Jes – ***

Posted: November 10, 2010 in Comedy, Flanders, TV series, XXX

no trailer found. ;-(

seen on dvd

A few years ago a great Flemish ‘Friends meets Sex and the City’ was shown on television. It flopped. Because of the time slot maybe. Because of the network it was shown on. Because of it’s location in Brussels. Who knows. I only saw a few episodes, but liked the story lines and the performances. And now I own the series on dvd.

Another reason why this series flopped may just be the reason way I liked it so much. I guess a lot of people can’t relate to the city adventures that the main character and her friends are going through being single in their thirties and still confused about what life has in store for them. It’s a comment I read a lot in the newspapers and that I also heard from some people who didn’t finish watching the show. I hear them. It’s all very unconventional. But to me it’s very recognisable. So I liked it. A lot.

The main character is a confused somewhat naive girl/woman who decides to start a new life in Brussels. As a main character she’s a bit too shallow and actually also a bit too boring. But that’s also the case with Carrie in Sex And The City. And that was a great show. Jes – as she is called – does grow in the series and by the end of the show you start to appreciate her a bit more. However, in this series it’s all about the side kicks, all of whom are a riot. Pascale Platel is hilarious as the crazy arty roommate of Jes; Johan Heldenbergh is excellent as the promiscuous ironic gay taxi driving friend, Koen De Graeve is very convincing as an unambitious lawyer friend and Kader Gürbüz is smart and sexy as Jes’ older sister who’s in a midlife crisis and frustrated by the lack of attention from her husband. Other characters are also entertaining, especially the cranky neighbour/love interest of Jes played by Wouter Hendricks. And Brussels never looked more attractive than in this tv series.

The storylines are indeed far-fetched. THey are primarily meant to be funny, so filled with over-exageration. Especially when the crazy roommate Sophia comes on-screen.  Often you’re just thinking: WTF? But in the end a lot of situations are recognisable and make you feel like you’re not the only weird guy in this world. How crazy the stories may be, they are all saved by the dialogues. Unlike other series, Jes has some of the most accurate dialogue on television. This is how thirtysomethings talk. It comes out very natural. As our language is a mix of Dutch, English and French, it’s great to hear it the way we speak it. Very silly though is to make a series in Brussels and have Flemish people play French-speaking Belgians. Honestly, how stupid is that? And some of the scenes are shot in Flemish towns with Flemish policemen and so on. Also pretty silly. But I’m sure hardly anybody notices that.

Too bad this series won’t get a sequel and too bad this will never be shown outside of Flanders. Get this to Germany or Scandinavia or the US. Hey, get it to Wallonia and French Speaking Brussels. Fast!


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