Borgen: Season 1 (2010)

SEASON:

Season 1
Borgen

Critics Consensus

Borgen refreshingly couples an empowering feminist narrative with a clear-eyed view of political machinations -- culminating in a sterling standard bearer for Danish drama.

100%

TOMATOMETER

Critic Ratings: 13

98%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 79

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Episodes

Air date: Oct 29, 2011

The Danish drama opens with Birgitte Nyborg Christensen (Sidse Babett Knudsen) risking her political future on the eve of parliamentary elections by revealing a surprise on live TV.

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Air date: Nov 5, 2011

Birgitte Nyborg is undeniably the winner of the election, doubling her party's seats in parliament. Focus now turns to the negotiation of alliances and the forming of a new coalition government. Turbulence, toil and surprises ensue, and Birgitte's election win begins to look more like a loss. Katrine is going through hell, but continues her dedication to her work. In addition to losing his job, Kasper is losing his grip. And in the middle of all the commotion, Ole Dahl's funeral takes a strange turn.

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Air date: Nov 12, 2011

After only a few short months as prime minister, Birgitte Nyborg has negotiated her first finance bill into place. But before the final ratification, several members of parliament withdraw their support. Ousted politician Michael Laugesen is in a new position as a newspaper editor and is out to get Nyborg, who lets her family down on more than one occasion at home. While Kasper finds a new job, Katrine is still extremely vulnerable as she experiences yet another shock.

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Air date: Nov 19, 2011

TV journalist Katrine Fonsmark gets the scoop of her life when an anonymous source contacts her with important security policy information. The pressure is on prime minister Birgitte Nyborg to kill the story, but she decides to go her own way. In the process Katrine finds herself in some intense situations and runs into problems with her boss, but in the middle of the turmoil help appears from an unexpected angle.

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Air date: Nov 26, 2011

Sidse Babett Knudsen, Mikael Birkkjaer, Pilou Asbak, Birgitte Hjort Sorensen, Benedikte Hansen, Soren Malling. Danish drama series about the fight for political power - and the personal sacrifices and consequences this has for those involved on and behind the political stage. With the support of her Minister of Trade and Industry, Birgitte puts forth a proposal for gender quotas on Danish companies' boards of directors. The proposal meets resistance both in and out of government - and the country's most powerful businessman gives Birgitte an ultimatum that could have serious consequences. Meanwhile, members of the media choose to focus on the very attractive and ambitious Minister's private life, which turns out to be morally problematic. While Katrine turns down at first an offer of help to take better care of herself, Kasper gets into a muddle with the ladies. (In Danish with English subtitles)

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Air date: Dec 3, 2011

Birgitte faces her first state visit, as the president of the former Soviet republic Turgistan comes to take over the chairmanship of an international board and announces his intention to invest one billion euros in Danish wind turbine technology. However, the simultaneous arrival of a renowned Turgistani poet and dissident places Birgitte in the middle of a significant, escalating conflict. She also faces conflict at home as her father becomes an unwelcome guest in the eyes of her husband.

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Air date: Dec 10, 2011

When surveillance equipment is found in the offices of an extreme left-wing political party, it looks like the work of the Danish Security and Intelligence Service - but why? Illegal monitoring of a legal political party is a serious offence, and it quickly becomes clear that Birgitte and minister of justice Hoxenhaven have very different opinions of the case and its consequences. Birgitte's home life suffers from her absence. Katrine, who has otherwise been in good spirits, must make a difficult decision.

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Air date: Dec 17, 2011

Birgitte Nyborg plans a family vacation; Michael Laugesen may publish a tell-all book; Kasper's past catches up with him.

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Air date: Dec 24, 2011

Though Birgitte is surprised at the defence minister's choice of new fighter jets, she allows him to make public the decision on the government's behalf. When unpleasant surprises surface in the wake of the big plane purchase, the media launch an offensive against members of parliament. Meanwhile, Birgitte becomes more and more controlling both at work and at home, costing her dearly. Katrine is really on her toes but runs into problems with her boss when she acts too arbitrarily.

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Air date: Dec 31, 2011

Birgitte is suffering in the opinion polls leading up to the start of a new year in parliament, while the Labour Party is picking up headway and clamouring for more influence. The press wants to do a story on Birgitte's private life, which isn't prospering. Kasper has his hands full and agrees to something he really doesn't want - and the situation spirals out of control. Though it looks like Katrine might have the opportunity to return to TV1 News, it won't be without complications.

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Borgen: Season 1 Photos

Tv Season Info

Sidse Babett Knudsen stars in the acclaimed Danish drama about politician Birgitte Nyborg, who becomes her nation's prime minister (and first female leader) after a series of events tip the balance of power away from the main Liberal and Labour parties to her party, the Moderates, during an election cycle. The first episodes of Season 1 chart the election and her ascension, which proves rocky due to the nature of parliamentary politics. The remainder of the season chronicles the difficulties she encounters, including passing a budget, pursuing her party's equal-opportunity agenda and grappling with possible corruption. At the same time, she deals with foreign affairs—and a faltering marriage.

Cast

Sidse Babett Knudsen
as Birgitte Nyborg Christensen
Birgitte Hjort Sørensen
as Katrine Fønsmark
Pilou Asbæk
as Kasper Juul
Mikael Birkkjaer
as Philip Christensen
Christoph Bastrup
as Journalist
Peter Mygind
as Michael Laugesen
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Critic Reviews for Borgen Season 1

All Critics (13) | Top Critics (10)

The show is beautifully plotted. The many intrigues in the worlds of politics, journalism, business, and PR are given just enough twists and turns to be surprising, but never so many that they become tiresome.

