these were the 20 best tv shows of the past year

The morning has sat diligently in front of the tube this year, but also seen online and on-demand. Here are our top twenty TV shows from the past year.

Jan Debackere, Peter Dumont, Ciska Hoet, Elmo Le van and Sasha Van der Speeten

20. If You Only Knew (Canvas)

After the ground-breaking first series on child abuse, Hilde Van Mieghem continues to make quality television on the theme of domestic violence. In 2021 she zoomed in on intimate partner violence, last year Canvas showed three episodes revolving around families where the children go off track. Well-documented, secretive, yet penetrating: Van Mieghem precisely punctures the myth of the perfect family.

19. The ideal world (canvas)

Ella Leyers made us smell some crap as a presenter The ideal world. Well, but a month passed before she had made her predecessor Jan Jaap van der Wal forget. The satirical sketches also reached the level of the heyday again. The drunken housewives at the bar, the funeral tunes of Roland the charmer, the fired bee Homethe one-room family: enough flowery talk this year.

18. 25 years canvas

Televising a real hall quiz: it could have been one of the worst ideas of the year, because nothing is more boring than watching such a hall quiz. But lo and behold, at Canvas they turned it into something fun in their best tradition. 25 years Canvas was a trip down memory lane, with the nostalgic revisiting of many programs, fragments and faces that you had long forgotten. On to another 25 years, but then hopefully the channel will again get the space and attention it deserves within VRT.


Team The ideal world in ’25 years of Canvas’.Image VRT

17. Bake Off (Play4)

With the better pastry work, it is primarily about getting the right ingredients in the right quantity in your dough. That very mix is ​​included Baked off − regardless of whether it is the adult or junior version − okay. Colorful candidates, slightly grumpy jury members and Wim Opbrouck and Jeroom, who as presenters make it all taste perfect.

16. Only Elvis Merchandise (Canvas)

Face it, who wouldn’t want to be dissected by Thomas Vanderveken today? Also in season 12 of Elvis he dived with a genuine interest in the past, present and future of the most diverse guests. The episode with Joris Hessels grabbed you by the throat. The one with Lia Van Bekhoven, David Van Reybrouck and Marie Vinck forced you to the edge of your seat. No one resisted Vanderveken’s charm and craftsmanship.

15. Down the Road (One)

Another funny and heartwarming season of the series, where Dieter Coppens and Saar Pelgrims go on a journey with young people with Down syndrome. This time, the Coppens gang went to Thailand, where they were introduced to ladyboy cabarets and bamboo rafts, and received hugs and kisses from elephants. It is something different from your holiday in the German Mosel region.

Down the road.  Image © VRT

Down the road.Image © VRT

14. A night at the museum (canvas)

Value seekers’ wet dream cast in a TV format: Thomas Vanderveken camped with celebrities under one of the masterpieces at the Royal Museum of Fine Arts in Antwerp. Vanderveken guided his guest and the viewer through the universe of Rubens, Fouquet and Ensor. It sounds like bacon in the mouth of snobs, but A night at the museum was anything but elite television.

13. Always Free (Play4)

It is no sinecure to paint an accurate picture of the Belgian prison system, but this series succeeds brilliantly. Both the prisoners and the staff are portrayed in an unusually safe way: empathetic, but without obscuring why the detainees are being held. Always free also subtly puts on the agenda the extent of the consequences of the underinvestment in the detention system.

12. The Masked Singer (VTM)

A singing radish, a rabbit with political ambitions or a perfectly synchronized pair of robots. Who believed the hypnotic effect of The Masked Singer would have been trained after a season it was worth it. Agree, the pace is very slow, the tips are pointless and Niels Destadsbader’s jokes are lame. But at the same time, this is still a very entertaining dress-up.

The Masked Singer.  Image DPG Media

The Masked Singer.Image DPG Media

11. Mister Vanneste (One)

A huge teacher shortage, substandard PISA assessments and students increasingly falling below the desired level. There is no shortage of disaster reports about education these days. Tijs Vanneste, himself a special education teacher in a previous life, went to take a closer look at the teacher’s room with a camera crew in the wake. With an enlightening view of the educational problem as a result.

