Borgen is a political drama set in Denmark about the meteoric rise to power of the leader (Birgitte Nyborg) of a relatively small and unknown party (of which we have many in Cyprus) who becomes the first female head of government.
Literally Borgen means ‘castle’ but in Denmark it is also the name given to the parliament building where the majority of this intricate drama and highly enjoyable show takes place.
Once in office as part of a multi-party coalition, the idealist Birgitte realises that to run the country she will have to compromise her own beliefs and ideals.
As her predecessor in government Lars Hesselboe told her ‘a government pursues policies necessary for its survival’.
With the help of her wily press secretary (they use the word spin doctor in Danish) Kaspar Juul though she manages to deal with all the problems that are thrown at her, be it the passing of the state budget or the illegal detention of Afghanis in Greenland by the Americans.
However her success comes at a cost, both on the political front and also on a personal level. She betrays her oldest and most trusted confidante Bent Sejro while her family is left in tatters due to her long working hours. Her caring university professor ‘stay at home and do all the chores’ husband finally decides that he’s had enough of being the only one washing up the dishes and hoovering and divorces her while her daughter is hospitalised, forcing Brigitte to take a lengthy leave from political life.
I began watching this series just about the time the ThisIsCyprusGate scandal broke out and even if just five per cent of the ethos of political life in Denmark is true then our politicians should hang their heads in shame.
Imagine our President forcing his/her partner to decline a job because the offer came from a company that his/her government had dealings with and her partner held stocks in this company even though he had bought them well before he/she came into office.
There are three seasons of 10 episodes each with some excellent acting, intelligent script and plenty of political intrigue.