Politics at play in 'Borgen'

Thursday, 27 October 2011 12:00 AM Written by 

borgenThere's probably no more entertaining show about politics on TV right now than "Boss" on Starz. Whether this cable drama is at all realistic or just cynical, that's for political insiders to decide.

"Boss" isn't the only political drama available to viewers.

This week Link TV will begin airing the Danish political drama "Borgen" (which means "Government" or "The Castle," nickname for Denmark's parliament building, depending on which translation in the press notes you accept) on its website, LinkTV.org, and on cable at 9:30 p.m. Saturday (Link TV is on DirecTV Channel 375 and Dish Network channel 9410).

Read more after the jump. ...

"Borgen" was created by the team behind the original, Danish version of "The Killing" (not the AMC American remake). And NBC is developing an American version of "Borgen."

For now viewers will have to satisfy themselves with the original, which is presented with English subtitles. The politics of it aren't always clear  -- there are more than two parties, not what we're used to in American politics -- but it's pretty juicy drama all the same.

The focus is on a moderate party leader who changes her party's allegiance in an election for prime minister a few days before the vote. She's got a family and frets about fitting into her outfit before a televised debate. Her husband says she always gains "election weight" and not to worry about it.

Other characters include the current prime minister, whose wife is a mess. The opposition leader plays to his base at the expense of a political promise. An ambitious young news anchor finds herself entangled in a political and personal mess.

The series premiere ends with a final pre-election televised debate that sounds a lot like politics in America with talk of immigration policies and the widening gap between rich and poor. It's a well-made hour of television, regardless of the language/cultural barriers, and it's obvious how it can be pretty easily re-made for American audiences. Whether American viewers want to tune into a political drama that's full of scandal and cynicism - the opposite of the optimistic "The West Wing" -- remains to be seen.

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