(This one is a bit later than I’d hoped – a lot on my planner at the moment)
Sarah Lund has hung up her gun, but BBC4 isn’t done with the Danish television. Oh no, not at all. We’re back in the turbulent world of Danish politics.
After the first season where she sacrificed a marriage for a premiership, the now Birgitte Nyborg is two years into her reign as Statsminister of the Kingdom of Denmark. Meanwhile, Katrine Fønsmark is no longer working for TV1 (she quit over an editorial decision), but for the tabloid newspaper run by former Labour leader Michael Laugesen, a man for whom journalistic scruples do not fit in the same elevator. Together (well not really together), they experience problems at home and abroad, ranging from the deaths of Danish soldiers in Afghanistan to the loss of Nyborg’s majority in the Danish legislature to Birgitte’s daughter Laura) suffering from mental health problems.
The ten episodes of this run are nearly all excellent – although I can see the objections to the two-part Africa episode, which has a distinct triumphalist feel that reminds one of some of the poorer episodes of The West Wing and some plot developments are clearly telegraphed (Laura’s hair reminded me of another mentally ill person from Scandi fiction – Lisbeth Salander). The writing is superb, there’s a lot of humour and you feel for the characters, especially when we discover some of Kasper Juul’s backstory. Indeed, this show has many great characters from all the parties and the press – such as Svend Åge Saltum, the bigoted yet comedic leader of the Freedom Party (think he’s played by a comic actor) or Hanne Holm, an alcoholic TV1 journalist.
What I also really like is the portrayal of Denmark – a country similar and yet different to my own.
Another superb season of a brilliant Danish import. We will be getting Season 3 and from the great big spoiler on the Guardian news story reporting its acquisition (Tak for that – not!), it will be very interesting.
It’s a shame that our political culture is far too cynical to make something like this – instead we get the inferior new version of Yes, Prime Minister…