Borgen TV series is an open sandwich short of a picnic

The Scandi pollie noir drama, Borgen, showing at the moment on SBS, is more popular than a Kevin Rudd tweet. If you google Borgen criticism you will find virtually none. Which is why it is important I right this wrong today.

Borgen is the most boring, script-by-numbers, humourless piece of TV since Celebrity Masterchef.

Here is a brief recap: in the State of Denmark, female prime minister is elected out of the blue. Despite her talent and dedication she has problems at work. Her husband used to be nice but he gets cheesed (jarlsberged) off because she is prime minister and he’s not so he takes up with younger model blond who her kids really like. Then cut to shot of prime minister coming home to an empty house and feeling overwhelmed by the housework and cooking she still has to do.

Queue subplot: her media advisor has the hots for an allegedly hard-hitting hot journo but they have the onscreen chemistry of a toothpaste commercial.

Here are some questions I have about Borgen:

– Why is the Prime Minister doing her own housework, cooking and laundry?

– Why is it so hard for the Prime Minister to source childcare?

– Why is there no security at her house?

– Who wrote this appalling script?

Sure, a female prime minister is still relatively new TV. Sure Denmark is a politically correct wonderland with great design, furniture and tans, but it not in the business of comedy. (Which also explains Princess Mary). Be that as it may, there is no escaping the fact that this is humourless, dry and strangely unbelievable TV.

Borgen is so dull it makes televised golf look like Gone with the Wind. If you want political intrigue, a gripping storyline, sexual tension, sexual politics and a epic revenge story, look no further than Canberra.


Gyrating Giro Keeps me Spinning Around

It’s on again. The Race for Pink.

That’s right, the Giro d’Italia, which is Italian for Tour de France, is back on SBS 2 once again.

Each May around 200 world-class cyclists battle it on a tour of Italy, with their view firmly fastened on the bum in front of them.

The Giro D’Italia is the precursor to the Tour de France, but in my view, it’s better. Why? It’s more casual, more chaotic, the riders are fresher as it’s earlier in the season, the scenery is fabuloso and … they wear pink.

That’s right, none of this pansy yellow jersey stuff of the Tour de France. In the Giro d’Italia, the leader of each stage gets to don a pink jersey. That’s why it’s dubbed as the Race for Pink.

What I love about the Giro is the chance to take in Italy’s sumptuous scenic and cultural delights.┬áBellissimo men. But only if you like to see fit, athletic, tanned, European guys (and the odd top Aussie) in lycra. If you don’t like that, stick to watching badminton.

But back to the Giro. It is amazing more people don’t know about it. Watching a peloton (do you like my new expert lingo?) race downhill and then sprint, seemingly on top of each other, to the finish line each night is adrenalin on steroids.

Also, not unlike religion, there is the mystery of how the whole thing works. It seems whoever wins a particular stage, gets to wear a coloured jersey. There’s a pink jersey, a red jersey, a blue jersey, a white jersey and a King of the Mountain Jersey (which I think might double up as the blue jersey but who would know?)

I have been watching the Giro for a few years and still am no closer to figuring it out. But with scenery (in all its forms) like this, does it really matter?

If you’re interested (you know you want to), it’s on SBS 2 every night at 6pm.