Gooische vrouwen (TV Series 2005–2009) Poster

(2005–2009)

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7/10
A near-genius show, but unfortunately misses the mark on too many occasions
Daum123422 June 2018
I think I speak for a lot of Dutchies when I say this show is a delicious guilty pleasure to watch. The very first Desperate Housewifes / Real Housewives type series made in Holland. It's about four housewives who live and/or work in 'The Gooi' - A wealthy, luxurious and green area in the center of Holland.

A lot of things hit the right mark: First of all, the whole idea of following these "gooische" women's lives is entertaining, and I believe this is done quite realistically. Furthermore, the opening tune, the music, the beautiful scenes shot in nature, great humor, and a bunch of great actors and actresses put together all contribute to great quality.

The show is outright funny (lots of laugh out loud moments) and can be incredibly realistic and dramatic at times. It gives some commentary on social relations between rich people and rich vs. poor people. Also, the family situations and interactions are well written. Some of the characters are really recognizable, either for ourselves or those we know and love or encounter in life. For me Claire, Willemijn and her husband, and Martin Morero stand out as funny and believable characters.

Other characters and story lines however, are not realistic AT ALL and this is what keeps the show from spreading its wings and flying.

The evil maid, and most of the child actors (sorry) really diminish the genius-factor by a lot. Their acting is just not natural, and the writers haven't given them much to work with: There are a lot of flat characters walking around in 'Gooische vrouwen' (Anouk & Vlinder, Tipi-Wan) Their story lines and/or acting are just not up to the standard of some of the other characters and are just not believable enough to get emotionally involved, it just becomes annoying to watch.

Too bad - but nonetheless an entertaining and funny show to watch. Worth your time! Especially if you like Sex and the City- and Desperate Housewives-type shows.
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6/10
Amusing, but lacks quality.
petersaarloos21 October 2011
For the sake of accessibility, I'll write this review in English.

When the opening theme for Gooische Vrouwen plays, you're pretty much confronted with the entire gist of the series. It's about rich people... and friendship... and stuff. At the end it reads "From the idea of Linda de Mol", which would've been more accurate had it read "From the wallet of Linda de Mol".

It's hard to really pinpoint where the show goes wrong. It never really had a premise, I guess that's a start. There's no theme, no motive, and it's quite shameless about that too: the music varies between genres, decades, subjects; we're thrown from a somewhat funny scene into a dramatic, emotional scene; and there's no real tone in the series: we're never certain whether we're watching a drama or a comedy, it's just "a series".

In this respect, even the title is misleading. It's not really about Gooische Vrouwen, women who live in "Het Gooi", a rich neighborhood in Holland, it's about... well stuff. The insane maid is thrown in so things will happen, someone dies in an accident, there's a fashion show, and so on.

But the production value is, of course, very high and it carries the show. There's no real creative brain that drives this, nor is there a good writing crew, just a couple of decent actors. Except for one, ironically, Linda de Mol herself. She forgets she's supposed to have a typical Amsterdam accent (either that or she simply can't pull it off) and delivers her lines in a "stand on the red dot and read the teleprompter" kind of way. But hey, this whole thing was her brilliant idea right? She deserves to be cast, right? I may sound overtly negative, and I do believe this has nothing to do with quality television, but there's something that carries the show. Maybe it's the fact that it is one of the few large production dutch television shows out there (we have problems taking our own languages seriously and no problems with subtitles).

But I like to believe it's all due to the wonderful performance of Peter Paul Muller. He plays a dutch folk singer, and does so with amazing grace and finesse. We really believe he is one of those passionate and open artists who lights up whatever room he walks into. Sure, his accent may be a little over the top, but it's hard to take anything seriously in this show in the first place, just the fact that he manages to actually create a memorable character, to me, is truly a feat.

Although this show is somewhat uplifted by PP Muller's quality performance, I wouldn't recommend it. It's another one of those shows that got popular because it was made to be popular, and is only fresh in the sense that it is a large dutch production. Perhaps fitting with the uprising populism these days, but let's not get into politics.
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