Birgitte Nyborg


I had started writing this post about three weeks back but never made it because of something. I’m back here again on completing all three seasons today. Firstly, I am completely smitten by Birgitte Nyoborg, the central character. Secondly, I am just as impressed by most other characters and more so the show itself.  The last episode is probably one of the top three television episodes ever. I found myself rooting for Birgitte from the bottom of my heart and had tears of joy on her win. You know the kind of happy you feel cruising through your nerves. I have never felt that way about real politics even. Of course, that’s because I am not politically aware at all.

I don’t remember seeing a show that is so simple, grounded and understated. I really doubt if there is one. Not in the long list of American television I routinely watch, anyway. The show is about politics and Birgitte becoming the first female prime minister of Denmark. And it sticks to its course. It never steers into the boring and cliche territories of women shown as being better women/mothers/wives and compromising their political mettle for the sake of family. She is shown to handle all and not in the way we’re led to believe as the only morally right thing for a woman. This doesn’t mean that’s it’s all smooth sailing for Birgitte. Just that politics is her life as much as her family is. The show factors in her family issues, her daughter’s depression, her husband’s affair, her battle with breast cancer, her rise and all the typical problems all urban women go through. But the best part is that nowhere does the show become about her personal problems. There is no drama. Just the right amount of sentiment. This has led me have immense respect for the Scandinavian culture as a whole, which before this show I knew nothing about.

Towards the end of season two, I had just starting to think that the show was becoming a little repetitive and the first 2 episodes of season three were hardly engrossing. But I didn’t even realise when it took off again, elegantly and in the trademark style I have now come to associate as Scandinavian. I have no words to praise the actor who plays Birgitte. She is so so powerful and extremely relatable as well. Everything they’ve shown this about this character is very real and identifiable. Right from the clothes she wears and the household dialogues she has to her nervousness and lack of confidence when she ends up being the leader of the majority party. The transition from that Birgitte who has her doubts to the one who displays diplomatic master strokes is just beyond mind blowing.The best part is that she doesn’t try to make a statement anywhere in the show. Politics is her career and she looks at it just as anyone else from a not so high-profile career would do.  I don’t want to divulge much details, but the many complexities of her character just show the understanding of the human pysche that the makers of the show have.

I am completely in awe of the quiet elegance that the culture must have which is apparent from the understated but very genuine emotions throughout. I cannot wait to begin exploring more Scandinavian TV and movies too. I already loved The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and the lead actress yet again deserves a separate post to rave about her sheer brilliance. But the gist is that I loved Borgen and it exposed to the kind of television I hadn’t seen before, all thanks to urbanindianwoman and her many posts about Borgen.