When the channel broadcasting the show, Talpa, was terminated in August 2007 due to poor ratings, its assets were sold to the Dutch media company RTL Nederland. Van Speijk, one of Talpa's few successful shows, was moved to the channel RTL4 which started airing reruns on January 6, 2008. See more »
The promo for the next episode already starts playing over the closing credits of the previous episode; the screen shrinks so the title bar with the credits becomes visible. A normal-sized, blurred version of the screen then serves as a background. See more »
This show reminded me of ''Hillstreet Blues'' and the more recent '' The Shield ''. Meaning ambiguous and flawed police-officers that are confronted with social issues and difficult moral choices. Everything transferred to the multicultural society of modern-day Holland.
It's a nice attempt to bring us quality television with an edge. Most of the police shows are safe and uninteresting formats without any decent character development. Van Speijk has a multi-layered plot from the viewpoint of totally different characters in the squad. From a racist detective teaming up with a Turkish colleague with connections in the mob, to a greenish young girl, a divorced father and a violent cop with a shady past. This colorful cast of characters is one of the main attractions of the show, though I think they'd better narrow it down a bit in the sake of storytelling. Especially in the first season it felt chaotic at times.
My main criticism on the show is that they often don't find a good balance between satire and realism. At times it almost feels insulting how they treat subjects concerning our multi-cultural society. Of course the Turkish guy has contacts with the mob, of course a Pakistani boy tries to kill his sister for having a relationship with a Dutch man, of course there will be a Jihad-like kidnapping if a Arabic girl is intent on joining a beauty contest, etc. And what about things like the guy from the countryside being a culture shocked enigma or someone without a job being a bag of potatoes!? If there ever comes a third season, I really hope that they tune down these clichés. Excellent as the show might be, it could use some realism to strengthen it.
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