Van Vlees En Bloed – ***1/2

Posted: June 28, 2011 in Comedy, Drama, Flanders, XXX1/2

A few years ago, this television series became the most watched tv series in Flanders ever. Everyone I talked to, loved this series. Never heard any negative comment at all. But for some reason (not having a tv, dvd box still too expensive) I hadn’t seen it yet.

Being probably the only Fleming not having seen the show, I thought it was about time. And I’m glad I did.

The storytelling is fun. The setting and premise couldn’t be more Flemish: a butcher family in a small town needs to deal with every day challenges: cheating, secrets from the past, discussions about the will (even before the person actually is dead), … Really nothing that extraordinary, but it’s the details that make this series so great. And, apart from one character (JB), every single one of the others is excellent. Difficult to say which one is my favorite.

When it comes to acting Sien Eggers is phenomenal! Never thought she could carry a role like that. You believe every moment she’s on screen. Lucas Van den Eynde is always good. That’s one of the best actors we have. During the last episodes the creators made him do too silly stuff to really make this series his own. Tom Van Dyck always plays a loser, in this case a guy with a mental disability. It’s like he can only play parts like that. Too bad. I don’t think he’s that good an actor, but his role was important and he did well. Peter Van den Eede made me laugh the most I think. We all know a pietje precies (fusspot) in the family or around us. Koen de Graeve is also funny, even though his part is small. But the best imitation of a character we all kind of know somewhere in the street or in the family was given by Herwig Illegems. Thumbs up for the script writers who added this character to the show as he’s the perfect tool to answer questions that the audience has, but realistically would never be asked by any of the main characters. That was ingenious! He’s the kind of lonesome, curious guy who always wants to know everything…

Seven episodes isn’t much, but then again, more episodes might have killed the atmosphere. There are still a lot of questions. And a second series would probably be very popular as well.

Great home-grown cinema! Yet, not perfect.

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