Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|The Kingdom - Series One and Two|
Actors: Udo Kier, Ernst-Hugo Järegård, Kirsten Rolffes, Peter Mygind, Søren Pilmark
Director: Lars von Trier
Genres: Indie & Art House, Horror, Television, Mystery & Suspense
The Kingdom: Series One and Two includes both volumes of Lars von Trier?s acclaimed supernatural thriller. The Kingdom is Denmark?s most technologically advanced hospital, but inside its mazelike corridors, bizarre and oth... more »
Two thirds of a trilogy
Genevieve Hayes | Australia | 04/06/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This set contains the first two seasons of "The Kingdom". Lars Von Triers made "The Kingdom" with the intention that it would be a trilogy of mini-series, but unfortunately, after the second season, both Ernst-Hugo Jaregard (Dr. Helmer) and Kirsten Rolffes (Mrs. Drusse), that is, the two main actors, died, putting a stop to Season Three (and to be perfectly honest, I wouldn't like to see a season without these actors). As a result of this, few of the story lines introduced in Season 1 are resolved in Season 2, and the ending comprises a number of cliff-hangers that Von Triers, presumably, intended to resolve in Season 3. Having said that, "The Kingdom" is an excellent series, and is one of the best TV series that I have ever seen.
"The Kingdom" is set in Denmark's top hospital, which is run by a group of arrogant doctors, who operate a secret society from the hospital's basement, and is haunted by an assortment of ghosts. Season one of "The Kingdom", which was later remade for American television as "Kingdom Hospital", centres around Mrs. Drusse (a Miss Marple-like old lady) and her quest to put to rest the ghost of a young girl who died at The Kingdom many years earlier. Sub-plots include Prof. Bondo's quest to obtain a rare sarcoma; a bizarre pregnancy; and Dr. Helmer's (possibly the most arrogant doctor to ever appear on television) attempts to avoid a malpractice lawsuit.
Season 2 starts off immediately following the end of Season 1. Highlights of this series include Dr. Hook turning into a patient-hating psychopath after a rather unpleasant incident (I found Hook to be smug and self-righteous in Season 1, so really enjoyed this change of character); the revelation of Aage Kruger's true nature; ambulance racing; and a greater presence of Bulder (a hospital orderly) and Mogge (a medical student). There is also a greater focus on the occult in this season, and I found this season to be both sillier and scarier than the previous season.
In my opinion Season 1 is the better of the two seasons, I found the first two episodes of Season 2 to be a bit tedious (I didn't like the sub-plot about Prof. Moesgaard seeking psychiatric help or the one about Judith and her baby, at all). However, the final two episodes more than make up for them, and by the end, I really did want to see more.
Fans of series such as "Twin Peaks" and "Kingdom Hospital" will definitely enjoy "The Kingdom", but don't go in expecting a satisfactory conclusion or you'll be disappointed.
Addictive, complex plot - eerily funny independent horror
Moritz Hau | New York, NY USA | 12/16/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"For any Twin Peaks fans out there - order this masterpiece right away. Has the same exact qualities as the David Lynch classic:
-Complex, addictive storyline
-Directed by one of the maverick masters of independent cinema
-Darkly funny and, when it comes down to it, not really scary most of the time
-Trademark cinematography - grainy and sepia Handycam effects
-Incomplete - this ends after 2 of what should have been 3 or 4 series
The last point sounds off-putting, but I haven't met anyone who hasn't thoroughly enjoyed this. When this was filmed, Lars von Trier was famous only in his native Denmark. The camerawork is a lot more easily digestible than in some of his later works, and his typical broodiness is balanced by dark Scandinavian humour - totally addictive."
The Hospital Madness
Spahr Michael | 08/20/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Lars von Trier's TV show The Kingdom (Riget) is one of the best thing the Danish director has ever done. Funny. Exciting. Hilarious. Crazy. Scary.
If you have ever worked in a hospital you have to watch this show. The kingdom is not just the name of the hospital, but it is also all about the little kingdoms that exist within the walls of a hospital.
Since Twin Peaks there has never been a TV show that brilliantly mixes a ghost story and absurd comedy."
The Northern Light | Europa, Close to Ultima Thule | 03/21/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
"My fiancée bought this for my birthday, after I once said I'd like to see what all the fuzz was about in regards to "Riget" ("The Kingdom"), back in the 90's. For some reason I never saw it back when it rolled over the Scandinavian TV-screens, yet perhaps it was for the best, since this is decidedly not a series for children. This was probably Lars von Trier's big breakthrough and his biggest success, and he has put his distinctive mark all over the show: the mixture of thriller, horror, mystery, romance and comedy.
The story is centred on a hospital in Denmark: "Riget" ("The Realm", directly translated), and a crew of doctors, nurses, patients and various other persons and forces affiliated with the hospital. The hospital turns out to be a place where the forces from below and those above meet, colliding into the world of humans. A little girl that died in the 1920's keeps turning up in the visions of an ageing hypochondriac psychic: Miss Drusse, to the frustrations of her son, Bulder, an orderly at the hospital. Some medical students are having a plot of their own, to manage their exams in the easiest way. Doctors are arguing: the Swedish doctor Stig Helmer on the run from something in his native Sweden collides with pretty much every other employee at the hospital to great comical effect.
It is quite hard to describe the plot of the show, but if you ever liked Twin Peaks - The Definitive Gold Box Edition (The Complete Series), then this should be the show for you. The filming is gritty, the marks of both von Trier and the 90's when it comes to the quality of the filming itself really shows through. That being said, it is a film with a more or less all-European cast, and several great actors are there. The series is a bit disgusting at times with its gore and such, so this is not for the faint of heart, be warned! Four stars for this bizarre Scandinavian 90's-show."