Borgen (DR1, Denmark)
In light of the acrimonious state of American politics and the jaundiced TV dramas to which it has given rise, Borgen could appear almost naïve in its determination to find traces of altruism in the exercise of politics. But this astute, pitch-perfect Danish series earned its occasional optimism at every realistic turn. There are no Machiavellian masters at the center of its plot. The intrigue, schemes and actions flow naturally and believably from a story arc that has comfortably spanned three seasons. Borgen (a Danish colloquialism for “government”) weaves insightful views of parliamentary politics and governance with the daily lives of its exceptional cast of central characters, from politicians to newscasters. At its heart is Birgitte Nyborg (Sidse Babett Knudsen), arguably the strongest female lead character in European or American TV drama. Borgen admirers around the world watched her evolve from ambitious but principled MP to practical Prime Minister to sophic stateswoman, her personal travails as compelling and credible as her political challenges. For providing nuanced political and personal drama that’s illuminating, entertaining and universal, Borgen receives a Peabody Award.
Producer: Camilla Hammerich. Director: Søren Kragh Jacobsen. Writers: Adam Price, Jeppe Gjervig Gram and Tobias Lindholm.
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