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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Being Belgian I can honestly tell you I'm not prejudiced. In fact I've
never really liked a Belgian production. Not even the over-hyped and
overrated Belgian movie 'bullhead' which was nominated for an Oscar of
best foreign film. But finally we've got a TV-show that's very well
written, intriguing, intellectually stimulating, very well paced and as
a result of all that never, ever boring.
Writer and director Bart de Pauw delivered a masterpiece. He can be as proud as his last name. Pauw is the dutch word for peacock. Bart showed talent at a very young age writing for an 80's youth series: 'meester, hij begint weer.' meaning Hey teacher, he started it (again). And with the stuff he wrote which they didn't use for the show, he created another show in his early twenties, called: buiten de zone (outside the zone/area). It was a massive success. Then followed some great programs like schalkse ruiters and men on the edge of... , but in recent years he made some flops as well. And it was pretty quiet around his character in the last couple of years. But he's back with a vengeance. First with a very well written movie script: loft and now with IMO the best Belgian TV-series of all time which can compete with about any foreign series out there. And I've seen them all, to give you a quick few names of very good TV-series IMO: dexter, house Md, breaking bad, the sopranos,... and for comedy: fawlty towers, blackadder, seinfeld, curb your enthusiasm, the office UK,...
The only thing stopping this from being an international hit, is that the story is about a typical Flemish tradition: playing quizzes in small, local parish halls. I don't even know they do that in other countries but here it's quite popular. It's about a quiz team called: table seven who meet by accident in a pub where a quiz is going on. Because there is no place left in the pub, they have to sit next to each other and after a while the young protagonist, named nick, starts filling in forms because he hears his neighbors answering the questions. One knows everything about music, his name is Lennon, he's an orphan and they named him Lennon because he was born the day that lennon was shot and killed. Another customer at the bar who sits opposite Nick seems to know almost everything, he's there to fill in some taxes for his nephew, who owns the bar. But in between filling in the tax paperwork he mumbles every answer. So Nick starts writing down the answers and that's the start of a wonderful journey about friendship, loyalty, devotion and so many things more. This really is a must watch series!!!!
I am really amazed how much I liked this show, even though I am
generally very critical. Before, I did appreciate Bart De Pauw, but
with this show he completely proves himself all over again. Quiz me
quick was in my opinion a so much more complex jewel of creativity than
most of his previous work; this makes me have the greatest respect for
Quiz me quick combines humor, tragicomedy, depth, character building, lessons on live and all wrapped in a typical Flemish setting; a village with common people with common worries, talents, and doubts and all of them struggling a little with life. The characters are so recognizable which makes you relate to the story a lot. There is a dreamer who doesn't want to grow up (Nick), a grumpy old man who has to be defrosted to recover from a personal tragedy long time ago (Roger), a crazy insecure b*tch who wants it all (Monica), the girl who just wants to get married to her boyfriend who doesn't grow up (Cynthia), the guy in his forties who is getting a little tired of his somewhat dull family life (Luc), and many more. What brings them together is the random knowledge about facts. Even though that doesn't help them with the things they struggle with in life; in fact it even makes it harder for them that they get obsessed with the most important quiz of the year the so called 'superprestige'. Flanders and its quirkiness at its best.
The only negative point I see (but this is more for Bart De Pauw's bank account), is that this show might not be easily transferred to other countries (except maybe Holland); I don't think that the typical recognizable Flemish situations for instance would make their point so clear in let's say the US.
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