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Snowbound: Laura Ingalls Wilder, Borgen, and Beowulf

February 12, 2015

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Probably in Little House on the Prairie, they got snowed in like this all the time, like when they lived in that little cave they dug out of the earth, though I think that was in On The Banks of Plum Creek. They had to shovel their way out the door to go chip ice off the water and milk the cow and do the brave and wholesome things people did back then.

The bright spot is that our power’s still on and we started watching Borgen. You don’t know Borgen? The TV show about the Danish parliamentary system where a middle aged female politician suddenly becomes prime minister? I know, I know —  Yes, it is set in Denmark. Yes, there are subtitles. Yes, it is always dark and snowing. Yes, you have to figure out the intricacies of the Danish parliamentary system, which are fairly opaque. But you get to watch the wonderful main character steer an idealistic course through deep political waters while also negotiating with her husband and two kids. So far, there’s been political betrayals right and left, a sudden death, a secret abortion, and stealth military operations. There’s also been a dress crisis — what to wear to the first big public appearance (she’s gotten too fat for any of her dresses) — and a when-to-go-Christmas-shopping-with-the-family crisis.

Critics have compared Borgen to West Wing, but I think it has more in common with Beowulf. It’s dark. It’s grim. It’s nordic. It’s strange. There’s no long walks down the glassy corridors of the White House. Instead, there’s unknown enemies hiding in dark marshes and mysterious strangers acting inexplicably.

More snow this weekend.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. February 13, 2015 5:06 pm

    Funny that you mention Laura Ingalls Wilder. I love her books and have been considering re-reading “The Long Winter” this weekend, as the winds howl around Cape Ann. Stay warm and snug.

  2. February 14, 2015 10:34 am

    As one who has watched all three seasons of Borgen – I can safely say that you will have to thanks the gods for that snow that kept you in and offered an opportunity to watch the show.

    Obviously, no can be really pleased about excessive snowfall, but the snow comes to our homes and sidewalks and streets all alone, or by itself.

    The opportunity for some stay at home entertainment is just a perk from the snowfall.

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