3 May 2014 | HaveWisdomWillTravel
Surprising Find, A Definite Masterpiece
I didn't watch the West Wings (Sorkin's style annoys me), so understandably I feel equally lukewarm towards the ADHD fast-talk-fest of Newsroom. I can't stand House of Card's format with Spacey talking at the audience. I find Veep funny but repetitious. All of which my wonky other half watch with glee. I watch Scandal, yes, but Scandal is not a pure political drama, but a fast-paced raunchy fashion show soap opera with spin-doctoring toppings. So basically, a political drama has to be really exceptional to keep me.
Borgen, is close to being a PERFECT work of its genre, AND as a dramatic piece of work. All the right ingredients - the casting, the framing, the setting-up, the tension, the exposition of complicated back stories, the pacing, the editing, the continuity, the humanity, the suspense, the humor, the angst... Sleek, non-preachy, lots of culturally-specific yet totally relate-able pains and joy, just the right depth, just the right amount, to keep the interest, to surprise one later on. Lots of reference to US political history, edu-taining snippets of where Denmark is in the scheme of European politics. But also enough heart-breaking yet un-sentimentalized domestic drama and complicated yet un-cheesy romantic entanglement to allow for intimate connection with the key characters. My only complaint is (I'm only at 2nd season start) the obviously alpha-female leading lady is emotionally too wimpy when dealing with matters of the heart, and the improbability of a head of state of a rich nation having no government-paid nanny or private tutor for her kids.
But overall, delivery and the cast performance is as sleek and smooth as the spin doctoring in the story, qualities this genre calls for.
I just heard American TV (HBO?) is looking into adaptation. But of course. I hope this adaptation will be as good and 'true' as my current most favorite US TV show, another adaptation - of the Swedish work, The Killing. What's with these Scandinavians. They write exceptionally effective TV shows. Congrats, anyhow, the Danes.
Highly recommended, for the political/ legal/ media drama sort. Totally worth the extra step of reading English subtitles.