In some brief moments HOC came close to its brilliance of the first season. But these moments are short and less in number. Unfortunately HOC is in decline.
I remember the first time . The first 5 minutes of the 1st episode , when Francis turned to the audience and welcomed us to white house, i knew i found a winner in HOC. I remember his monologue about the hooker in post war berlin. He used to talk a lot to the audience, giving his insights. And that made HOC special. Season 2 had little of this. He seldomly talks now.And when he does, he does not come up with quote worthy monologues. Writers should revisit this part . It is the most important part and they are getting it wrong again and again.
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 dont have children, so they dont 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 :
"Its 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 dont 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
VEEP season 3 peaked in its 8th episode. Sadly last 2 episodes were a let down. But a terrific season. Satire is subtle and jokes are refreshing.The plot of Ryantalogy was a brilliant addition. Every single member on this show was great.
It is like true detective mixed with mad men. True detective , because there is a detective questioning the characters. We get to know the affair by their narration and flashbacks. You get the urge to know what is the crime , what happened in the past. Each bit is slowly revealed just as in true detective. Madmen, because madmen was about Don draper's affairs for its first three seasons. Recently I watched Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby, which had 2 parts His and Her. The story is told by the perspective of male lead and female lead in 2 different movies. Add this movie to the mix of True detective and Mad men. Every episode of affair has 2 parts , Noah and Alison (similar to Him and Her).
Cinematography is A grade. Acting is brilliant . I cant figure out what character is what because in part Alison, Alison and Noah are polar opposite of Alison and Noah of part Noah. Not only that , the same scenes are different in 2 parts.
Excellent drama and intriguing storyline. Showtime has got Homeland 2.0. homeland has taken a different direction (it is more about twist and turns now). May be Affair will take its place as showtime's best drama.
Don has lost his edge, he is becoming lazy and so is the show. Once this show oozed with brilliance but slowly it is loosing what made it so special. Father time has caught up with Mad men. Time to wind it up.
Mad men is back with 13 brilliant episodes.
Megan and Don's relationship is beautiful. Megan 's birthday gift to Don was right at the core of this show: Beautiful, exotic, seductive. She has changed Don . Don is different , he is in really in love . He is faithful. Though the last scene of season leaves us with an open interpretation scene. last scene was brilliant. I was shouting no and watching in horror (I really like the thing Megan and Don have). Don waited for 2 , 3 seconds and as he was about to answer , credits rolled in.
This season gave us lot of shocking moments. Lane pryce's suicide and the failed suicide attempt gave me chills. Peggy finally left SCDP. But I guess she will be around.
It had a good story arc for Betty, she is getting fat, She is not happy . She envies Don's life and tries to poison it a little. She has been on this road after the divorce. She immediately decided to change house after she found about Sally's friendship with ,,,. But i think it was in her for a long time ago, In season 2 she set u her married friend with some guy from horse riding. I admit I dont like her, well who would ? She is not clear in her head about what she wants. She acts like a little kid who wants to spoil other's game even when she doesnt want to play.
Roger is divorced again . Now he is more reckless but he is motivated to do some work for the company. Peter is pushing for more part in the company. I think he is the one who really cares for the company. Don seems a little off his motivation, seems content with his married life.
In season 3 , we saw birth of the company. It was exhilarating to see "4 guys shot their legs off" . In season 4 , we saw the honeymoon period of Don's entrepreneural adventure , then that period was over and ship was sinking . Season 5 , SCDP is staying afloat but not moving forward.
Midway through the season, I thought Mad men is loosing steam. Don Draper was more like Dick Whitman, sensitive and let his guard down too often. Jones , one of my favourite characters left Sterling cooper. 2 other characters seemed to leave it too. Philanderings would lead to nothing I thought. But I was wrong.The show was changing itself and I was uncomfortable with the changes.
As season 3 progresses to its final episodes, things moved with just the right pace. The season finale "Shut the door , have a seat" was emotionally charged and thrilling , some things tied together , some things fell apart to make a brilliant hour of tv.Final episode finished what was started from 1st episode and lays the foundation for next season. I love the episodes which end with a song . True detective season 1 ended with "Angry river". Blackwater ended with "Rains of Castermere". Final episode of this season ends with Shahdaroba. Who knows what will happen next.. Shahdaroba.
Mad men has proved itself as a brilliant drama . Love this show.