Watching: A Superb Danish Political Drama

«Borgen» is finally streaming.

Author Headshot

By Margaret Lyons

Television Critic

Dear Watchers,

AMC announced today that “The Walking Dead” will end with an 11th season, which will air over two years and include 24 episodes. There will also be a spinoff about Carol and Daryl and perhaps an anthology series, so there will still be plenty of zombie lore to go around. More than plenty, some might say!

See you Friday.


I want a great drama

Sidse Babett Knudsen, center, in “Borgen.”Mike Kollöffel, Courtesy of DR TV


When to watch: Now, on Netflix.

This Danish political drama (in Danish with subtitles, or dubbed) has been on dozens of critics’ lists of the best foreign shows since it premiered in 2010, and now it is finally streaming on a major platform. Fans of “The West Wing,” “Madam Secretary,” the more chill parts of “House of Cards” and “Scandal” and of Scandinavian dramas: This is your new fave.


“Borgen” follows the unexpected rise of Birgitte Nyborg (Sidse Babett Knudsen), Denmark’s first female prime minister, as she embraces her new role, attempts to garner support from a squabbling parliament and grapples with her job’s affects on her family life.

The show’s political story lines occur in a thrilling fantasy world where the concept of disgrace still exists, and part of Birgitte’s appeal to voters and viewers is that she’s a genuinely decent person — not a saint, but not a fraud, and very much in the Laura Roslin of “Battlestar Galactica” model of leadership.

Alongside the political material, “Borgen” is a grounded, rich domestic drama, and Birgitte’s seemingly #relationshipgoals marriage becomes something much messier and more fraught. Some of the other romantic relationships on the show have a sudsier but more familiar energy.

So far there are only three 10-episode seasons of “Borgen,” but Netflix announced this spring that the show’s fourth season will premiere in 2022. I can’t wait.



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