(Netflix) needs a spot of romance. The original series was just , the Danish for castle, nickname for the seat of parliament in Copenhagen. It was with better dialogue and funky chairs.
followed the rise of Birgitte Nyborg to the position of Danish prime minister. It was Shakespeare without the murders, full of plot twists and betrayal and disappointments.
Now it’s back, withadded to the title, to con Americans into thinking it’s like the franchise. (It ain’t.) Ten years after the original series ended, Birgitte Nyborg is now Foreign Minister in a new coalition. The other pillar of the series, Katrine Fønsmark, is back as head of a TV news channel. They’re a bit less idealistic and bit more into the power and the glory.
If that sounds a bit dull and political, well it is and it isn’t. It isn’t because the writing is big on Shakespeare, where it’s all about personal vanity and ambition, with tons of conniving. It works because the actresses playing Nyborg and Fonsmark are that good, it feels like you are just following them around, seeing things as they see them.
This time around, the story centres on Greenland, which seems to be half-ruled by Denmark. The uppity Greenlanders have discovered oil and are up for drilling for every last drop so they can become super-rich. Nyborg is against it for environmental reasons, which is grand for her and most Danes, what with their high standard of living and funky chairs. It makes you wonder what the Irish would do in that situation. (My money is on pumping oil around the clock and buying a Premier League club.)
The real tension here is between Nyborg and her boss, Prime Minister Signe Kragh. It isn’t that either of them is right or wrong, although Kragh has that whiff of smugness you get from Chelsea Clinton.
The tension is personal. They don’t like each other. Kragh is in her 40s and a rising star; Nyborg is in her 50s and having trouble with hot flushes. She’s also having trouble with the fact that she isn’t Prime Minister anymore.
My wife disagrees, but I think it’s good we see Nyborg leaving meetings to try and cool herself down during a hot flush. I’ve literally never seen a woman doing that before on the telly. (Or in real life.) Showing this on-screen helps get closer to Nyborg the person, which has always been a strength in.
There are some juicy plotlines hatched in the first episode. Nyborg’s son is a vegan who likes to steal pigs and set them free. There are some shady Russian corporations involved in the drilling up in Greenland.
The only thing missing is a spot of romance. I get it that the point is Nyborg now works around the clock and is too busy for a personal life. But they always allowed characters some fun outside work in earlier seasons. That’s all that’s missing inso far.