Denmark’s Borgen Finally Arrives

March 26, 2013 | By

The ongoing release of Sweden’s epic Wallander series is further proof that North America is now a major market for Nordic / Scandinavian tales about politics, policing, corruption, and ordinary lives turned upside down.

Perhaps the first signal was the success of Stieg Larsson’s Girl with the Dragon Tattoo novels, followed by the Swedish film versions, and the U.S. remake. In between the publication and release of Larsson’s stories was the BBC adaptation of Henning Makell’s Wallander tales starring Kenneth Branagh, which subsequently resulted in an ongoing wave of DVD releases featuring the original Swedish series.

The meteoric success of Denmark’s The Killing / Forbrydelsen [M] convinced U.S. cable network AMC to produce an English language remake, but while that show was in stasis after a poorly received second season, the Brits were enjoying the original series on DVD and Blu-ray.

The success of the original series’ third season  perhaps convinced AMC to restart the American version, while Sweden and Denmark exploited their cultural differences and physical proximity with The Bridge / Broen, in which police from both countries must work together when a body is found on a bridge right on the border – a concept seen previously, er, in the Ontario / Quebec buddy cop action comedy Bon Cop, Bad Cop (2006).

If Denmark’s The Killing shares a mood and stylistic connection to the equally grim and nihilistic Canadian series Durham County [M], then Borgen should provoke further discussion on whether we in Canuckle-land have more in common with the north European country that sits close to bigger and more economically and politically influential neighbours like ourselves.

Newly released in North America on DVD by Mhz Networks, the review of Borgen: Season 1 [M] is now up, and soon I’ll have a review of the second season, although coming this weekend is a review of the third (and likely final) season of Denmark’s The Killing (which, quick frankly, kicks ass).



Mark R. Hasan, Editor ( Main Site / Mobile Site )


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