Sep 26, 2018 | Full Review…
Top Critic

This is a lot of narrative to tackle in one hour, but the writing and performances on "Borgen" are so finely honed that it all snaps together effortlessly, and crackles as the story races along.

Sep 26, 2018 | Full Review…

The good parts are the very credible relationship that Birgitte has with her family and her evolution as a more sophisticated politician once she has to do battle with the other parties to form a new government.

Sep 27, 2018 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

Borgen should appeal to everyone to be honest. It's a fantastically compelling and intricate drama about politics, gender, change and (mainly) power.

Sep 26, 2018 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Borgen has painted a skilful portrait of a woman whose political ambition arguably became more important than everything else.

Sep 26, 2018 | Full Review…
Top Critic

It's one of the finest television performances I've ever seen: an indelible portrait of a pioneering woman...

Feb 7, 2018 | Full Review…
Top Critic

We're watching people use their brains, not flaunt their looks in Borgen - and while that can be unsettlingly unfamiliar to some viewers, it's magnificently different.

Jun 9, 2015 | Full Review…

Making decency interesting is hard, but Borgen makes it look easy.

May 23, 2013 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Watch at least the first two episodes and you won't be able to stop.

Apr 16, 2013 | Full Review…

It's an intelligent political drama where people are not as evil and scheming as they are on House of Cards, as over-the-top outrageous as on Veep or as unrealistically noble as on The West Wing.

Jul 20, 2020 | Full Review…

I don't know if I will get though all 30 episodes, but I badly need a dose of realpolitik leavened with a some sense of idealism and hope, and this feels like just the ticket.

Dec 19, 2019 | Full Review…

You could do worse than to put on your coziest socks and vicariously enjoy a political sphere that seems almost magically more refined than ours.

Dec 18, 2017 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Borgen: Season 1

  • Jul 12, 2016
    After 2 episodes, I decided that it is good but not captivating.
  • Mar 02, 2015
    Amazing look behind the scenes of politics and media.
  • Feb 25, 2015
    Borgen is a political drama about a female party leader Birgette Nyborg who becomes Denmark's prime minister. This show is quite different from top political tv shows like House of cards and VEEP. I love VEEP and HOC, but both of them give a very cynical view of political players. Politicians in Borgen are not just power hungry individuals who just want to grab more power. They push policies for the good of the Danes and according to their party's ideologies. Birgette Nyborg is a principled politician with shrewd political craftsmanship. She is an idealist and tries to hold on to her ethical value as long as she can. Borgen brilliantly captures the alienation at the top and the personal cost of power. Politics is one part of the script, personal life of prime minister is another. Focus on personal issues adds another layer to the brilliant drama. In HOC power corrupts and corrupts, in Borgen power isolates and isolates. Underwoods don’t have children, so they don’t have much to worry about their family. Birgette has a family with young children. But finding time for family when you are running a country is difficult. Slowly idealist Birgette not only gets isolated in the parliament, but in her home too. A situation perfectly summed up by her friend and close aide Bent Serjo : "It’s a terrible contradiction. In parliament we fight for the modern family where both parents work. But for a MP's marriage to work, the spouse has to stay home." "A government pursues policies necessary for its survival."-Lars Hesselboe, Birgette's predecessor. Borgen is a show about politics and policies which brings out the nuances of multi party politics. It depicts how difficult it is to achieve political consensus for passing a policy. Birgette grows into the role of prime ministers. Amidst all the politics, she keeps in sight the need of Danes and keeps pushing the policies in which she believes. She works hard to handle the political tightrope of coalition government. Different parties have different agendas which are usually polar opposite of each other. Ministries are allotted to different coalition members, who keep fighting for more influential posts. Voting on key issues becomes complex. Sometimes coalition members don’t support and Birgette has to cut a deal with the opposition. Opposition does not let go any chance to twist government's arm to slip their own agendas into policies. Denmark has a grueling media which includes sleazy tabloids and investigative journalists who bring out the "real news". Birgette has got Kasper Juul , her spin doctor to manage the media. She makes the policies and he sells them. Borgen has its share of political thrills. Both are always working overtime to save the government from being outvoted in parliament. Sometimes Kasper feeds information to his ex-girlfriend Katrine Fonsmark. Like Birgitte , she is an idealist . She tries to strike a balance between ethics of journalism and demands of tv executives. The biggest strength of this show is the impeccable script. Every single episode has something different to offer. Dialogues are good. Political intricacies and intricacy of ethics is exceptionally handled. In 10 episodes, it covers variety of political issues like immigration, foreign intervention, autonomy to states, security issues, corruption in defense projects, etc. We get to see dirty tricks like smear campaign, power bluff, and wheeling dealings. Halfway through the season, focus shifts from office to home of the prime minister. There is a different mood from there on. As series moves towards its final episodes, more information about characters personal lives are revealed. From political issues to personal, a lot has to be covered in one hour episode. The way script handles all of these plots and subplots is brilliant. The incredible script is complimented by the brilliant performances from the cast, specially Sidse Babett Knudsen (Birgette Nyborg), Birgitte Hjort Sorenson (Kristine ) and Johan Philip Asbek (Kasper). Borgen is a work of fiction. It is not real and it is not supposed to be. But it is definitely more realistic than any other political tv series. If you are into political dramas, do yourself a favour and watch it. An exquisite political drama with a multilayered script. 10/10

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