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DR, the people who brought you Forbrydelsen, now bring you The West Wing. In Denmark.

"Borgen" (English= "The Castle", referring to Christiansborg, the centre of the Danish government. DR market this with the overseas title Government, but neither the BBC or Link TV chose to use that name when transmitting it in English) is a Danish Government Procedural by Adam Price, running since 2010. It has been critically acclaimed for its realistic fictional parties and its lack of strawman stereotypes, getting very high ratings in Denmark. The main character is Prime Minister Birgitte Nyborg Christensen, recently divorced from her husband and now trying to balance politics, personal problems and her two kids.

Other characters are Katrine Fønsmark, a surprisingly intelligent journalist with a job at a the newspaper Ekspressen (think The Sun) which she highly dislikes, her fellow journalist Hanne Holm, an equally bright, but alcoholic Team Mom, Kasper Juul, Birgitte's brilliant media consultant, still in love with his ex-girlfriend, Katrine, Bent Sejrø, Birgitte's mentor and Team Dad, who recently got a stroke, and Michael Laugesen, the Ekspressen editor-in-chief and Manipulative Bastard.

A third season is now in production in Denmark for late 2012 and NBC is looking at a remake.

Tropes:

  • Abusive Parents: Kasper was sexually abused by his father.
  • The Alcoholic: Hanna Holm, at least in the first two episodes.
  • Armoured Closet Gay: Höxenhaven.
  • European Brevity
  • The Cynic: Kasper.
  • Fictional Political Party: There's the Moderates(who are social liberals, and slightly left-leaning economically), the Labour Party, the Liberals (who are right-wing) and the Freedom Party, a decidedly conservative, Christian, nationalist party. The Freedom Party and the Labour Party (in Britain, that is) actually exist, but they are not identical to the fictional parties.
    • The seven parties are not the real-life ones in Denmark, but some mirror the actual ones go a degree and they also seem to represent an simplified left-right "sliding scale" that's easier for the viewer to understand: Nyborg's centre-left coalition consists of the Solidarity Party (hard-left, led by Anna-Sophie Linderkrone), the Greens (left-wing/environmentalist, led by Amir Diwan), the Labour Party (left/centre-left, but modernising under Laugesen) and her own Moderate Party (centre-left/centre). On the right, meanwhile, are the Liberals (centre-right/right), the New Right (right-wing, led by Yvonne Kjær) and the Freedom Party (hard-right)
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Kasper doesn't take Kristine's relationship with Benjamin well.
    • Also Birgitte, who becomes suspicious of Phillip's (innocent) relationship with one of his female students.
  • Happy Marriage Charade: The Hesselboes. And by the end of series 1, the Nyborgs. The latter narrowly avert it by divorcing.
  • Hey, It's That Guy!: Forbrydelsen fans will notice both of Sarah Lund's previous partners in regular roles, Theis Birk Larsen as a Defence Minister, and a paralysed murder victim in a brief but memorable bit as an undertaker.
  • Hot Scoop: Katrine, who bears a noticeable resemblance to Billie Piper.
  • House Husband: Phillip. And of course no-one bats an eyelid. Because this is Denmark. And Denmark rocks.
  • I Have No Justice Minister: Birgitte's reaction when she discovers that Höx leaked a recording of Anne Sophie contemplating abduction in order to save his job.
  • Informed Flaw: Kasper has a reputation as a heart-breaker, but on-screen he shows interest in a grand total of three women, only one of whom he ever actually had a relationship with.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: Birgitte and Bent.
  • I Was Young and Needed the Money: What one minister basically says when it's revealed she was a lingerie model when younger.
  • Maiden Name Debate: Birgitte Nyborg Christensen revets to her maiden name of Birgitte Nyborg at the end of the first season.
  • Married to the Job: As Bent reveals at the end of series 1, virtually everyone in Christiansborg suffers from this to some extent. Divorces and open marriages are common among the politicians.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Balding strong-man president of a former Soviet state with a questionable human rights record and significant clout on the future of Danish energy production, anyone?
    • Not to mention the Danish captain of industry.
  • Politically-Incorrect Villain: Saltum, who is incredibly racist, and quite redneck-ish. Also, Laugesen, who's homophobic. (but left-wing, weirdly enough)
  • Power Hair: Averted with Birgitte, who has long hair.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Birgitte herself, and also Torben Friis (mostly).
  • Right Behind Me: In the second episode, Birgitte is summoned to see the Queen of Denmark so she can be appointed "Royal Investigator" (which means she can start negotiating a coalition). There's a delay and Birgitte wonders how long the... certain word for a woman.. is going to be, as a footman arrives to tell her that Her Majesty is ready.
  • Ruritania: One episode revolves around the visit of the president of the former Soviet republic of Turgisia.
  • The Ophelia: Laura.
  • The War on Terror: A central plot point in two episodes of series 1, which concern the question of CIA rendition flights and expansion of the military budget, respectively.
  • When You Coming Home, Mor?
  • Will They or Won't They?: Katrine and Kasper.
  • Workaholic: Birgitte morphs into one of these over the course of the series. In her defence, she is the Prime Minister. Also Kristine, although not to the same extent.
  • Your Terrorists Are Our Freedom Fighters: According to Bayanov.
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