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De Ridder (2013)
One of the best...
I have to admit that I didn't know of this Belgian series before I found it at a local shop here in the Netherlands. As I was curious and the cover and text on the packaging convinced me that this could in fact be an interesting series, I bought series 1. After watching a few episodes it was clear to me that the acting was on a very high level, the locations well picked and the stories and main storyline (through all episodes) were very convincing. The actress playing the main character Helena de Ridder (Clara Cleymans) is really very good and - not unimportant - real eye candy. I liked season 1 very much and even before I finished watching it, I found season 2 in my local shop. At this moment I've already watched that season. The quality remains on a very high level and makes me really want to see the third season. Unfortunately it will take a year or more before it will be on DVD as it still has to be produced. It's my favourite Belgian series so far. I can really recommend it to everyone that loves a well plotted crime series with good acting situated in the beautiful city of Ghent.
It can't get much better than this...
Penoza means underworld (also crime scene as in 'the criminal world', not 'the place where a crime took place'). It's a superb Dutch series with incredible acting, a great storyline and an incredible cast. At the beginning of the first season, it soon became very obvious that Penoza was not an average series but one that had much more to offer. The series gained a lot of fans and critical acclaim all over. As a result of this, a second season was produced. The second season - of course - continues where the first one stopped and takes the viewer even deeper in the world of the leading character Carmen and her family and friends and all they experience when she unwillingly becomes more and more involved in the world of crime. I have to admit that the second season is even better than the first one. I'm very happy too, that a third season is being produced right now. This is very high quality stuff. Fact: the American TV Network ABC has produced the series Red Widow, based upon Penoza. The first few episodes have been broadcast only a couple of days ago. Even though I haven't seen Red Widow yet, usually nothing beats the original (even though for some people the fact of a series being subtitled keeps them from watching it). A real pity, as there are many non-English-language series out there, that are just too good to be missed (like the Danish series The Killing, The Bridge and another fantastic Dutch series called Overspel, the Dutch word for adultery). If you get a chance to watch this, do so!
After watching season 3 of Penoza, I increase my rating from 9 to 10. This season is even better than the first two, believe it or not. Amazing!
Most likely the best political television series ever made...
It is just impossible for me to find the words to describe this Danish television series. It gives an incredible in-depth (and probably honest) view of politics, one you have never experienced before. After watching the first season of this show, one is already deeply impressed by the acting and the story line. Guess what: season two even beats season one. The private life of prime minister Birgitte Nyborg gets a more important part. Young actress Freja Riemann is magnificent as her daughter Laura. Also the other actors are of extremely high standards. To mention a few: of course there are Sidse Babett Knudsen (as Birgitte Nyborg), Johan Philip Asbæk (as Kasper Juul) and Birgitte Hjort Sørensen (as Katrine Fønsmark) in the leading roles, but smaller roles - showing great acting - are played by Ole Thestrup (as right wing politician Svend Åge Saltum) and Peter Mygind (as the chief of the tabloid - low quality - newspaper Ekspress). Television can not get much better than this. I'll be looking forward to the third season as I've never been looking forward to any television series' next season before. This series is an absolute must- see!
Brilliant Dutch television series
After having watched all twelve episodes of this Dutch television series, it is obvious to me that this series is one of the best Dutch television series of the last decade: well written, very good acting (espcially by Sylvia Hoeks and Kees Prins) and beautiful cinematography. In "Overspel" the storyline and the development of the characters are more important than fast action scenes. Even though "Overspel" can't reach the extremely high level of the Danish series "The Killing" (a.k.a. Forbrydelsen), I can very much recommend it. For non Dutch readers who have become curious and would like to watch it: the DVD-release has English subtitles.
Addition after watching season 2. Season 2 of Overspel is again of very high quality and the acting is, like in season 1, on a very high level. Especially Kees Prins and Ramsey Nasr are sublime as father and son Couwenberg. Of course Sylvia Hoeks plays her character Iris very convincing too. The tension in season 2 is increasing from episode 1 until the final episode 10. I will not go into further detail, but I've enjoyed every second of this season a lot. I'm looking forward to the 3rd season, which has been filmed already (if I'm well informed), or is in the process of being filmed. Can't wait!