New year, new series. But first let’s look back one more time. Which series from last year scored high with readers, Mark?
“We have been asking for a number of years Volkskrantreaders to vote – in addition to their favorite movies – on what they see as the best series of the year. What they pick up can sometimes differ from the editor’s choice, but this year it’s pretty much the same. both readers and Volkskrantseries panel Fortuyn’s year the best series of the past year.
‘Furthermore, the overall success of the Dutch series is striking in this top 25. Eyeballs is extremely popular and occupies fourth place. And also series like disaster flight and The terrible eighties is highly rated. That says a lot about the great leap forward that Dutch series have taken in a broad sense. There is clearly some kind of battle going on with the international streaming parties, where Videoland and the public broadcaster simply have to invest more in series to maintain the public’s attention.
“You can really see that there is more budget. More budget does not necessarily mean only filming in more locations or more spectacle. It also means: more time, time to write a script or to perfect scenes. And so it was clearly seen by our readers.
Still fun to mention: Eyeballs ended up so high among readers – much higher than on the editor’s list – because they en masse say how recognizable this series is. Eyeballs is about families with growing children living in an average Dutch town. There are all kinds of recognizable problems involved: neighbor disputes, marital problems, parenting problems. And of course many things are going well. Readers say: this is one of the few series we watch with the kids. ‘A real generation connector’, a reader calls this series.
It promises something this year. Which international series finished high?
‘That’s number two Better call Saul. I find that quite surprising. Not because it’s not great, but because we’re talking about the sixth and final season of a spin-off series. I thought: enough people will have fallen by now. But it obviously is Better call Saul still very popular among our series watching readers. Second season of WhiteLotus finishes in third place, just above Eyeballs.
And where on the list can we find such an American hit series as The bearwho gave you five stars?
‘The bear ranks twelve. Of course you have to consider: most watch via NPO or NPO Plus, and also have Netflix. But after that, the audience left for all the other streaming services gets smaller and smaller. A great series that House of the Dragon can be seen on HBO and The bear at Disney. It is more for connoisseurs. We keep talking about it: there are just too many streaming parties, the range is huge. People have to choose between about seven or eight streamers. You can see that reflected in such a list.’
To maintain the success of the Dutch series: this week you give tips The progenitor.
‘Yes, it’s a really big drama series based on Dutch conditions, which can be seen on NPO. The progenitor takes place in different historical periods, from before World War II to the present day, and tells the family story based on the book of the same name by journalist Alexander Münninghoff. It worked too The Hague Courantwas a Russia correspondent and covered several wars.
“Münninghoff’s family history seems to be completely intertwined with the European history of the last century. He had a Dutch grandfather who lived and did business in Latvia. His son, Alexander Münninghoff’s father, joined the SS during World War II and fought on the Eastern Front.
What the series is about: Münninghoff falls in love and gets a partner. As an outsider, she wants to ask a few questions about his family history. Only then does our protagonist realize what a unique family history he has and how the decisions of previous generations – especially his father’s – affect his own life. The creator of The progenitor has distorted the chronology of family history. A smart move, the emphasis is thus placed on the young couple, played by Matthijs van de Sande Bakhuyzen and Sallie Harmsen.
“That couple is confronted with the family history, which we see in the form of flashbacks. In order to create order in the many periods in which the viewer finds himself, the camerawork and use of color are sometimes overemphasized. It’s also taste, I immediately add. Scenes from the 1970s appear to have an orange haze, while scenes further in the past look cooler thanks to bluish lighting. Still, I think this could be a hit. I recommend watching one episode a week via NPO Plus, because there is a lot in one episode. It’s good that a major Dutch series makes an ambitious attempt to tell an interesting and complex part of the story, really to be applauded.’