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Borgen: One of the Best TV Shows of All Time is Back and You Should Be Watching

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Birgitte Nyborg giving a speech in Borgen

Borgen is a Danish political drama television series that follows Birgitte Nyborg’s rise to power as Denmark’s first female prime minister. When the show debuted in 2011, TV and film adaptations of the Nordic Noir genre were enjoying an early peak of popularity. Across books, film, and television, the genre continues to intrigue readers and viewers alike. While Borgen is not a police procedural or cop show, thanks to similar storyline and the Scandinavian setting, it’s classified as a Nordic Noir for many, or at least as close as a dark political drama can be to one.

It rapidly became a strong favorite in the golden age of television, focusing not only on the internal politics of Borgen, but also on the personal lives of the politicians and journalists who worked there; for many, it was considered The West Wing

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of European television. This was a significant accomplishment since it was Denmark’s first effort at a political drama, and it attracted worldwide attention. Now, after a decade-long break, the political drama is back, and made a much-anticipated return on Netflix on 2 June (a continuation, but now under the title Borgen – Power & Glory), with a much darker and sinister feel that leans more towards its Nordic Noir style. In an interview with The Guardian, co-writer Adam Price said that the time was right to bring the show back:

The cast also talk about re-visiting their characters:

So what is Borgen about, and why should everyone be watching it? The heart of this show is the strong female lead played wonderfully by Sidse Babett Knudsen. She plays Birgitte Nyborg, who is powered by her principles and fights fiercely for what she believes to be right. A powerful aspect to Borgen is seeing a woman in power, she can be tough as nails, yet also warm and soft, as she does her best to hold her family together amidst big changes. She embodies perseverance and vulnerability in a way that is both impressive and, of course just human. There are many lessons that can be taught from watching Borgen, so let’s find out why you should watch it.

While the show is considered a feminist masterpiece simply because it centers on a woman in power, it goes much deeper than that. Many narratives in Borgen deal with issues and politics that impact women all around the world. The writers bring up a number of concerns, including sex work, abortion rights, and gender equality. Women’s voices in the media are portrayed through the character of Katrine Fønsmark, who is regularly confronted with sexism. This portrayal is incredibly powerful to watch and can also be quite educating.

Related: Bridgerton Star Ruby Barker Hospitalized for Mental Health Struggles

Although, in the season two finale, critics did question Birgitte’s qualifications as prime minister with the comments focusing on her gender: “I’d love to debate politics, but I’ll be damned if I’ll debate my gender.” However, strong women still sometimes struggle, especially with mental health, which is also something that has been highlighted brilliantly and sensitively in Borgen and another reason why you should give it a watch.

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