In this Dutch police detective series, Detective Jurriaan 'Jurre' de Cock is sort of the 'Columbo' of a Dutch police city's police department, as deceptively poor in appearance (cheap ...
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In this Dutch police detective series, Detective Jurriaan 'Jurre' de Cock is sort of the 'Columbo' of a Dutch police city's police department, as deceptively poor in appearance (cheap raincoat) but always able to outsmart the crooks, usually a murderer per episode. He does however have a competent team, especially his young, promising right-hand Detective Dick Vledder and the more modest, often separately standard-researching Detective Albert 'Appie' Keizer, while Chief Corneel Buitendam is not too helpful; another regular is forensic examiner Dr. Ennaeus den Koninghe. Written by
In what the movie 'Moord in Extase' (1984) didn't really succeed, 'Baantjer' (1995-present) succeeded with honor. The characters created by Appie Baantjer (writer of novels about a detective named de Cock spelled C-O-C-K and his help Vledder) became, and still are today, a mega hit in The Netherlands, and Belgium as well. Ever since the beginning in 1995 De Cock (Piet Römer) and Vledder (Victor Reinier) are loved by a tremendous group of people. Weekly the show has superb ratings, even when RTL 4 (the channel broadcasting 'Baantjer' in The Netherlands) shows reruns!
And why? I can only guess, because there are actually no good reasons for watching it. Except maybe the guest stars. 'Baantjer' always has a few guest actors which are very famous in the Netherlands.
But other reasons for watching this crap?
Not the main cast actors, that's for sure. They all act very uninspired and bored with their roles, which I can understand very good. They have to do the same trick every episode. Yawn! Besides that there is too much product-placing in the series. So much that it would almost make the show camp. And the so-called jokes, mostly (99%) between De Cock and Buitendam (Serge-Henri Valcke), are as anti-funny as movies like Police Academy 7: Mission to Moscow and worst of all, always the same. Buitendam gets angry at De Cock for no good reason and De Cock plays along with the kinda uptight Buitendam. The best reason not to see this show is the writing. Every episode is the same as the last one, there are never any surprises or interesting motives for a killing. Never a murder unsolved, yeah right. I know a lot of series have a patron every episode, but in 'Baantjer' it just doesn't work.
Every episode starts with a body found somewhere. Then De Cock and Vledder go to the crime scene (always arriving after Vera Prins, Marian Mudder), get some clues and talk to some people who could have done it or might have a clue who did it. Then there is the little 'gag' between De Cock en Buitendam, which always makes Buitendam look like a little dumb nitwit. Followed by a few short shots so we can see how pretty Amsterdam looks (By the way, if you want to see a film with interesting and nice shots of Amsterdam you should see 'Amsterdamned'). Next on the agenda is some interrogation and the visit to the local pub, with Lowietje (played by 5(!) actors already) behind the counter and the whores at the background. A few more interrogations follow and De Cock (always De Cock) has found out who did it and why.
And the final scene is always (100% always) the one where De Cock, Vledder, Prins, Keizer (played by Martin Schwab) and Mrs. De Cock are eating and summarizing the murder of that episode so childish that it looks as if they own only one human brain together.
And while typing this I realize what makes 'Baantjer' so popular. You can shut down your brain activity a whole lot and watch this mind numbing, unfunny (but with only a few percent brain activity everything is funny I guess), bad-acted, not surprising series! It's no more than mindless, simple entertainment.
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