Like in most other countries also in the Netherlands the fame of TV series remains within the country. However, where Scandinavian countries have managed to export at least a few series, Dutch TV Series have not been so successful. Indeed, being a Dutchman my self I am struggling to come up with the very best Dutch TV series. And then preferably Dutch TV-series foreigners can also enjoy. Sure, we have the old classics like ‘Zeg eens AAA’ but they can hardly be intersting for people of different nationality. And we have the soapseries (Goede Tijden, Slechte Tijden) and light comedy series (Gooische Vrouwen) that do very well on TV. Here as well one must admit that for non-dutchies this not much fun.
Therefore I have gathered three series that each have something special to offer. At the same time they are also of worth for foreigners. More importantly, they were extremely popular in the Netherlands. Not just among viewers but also among critics.
1. Oud Geld – Old Money (1998)
In our opinion the Dutch Series with the highest quality. A great production. Its also just one season so at least worth the try (a total of 19 episodes). The show has an amazing cast. Two of the actors have been awarded a Goudel Kalf (Golden Calf Award) in 1998.. Oud Geld, or old money, is how in the Netherlands people are described that have had money in the family for several generations. They tend to live more aristrocraticly. We follow one of these families in Oud Geld.
Fragment of Oud Geld – Old money.
A TV Series that has had a 12 Season Run. It was one of the best watchted TV-series and received a ‘Gouden Telivizierring’ for best TV-show of the year in 1997. Already in it’s eight season the filmmakers announced to stop, but they continued to add an extra season every time. Finally in 2006 it was the last episode. This Dutch TV Series give you a great and natural perspective of Amsterdam. Yes, also including its Red Light District. Its about an old police detective (Piet Romer- sadly died a few days ago) who solves crimes the old fashioned way. By clever thinking and great investigation skills. It is based on the books of a police officer named Appie Baantjer. The intro-song of the series is one that Dutch people will never be able to forget.
Fragment of Dutch TV Series Baantjer. The good old Intro ( to give you an impression).
3. Bernhard, Schavuit van Oranje – Bernhard, Scoundrel of Orange
A very popular tv-series that received a lot of media attention when it was launched in 2011. There reason is clear. Bernhard was the father of the current Dutch queen Beatrix. As you can imagine, these things are rather delicate and sensitive (or just plain controversial). It was nonetheless a very successful series, and now also a follow up is aired ‘Beatrix, Oranje onder vuur’ focussing even more on our very queen. The TV – Series is awarded several European Awards amongst which a few awards at the Festival de Television de Monte Carlo.
The show is about the life of Bernhard, originally a German who married the Dutch Crown-Princess Juliana. He always had problems with authority and was not affraid to speak his mind. He was also rather controversial since he had several affairs and even some children with other women. He has passed away a a few years ago.
Here a Fragment of the Bernhard, the scoundrel of Orange.
Please let us know what you think of the series, and if you think other Dutch Series should be on the list.