10. Plan A (VRT MAX)

Good idea, this web series about rooting Belgian rappers and R&B singers. Work also with a great sense of poetry. There was Lyna, who works as a cleaning lady and demonizes her conservative Moroccan father with her sexy R&B. There was IKRAAAN who sang boldly about her mental issues. Rapper Shaka Shams mainly wanted to make his mother proud, and Grizmo from Limburg his dog-loving father. Magnificent!

9. Other’s business (one)

Kamal Kharmach is pretty much the economics teacher you always wanted: he explains in an understandable way Other people’s business explains some basic economic principles and applies them to the distressed stores. Never condescending, always straight forward and with a joke where possible. Not always with the desired result, but very often. With a little help from the big shop window, Een is too, but that does not change the fact that the program shows that information and entertainment can go hand in hand.

Metis from Belgium.  Image VRT

Metis from Belgium.Image VRT

8. Metis from Belgium (Canvas)

It became clear again how disgusting the Belgian colonial policy was Metis from Belgium from the production house De Chinezen. Based on emotional interviews, this documentary series outlines the trauma of metis: children of white colonies and African mothers who were sent to our country in the 1950s. The dehumanization, their misplaced guilt, the identity crises: it was humbling television.

7. Winter Hour (Canvas)

For years, a good book program seemed like a true mission impossible for public television. And then suddenly there was Winter time, the program with perhaps the simplest pitch ever: a chair with Wim Helsen on it, a dog and a studio guest who comes with a text. The result is pure chemistry.

Eight seasons later, this gem is still not boring. It is a pleasure to be able to close the dark days with two people who deeply and yet joyfully analyze why a text affects them. After the problems of the day, you are reminded for ten minutes of what makes life worth living: beauty, comfort, a search for meaning. Winter time is balm for the soul. Bring on the next eight seasons.

6. Eighties for teenagers (1)

Steven Van Herreweghe guided teenagers through a decade they know only from hearsay and occasionally from an eighties revival orchestrated by TikTok. The result was a fine archive program that evoked the smell of nostalgia in the elderly and periodically raised the frown of the young. Entertaining, and also interesting to discover what has (not) changed between the 1980s and now.

Hotel Romance.  Image © VRT

Hotel Romance.Image © VRT

5. Hotel Romance (1)

The safety net for bronzed over 65s who – although vital, beautiful and well-articulated – have made the choice of Temptation Island just didn’t make it. Even after transferring from Play4 to One Hotel Romance a highly effective workout for the laughing muscles, this time with Gloria Monserez, Sven De Leijer and Philippe Geubels as cupids on duty. If this dating format taught the viewer anything, it was that sass has no age limit.

4. The Mole (Play4)

It seemed like the mole was hiding in the production team for the show this year. Muscle tears and fractures decimated the number of mole hunters, and on top of it all, the saboteur himself gave up after four episodes. But the creators, who primarily profiled themselves as fanatical control freaks in recent seasons, demonstrated in the tenth season that they also master the art of improvisation. The only downside: the live finale, which lacked the cinematic quality we’ve come to expect from this type of broadcast.

The mole.  Picture game 4

The mole.Picture game 4

3. Viva la feta (Play4)

A celebrity guest is taken out of their comfort zone indefinitely in the hope that it will make them a little looser or more open-hearted. It’s a recipe that’s been used successfully in TV land for years. But by letting Jani Kazaltzis and Otto-Jan Ham – almost the most unlikely duo in television history – get to work on it without a script worthy of the name, Viva la feta surprisingly fresh television on.

2. FC United City Pirates (Canvas)

A football documentary about much more than football. Dentraal is the promising team of City Pirates, the Antwerp club that offers shelter to underprivileged youths from the problem areas, with Yves Kabwe as coach annex’s social worker trying to keep young talents on the right path on their way to De Droom. If a statue is allowed to rise on the left bank, let it be Kabwe’s.

The process no one wanted.  Image Streamz

The process no one wanted.Image Streamz

1. The process no one wanted (Streamz)

You can only watch this program about the case against TV producer Bart De Pauw with your mouth open. Because it makes tangible in an incomparable way how transgressive behavior works, but also out of awe of the brave testimonies and out of respect for the team behind the camera. Because only the best documentary producers succeed in making this kind of honest television based on a mediatized process about which everything seemed to have already been said.

Without adding a splash of sensationalism The process no one wanted adds exactly what this whole saga originally lacked: insight into the problem and a reaction from the victims. Mandatory viewing for anyone who thinks the #MeToo pendulum has swung too far.

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