Borgen is back: authentic, not educational

You cannot create a state with German politics on screen. While the soap opera parliaments of France (“Baron Noir”), Italy (“1992”) and America (“West Wing”) are worth watching, the Bundestag has been a graveyard of executive television entertainment since “Kanzleramt” with Klaus J. Behrendt as Gerhard F. K. Schroeder – what it has confirmed Anna Luce in “City and Power” or Rosalie Thomas as “The Diplomat” in Brussels definitively after eleven years.

German politics may have historically been discredited since it was usurped between 1933 and 1945 for the purpose of entertainment without Hitler. Maybe talk shows from Lanz to Will are enough to get enough of their presence. Perhaps background diplomacy and the legal bureaucracy is too complex to be played with or without humor. But perhaps we also wish to put a physical distance between the separation of powers and their retelling, which is why the main reason for the shortcomings of German political chains can have to do with “borrowing”.

Three legislative terms ago, fictional politician Birgit Nyborg became the fictional Prime Minister of Denmark and seriously changed her attitudes throughout 30 episodes. She was sometimes a party leader, sometimes a head of government. Besides mother, wife, girlfriend, lover. Between a brief period (as Friedrich Merz) in business, but (unlike him) constantly in the levers of political power. From lever to strength to human trappings, every moment in the first three seasons was more believable than all of the episodes of “Kanzleramt” combined. When Nyborg’s New Democrats won the fictional Danish election on October 31, 2013 over Arte, this could not be the end.

it’s not like that. Nine years later, she is back on screen as Secretary of State. And, as in the cliffhanger on DR1, a lot of Netflix’s contract partners seem as though series creator Adam Price has put the cameras right at Christiansburg Palace, where three of the four powers are in a tight spot not far from the fourth (press). A complex task at a very complex time.

Because while the foreign ministry’s pull factor is trying everything to make Denmark climate neutral, oil deposits are being discovered under Greenland that can make the independent island rich, i.e. independent of the unloved kingdom, and also attract rogue nations like Russia or China. As always in a series that few “House of Cards” consider better due to low influences (and the lack of Kevinspacey), desire and reality, the ideals and opportunism of political processes are in stark contrast.

Nobody is satisfied

Ultimately, what could lift Greenlanders out of their poverty undermines Denmark’s goal of being carbon neutral by 2050. When the Secretary of State tells her assistant about the discovery of fossil fuels, he says “congratulations”, but asks to be sure: “Are we happy with that?” ” We are not! Just as no one in Burgen was ever satisfied with what could be achieved, let alone what had been achieved. That’s exactly the dull luster of a special series that not only continues previous seasons, but enhances them.

Contrary to what is usual in the genre, a small country with a huge Arctic region does not turn the material of democratic negotiation processes under the spell of capitalism into bloated political thrillers (USA) or introductory seminars on parliamentarism (FRG). Instead, “borrowing” absorbs human tension from the state’s routine, interpreting in passing how international politics works and initially declaring “the future female.” Where not only the future of Denmark, but the already present is female.

In Christiansborg Palace, Prime Minister Krug (Johann-Louis Schmidt) holds all the reins that her foreign representative Nyborg (Sids Knudsen) sometimes loses or vice versa, something that her former adviser Catherine Wonsmarck (Birgitt Hogwart Sorensen) reports as the head of the division of TV station 1. In contrast to German literature, which has only parodied politically influential women since the departure of Angela Merkel, Norse women sit so naturally at the control centers of all four forces that a series like “Bürgen” doesn’t even need male criminals as a miracle-proof. Therefore, Catherine’s lover, Soren (Lars Mikkelsen) and co-worker Fris (Soren Malling), Nyborg’s ex-husband Philip (Michael Berkegard) or their son, environmental activist Magnus (Emil Poulsen) are allowed to develop stubbornness.

But in the struggle for Greenland’s oil and Denmark’s influence, they sit on the sidelines while the game’s protagonists play. However, “borrowing” is only original because they do not compulsively adopt masculine patterns of behavior. From time to time, Birgit Nyborg fights with Claire’s half-hardest bandages for Frank Underwood. Unlike the card-building house on the same channel, her Danish counterpart is allowed to show vulnerability – for example, when she has to air her T-shirt before she appears on TV or insists she never cancels appointments with her children.

So much to claim.

Because even in the fourth season there are rules that must be broken – not only in principle, but in practice. This power of humanistic imaginative realism makes Burgen an exception to the political chain: authentic, not educational. Captivating deeply rather than being eye-catching. witty in a discreet manner. Netflix then replaced the Dangerous Ropes subtitle “Dangerous Ropes” with “Power and Fame”, which is a bit closer to the original title “Riget, Magten og Æren”. If we get any closer, we will have no illusions, it will not happen.

Season 4 of “Borgen” is now available on Netflix.

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