different turns up. I’m enjoying it, and so is the Resident IT Consultant, who had no hesitation in joining me this week.

A Troels too far

Two dead detectives resurrected into Danish politics in the new series Borgen. (And you try and say that if you can! It’s not as simple as it looks. Maybe adopting royal style plums in your mouth would help.) Meyer as a rather aggressive television editor and Strange as husband of the future prime minister. (It’s funny. I took their division of labour within the family to mean that he was a househusband while she concentrated on politics, and then it turned out he was ‘merely’ a college lecturer while waiting for his turn at something real.)

Wasn’t sure at first what I thought. In the introductory five or ten minutes I could easily have stopped watching, but after that I was hooked. The Resident IT Consultant was tired and was only going to watch the first episode, but didn’t depart for bed until after the second. So there.

Borgen

I think we are looking at ten episodes, if my internet search is correct, with another ten following hot on the heels if we turn out to like this political backstabbing. And let’s not praise only the Danes. I hope you noticed that the television companies from Finland, Norway and Sweden were also involved. Somehow we always seem to share these things between us.

The Billie Piper lookalike reporter who might very well turn out to be pregnant on live television, is confusing me. Her ex has an unfortunate tendency to back the wrong horses. He’s both a bit of a crook and half decent. Or perhaps he’s just worried about his skin, rather than showing decency? When he did what he did, I was muttering DNA and fingerprints under my breath, but this was politics and not forensics.

Political party leaders on bikes is nothing new, but this felt more genuine. So did the comment that Her Majesty might be out buying cigarettes. Not convinced that the Mulberry incident was product placement. They just needed to shop somewhere decent but exorbitantly expensive.

Had to tell Daughter that her beloved La Cour from Rejseholdet turns up as a much older and worn out politician, with a shifty look. What’s worse, he’s called Troels. Are we about to have another bout of people going round calling for Troels? I was confused by the actors referring to him as Höxenhaven, when the subtitles said Hoxenhaven. Minor issue, but unnecessary.

As was the fact that the darkness of Forbrydelsen in that dreary month of November made for better visibility subtitles. Come back! All is forgiven. Seeing the light is all very well, but our Danish isn’t yet good enough to go it alone.

Relationships

You can only have one favourite favourite television series to obsess about. And for us that is NCIS. But then we have a few more on the next level, one of which is the Danish Rejseholdet. Having just gone on holiday, we are continuing watching through all the episodes again. What strikes me is how similar they are. And also quite how different from each other.

Rejseholdet

Both are police teams of some sort, where the group have become family. You don’t necessarily want to watch it out of order, as it’s important what went before, between X and Y. And the whole team is aware of it. Or not.

Whenever the fans want Tony and Ziva to get together, you have to stop for a reality check. It’d be nice, perhaps. But would it work? No, it wouldn’t. The same went for Gibbs and Hollis Mann. Fine for a while, but it can’t be allowed to become permanent. Then Gibbs wouldn’t be Gibbs.

I assume that real NCIS agents have families. And that it works. But the television team can’t have long term happiness and stability.

In Rejseholdet they do. Have relationships, that is. Not certain that it always works, and it definitely gets in the way of the policework. But then maybe real families also interact with real policing.

Fischer gets somewhere late, because his wife is upset with his infidelities. IP’s girlfriend is angry when he doesn’t have time for her theatre plays. Ingrid is always having to sort things out for her children, finding ‘babysitters’, although they are teenagers, or coming home to find there has been a party. La Cour, naturally, seems the most sorted of them all, and does get back together with an old flame. And Gaby and Johnny have their very public disagreements in the lap of the team.

It’d be easy to say that the Danes are the normal ones, but I wonder if normal means always having things happening within a small group of people. How likely is it to have the head police officer finding she’s investigating the murders of her brother-in-law and his family?

NCIS

And good looking though the Danish team are (it is television, after all), they are nowhere near the Hollywood good looks of NCIS. I mean, take Palmer out of autopsy, and even he is handsome.

Maybe their looks help us like people to begin with. I’m certain I’d love the characters after a while, no matter how they look. In fact, I disliked Gibbs for most of the first two series because of his California perfection, and to begin with I found Fischer unbearably ugly. But you get used to both, and once you’ve become ‘friends’, you just like.