Again with the sweater
23 Jan 2012
Sarah Lund is in British Vogue. Borgen is a BBC hit. Brits love Danish tv shows thanks to strong female characters. And to a sweater with special powers.
Someone once said that Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest with Cary Grant, is not about what happens to a guy. It is about what happens to the guy’s suit.
It’s still not settled who can take credit for the grey suit Cary Grants wears (out) in that gorgeous, hectic thriller and which was the inspiration for Mad Men’s costume designer Janie Bryant when creating Don Draper’s charater.
Sarah Lund’s chunky knitwear in The Killing is about to become almost as famous. Indeed, critics have stated, that the fact that she does not need to inhabit a man’s suit in order to face up to – and exceed – her male colleagues is one of the main reasons she has become a role model.
Perhaps The Killing might actually be not about an estranged female detective and single mother who solves a hainess crime, but about a sweater with something resembling super powers. Indeed it has demonstrated something similar for Faroese Gudrun&Gudrun.
Jokes aside, Sofie Gråbøl fully deserves to be celebrated for exporting a powerful female icon. According to The Guardian’s Maggie Brown the strong women characters are the reason for the hype around The Killing – and as of recently also around Borgen..
Borgen, which means Danish parliament, centers the first female prime minister in Denmark. The story line famously preceeded the election that in reality made the phenomenon come true and brought Helle Thorning-Schmidt to power in Denmark.
The story line deals with the price a woman pays for power with regards to her private life. Not surprisingly millions of women can relate to that.
Meryl Streep told me, when I interviewed her on The Iron Lady, that she and her friends used to think it was about ’seconds’ before the US would have a female leader, now that Britain’s ’old boys’ club’ had elected Margaret Thatcher in the 70s. I wonder what might happen, if Borgen was remade as West Wing with a woman in the oval office.
The producers of Borgen are surprised that what they thought was a very Danish show was exportable.
Today, the tv show is mightier than the sword.