Transcript of my coments on Vicky Frost’s Blog on Borgen Episodes 7 & 8 page 17

1 February 2012 6:53PM

i agree with all the posters about Phillipe’s behaviour. i had to remind myself that Phillipe does have a job for goodness sake. He’s not a full time househusband after all.

Welcome to the real world Phillipe, staying at home to look after kids is important work, whilst it can also be mind bogglingly boring. i would say it’s harder work and more challenging than being “at work”! However Phillipe already works part-time/full-time? & sees other adults, lecturers at Uni as well as students. He dismisses his unannounced visitor Freya as “only 22”. A bit too pat of a reply..

Likewise, Phillipe’s sniping at Birgitte at the official residence. He is taunting her by saying that she doesn’t have the guts to order pizza. Questioning her power even on holiday. When in fact it was he who was being dreadfully rude to the staff not to mention giving a really bad example to his children of how to behave as the 1st family.

The staff were obviously thrilled to bits to have the 1st family to stay. It was really bad form to refuse the planned and cooked menu. You would think any househusband just like any wife would be thrilled to have someone else cook for once!

i agree that their dialogue, particularly over the Freya incident is very odd and stilted. Would Birgitte so immediately jump to the question “are you having an affair?” and would Phillipe really take the suggestion in such a strangely dead pan and non-committal way?

Phillipe’s face during the whole Freya incident had an odd expression i felt. Like he was trying for innocent visage whilst visibly smirking inside.

Considering that the kids weren’t there and he must have known (whether ambushed or not) it was entirely innappropriate for him to be alone with a female student outside of Uni: could the whole thing have been a subterranean strike at Birgitte? A poster here used the term passive-aggressive this would seem to fit.

nb. Would a student Really think it appropriate to just drop in on the husband of the Pm and hang out at his house?!

Regarding the whole gender debate i agree with all the points made here. However i have always been confused about the use of the term “emasculated” in relation to Phillipe being a househusband. Although he isn’t a househusband since he already has a job.

How can a man be “emasculated” by being more at home to care for the children than his wife? Does this idea presume that raising children is a) women’s work and/or b) lesser work? How come nobody talks about women in a similar way? Is this because women have no “masc” to be “ulated”?!

The whole rather tiresomely signposted gender battles are all a little depressing. Since the issue would not have received any screen time or have been remarkable enough to be part of Borgen if it was about a male PM.

i say depressing since i expected Danish Drama to be non-sexist. Yet here we have the formulaic gender bending stories that aren’t really gender bending at all. Since what it all comes down to in the end is that even a woman PM has to trade off sex, like all her other trade offs. Even the PM gives into sex that she doesn’t really want. Wives are still lying back and thinking of England/Denmark..

Birgitte so far has thrown two competent and clever women Minsters, whose transgressions were fairly minor, to the wolves. She could easily have spun an escape for Anne-Sophie just as she did for Kaspar. She just couldn’t be bothered.

Both women seemed to appeal to Birgitte on the basis of either being women or friends. Birgitte is right to refute both as PM. Yet she bows to advice from Bengt and Kaspar and keeps the dark lord Justice Minister on who would appear to have questionably dirty hands..

Birgitte keeps mealy mouthed prince of darkness and doublespeak around. Who is obviously in cahoots with Special branch and has repeatedly defied her, rejecting her authority over him. Hence the silly Sopranos style scene in the semi-darkness and rain. Surely the PM can demand privacy in a room? This just felt like a daft dramatic device to me.

It was meant to be darkly atmospheric & effective but just seemed over stylised, stereotyped even. Borgen isn’t deep nor dark enough to carry this scene off.

Despite it’s sorrowful aspect this week with Kaspar’s unsurprising & belaboured story:Borgen is too bright & breezy and cheerful to fully yet convince of doom. Or is this still holiday atmosphere mixed with slowly increasing increments of Homes & Gardens gone wrong? the ultimate stereotype of perfect family before the perfect storm..

Poor Bengt, relegated to the mid background now but valiantly fighting with his Borgen-gold spectacles glinting, to keep his place in the face of Kaspar’s new position as Birgitte’s right hand man.

i’ve never seen flames in a crematorium. My feeling was that they were sitting at the back of it, in a basement even. Poor Kaspar. That part of the story was all very Wallander for me.

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