In Review

Borgen: Power & Glory review – the return of Birgitte Nyborg

The hit Danish political drama is back with a ‘gripping reboot’

Nearly ten years after it last appeared on our screens, the hit Danish political drama Borgen is back, said Hugo Rifkind in The Times. Prepare, once again, to be thrilled by the power struggles of “proportionally elected social democrats who all believe almost, but not exactly, the same about everything”. In the new series, Borgen: Power & Glory (now on Netflix), Sidse Babett Knudsen returns as the idealistic Birgitte Nyborg, this time a junior coalition partner and foreign minister under a new female PM. The stakes are slightly higher than in previous series: the plot turns on the discovery of oil in Greenland, a Danish territory. 

This “gripping reboot” is more international in flavour, too, said Jasper Rees in The Daily Telegraph – it “even presciently invokes a crisis in Ukraine”. But there is, “of course, a tasty side-snack of feral coalition feuding”. Nyborg, now a few years older, divorced, and with an empty nest, finds herself at odds with the younger prime minister Signe Kragh (Johanne Louise Schmidt). There’s an amusing moment when, at a rare moment of consensus, “they face the press in identical coats”. 

“Much has changed since we last visited Borgen, in 2014,” said Stuart Jeffries in The Guardian. “Britain’s Scandi love affair is over.” No one’s wearing Faroe Island jumpers and talking about hygge any more. But “it is lovely to have Borgen back” – a grown-up show about politicians who are both very “Machiavellian” and deeply principled. “Like a 2022 version of The West Wing, it is a fictional antidote to unbearable reality.”

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