In each episode of this Flemish whodunit based on the books of Pieter Aspe, a serious crime - usually one or more murders in the author's home town Bruges - gets investigated by the grumpy ... See full summary »
In each episode of this Flemish whodunit based on the books of Pieter Aspe, a serious crime - usually one or more murders in the author's home town Bruges - gets investigated by the grumpy but brilliant chief inspector Pieter Van In and his team. Written by
Following his massive success in writing pulpous crime novels which he churns out at a dazzling rate, Pieter Aspe, Belgian novelist native to the city of Bruges, has been honoured with the rendering of his popular novels to the tube (also shown on the big screen in certain Belgian film theatres). Surrounding the Aspe-hype (his books are now also available at most cd-stores and bakeries), a few nefarious echoes have been stirred with regard to the quality of the series (and by a bold minority, concerning the books themselves). While perhaps the poor choices made in casting the leading actors and the generic look and feel the whole premise relies on can be kindly put to side with a few mild excuses referring to the obvious difficulty found in transcribing the written word to the audible motion picture, the performance falters in most other places as well. The sheer lack of depth in character development and the episodic nature of the story which can be described as picaresque at best and absolutely out of touch with reality at worst, makes the whole narrative progress come to a shrieking halt. Saddening but unsurprising indeed. For fear of sounding obnoxious, I should nevertheless point out that Pieter Aspe has almost single-handedly (save for the translated misadventures of a round-spectacled magician apprentice) made the average flemish-speaking Belgian reach for the bookshelf in years. The Hendrik Conscience of the new millennium.
Mediocre in all respects.
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