Tag Archives: Mikael Birkkjær

Farvel og tak, Borgen

‘The last episode ever’ said the BBC4 announcer. That might be for the best. You can milk an idea for too long, but I don’t believe they did that with Borgen. Three seasons would seem about right for length, although when you work out that it’s only four weeks from start to finish when you get two episodes every Saturday, it does seem fairly brief.

Borgen III

As some reviewers have said; it’s unusual, but good, to have so many women in a television series. Women in big roles, at that. So not only do we have a female lead as the politician, but she gets herself a female spin doctor.

Perhaps Katrine let the side down by being a ‘useless’ mother at times, but on the other hand, we do need to see that people are normal, average, poor, at what they do. And it was nice to see how well Kasper took to fatherhood, considering his own childhood and how hard he finds it to commit to a woman.

Borgen III

I can’t say I thought much of Birgitte’s ‘bit on the side,’ as boyfriend Jeremy described himself in the Guardian. I didn’t particularly like him, and the English dialogue was too perfect. We know that actors can do foreign langauges well, because they have a script, but what works well for a political state visit, doesn’t really do for intimate chats between lovers. Besides, female viewers want to see more of Mikael Birkkjær.

Borgen III

Torben’s wife was an interesting character. And I don’t know what to call Torben’s boss. But it would be unprintable. Personally I found Søren Malling’s acting very good indeed. He really came into his own. For fictional characters, I very much liked Hanne.

The recycling of actors in a small country leads to weird situations, like when The Killing’s Troels came face to face with his PA. And for child actors, how can you possibly predict that one will grow tremendously over the years of filming, and the other one will hardly change at all?

Borgen III

Birgitte’s ‘cheaper’ flat seemed anything but. It was very trendy. Even the broom cupboard conference room at party headquarters had a certain charm.

Finally, isn’t it good that politicians can come up against laws they have put into existence, so that it’s ‘impossible’ to question them?

(Finally finally, how many people have stopped eating Danish pork?)

Borgen III

Borgen, here we come

Four episodes in one day might just have been a couple too many. I felt a bit like you do when you should have stopped after the second helping of cake, but didn’t.

Borgen, season two, starts this weekend. And as Daughter had omitted to watch the first lot, and omitted believing the old people that it was worth seeing, she had some catching up to do. And I ‘had to’ keep her company, which is why we consumed ten episodes in six days.

How come she took the word of her peers, when they said it was a must-see? I said the same thing.

Anyway, she liked it, and we are now sorted for Saturday. It was hard at first to accept you can walk down dark alleys alone, because if it isn’t The Killing, you will be fine. And watching it all again, so fast, it was fascinating seeing Birgitte’s marriage breaking down. (I don’t mean that badly. It simply became so much more clear.)

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.

Some Forbrydelse that was

I’ve been going round muttering ‘The Mousetrap’ to myself for some time now. There’s been this feeling that it’s downright weird that no one has given the game away in The Killing. It’s not as if BBC4 had a world premiere or anything. It’s been shown elsewhere and you could buy the DVD if you wanted to. Without the subtitles, maybe, but if you’re keen enough you take a crash course in Danish.

So, a bit reminiscent of the silence you are sworn to at the end of The Mousetrap. There’s another coincidence, but we won’t go into that.

Now we know who did it. At the end I’d have been half surprised and half not, no matter who it was. And it seems as if there was more than one who-did-it as well. It was a crime at many levels, and many people did things they mustn’t be proud of.

And what was the BBC4 continuity announcer thinking, suggesting that we stay with them when we got to the break at ten o’clock? I doubt that anyone in their right minds would get up and leave, feeling they’d had enough at that point.

I was quite worried about the end, seeing as my trusted, regular commenter on here had warned me about feeling bad. Yes, it was disheartening in some sense, but it’s the way I look at the world most of the time, cynic that I am.

And rest assured, just like my awkward French waiter only spoke English when it suited him, so it goes with the rest of the world, too. After all, how can anyone not speak English?

The club of those who won’t be returning to The Killing next time grows. Selvfølgelig.

Forbrydelsen II

Thank God we’ve got something to watch on a Saturday again! I don’t care about the jumper. But who else would go crawling into dark and possibly dangerous places for us?

But lovely as it was to see Sarah Lund and her lack of social kills, and even Brix, whom I almost liked on a ‘second’ meeting, it was the new Minister of Justice who caught my attention. I know actors are often good at acting. It’s what they do. They also act totally different people, in different things. But for me Nicolas Bro will forever be the ‘village idiot’ from Rejseholdet/Unit 1. And that’s one big step to becoming a trusted member of the government.

Forbrydelsen II, Mikael Birkkjær & Sofie Gråbøl

While liking people in general, I do think that Ulrik seems very promising. English speakers will find his name strange, or so it seems, but I thought he appeared nicely normal and orderly. Just consider that it was Sarah who was told off for sloppiness, when we had got used to her pushing Meyer around.

That Major looks fishy. Other than him I’m fairly short on suspects. Unless it’s our Minister.