Baantjer (TV Series 1995–2006) Poster


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Great show!
ann_dutchgirl17 January 2007
Baantjer is a great show! (not crap at all) Every Friday night, here in the Netherlands, I watch it with my family and it's a very exciting show. The person who wrote the other review has probably never seen Baantjer because if he had, he wouldn't have called it crap! Also, it's not true that the only reason for watching Baantjer is because famous stars appear on screen every time because they never have famous people on Baantjer! Baantjer is just a great, funny and exciting Dutch show, that would never make it in the USA because it has too much Dutch culture. But that's not a reason for people to comment negatively on it! And If you ever go to the Netherlands, check it out! (You'll definitely fall in love with it!
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Good series, but stop commercializing everything, dammit!
Dutch904 April 2006
Warning: Spoilers
This is the first Dutch TV series I ever saw, and it's still one of my favorites. The cast is great (newcomer Kirsten van Dissel is a good replacement for Marian Mudder) and so are the scripts. Of course, not all plots are as good, but every episode has interesting solutions, motives and suspects to offer. What I also like about the series is the different themes throughout the episodes. For instance, one episode features a murder in Amsterdam's Red Light District, another focuses on a murder case surrounding a monastery and yet another features Elvis fans, or Wiccas. These things help to make each episode interesting to watch. In some cases the stories rise above the series usual level of 'good', most notably two-parters such as one in which a main characters' sister commits suicide after being suspected of murder. Episodes like these showcase excellent writing and acting, showing that the cast are capable of far more than their usual performances, which are good but routine. This last thing is caused by the fact that, two-parters aside, each episode is a separate entity and the writers must follow a strict format in order to stay true to the books the series is based on. While this format sometimes hinders the series (for instance, when a confession is made before the last commercial break you can bet your bottom euro it's a lie and the real murderer has yet to reveal him/herself), it also helps in making it a very familiar sight on RTL4's Friday evening, something it has been for over a decade now.

Of course, over the years the show has also developed some less-than-favorable characteristics. The commercialism surrounding the show is horrendous- during most episodes (even reruns!) the viewer can play an SMS game and win something by guessing the murderer before the last commercial break. Of course, there have been episodes which rendered this system useless; 2003's ''De Cock en de moord op het water'' (featuring American actor Jack Luceno as a visiting NYPD cop) had the murderer revealed ***before*** the last commercial block. I wonder how they fit the SMS game around that........

But the worst part is blatantly obvious product placement in recent seasons. Believe me, you've never seen anything like this. It peaked during the 9th (2003) season, which featured giant close-ups of coffee vending machines by the brand Nescafe, one of the series' sponsors, when the characters went to get themselves a hot cup.

Also, one thing I really hate about the series nowadays is the criminally reduced number of episodes per season. They went from the original 13 to 10 in 1999, and after 2002 it's been declining each season, leaving us with just six in the 11th (2005) season. SIX EPISODES!!! This is part of a cheapo behind-the-screens ploy to reduce costs: episodes filmed for the 9th season were aired in the 10th and so on. If this continues we'll be left with nothing.

Quality-wise the series has lost very little in steam; in fact some of the best episodes are found in later seasons. However, one element in the show that has shown decline in quality are the two-parters. The first two were some of the best I've ever seen from Baantjer, but the third was not as good. It started out just as good as the others, but had a solution which was too easy and simple in comparison to the excellent closures for the previous ones. The most recent one, written by one cast member and directed by the other, featuring a murder in a famous Amsterdam soccer arena, was the most disappointing. While it was definitely not a bad episode, the solution was too predictable and overall it felt useless as a two-parter; they could have just as easily made it a single episode.

Overall, Baantjer is an excellent series- always has been and still is-, but has suffered from commercialism and cost-cutting. Hopefully we'll get a few more seasons with a respectable number of episodes.
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No positive things about this
k_luifje12 September 2002
In what the movie 'Moord in Extase' (1984) didn't really succeed, 'Baantjer' (1995-present) succeeded with honor. The characters created by Appie Baantjer (writer of novels about a detective named de Cock spelled C-O-C-K and his help Vledder) became, and still are today, a mega hit in The Netherlands, and Belgium as well. Ever since the beginning in 1995 De Cock (Piet Römer) and Vledder (Victor Reinier) are loved by a tremendous group of people. Weekly the show has superb ratings, even when RTL 4 (the channel broadcasting 'Baantjer' in The Netherlands) shows reruns!

And why? I can only guess, because there are actually no good reasons for watching it. Except maybe the guest stars. 'Baantjer' always has a few guest actors which are very famous in the Netherlands.

But other reasons for watching this crap?

Not the main cast actors, that's for sure. They all act very uninspired and bored with their roles, which I can understand very good. They have to do the same trick every episode. Yawn! Besides that there is too much product-placing in the series. So much that it would almost make the show camp. And the so-called jokes, mostly (99%) between De Cock and Buitendam (Serge-Henri Valcke), are as anti-funny as movies like Police Academy 7: Mission to Moscow and worst of all, always the same. Buitendam gets angry at De Cock for no good reason and De Cock plays along with the kinda uptight Buitendam. The best reason not to see this show is the writing. Every episode is the same as the last one, there are never any surprises or interesting motives for a killing. Never a murder unsolved, yeah right. I know a lot of series have a patron every episode, but in 'Baantjer' it just doesn't work.

Every episode starts with a body found somewhere. Then De Cock and Vledder go to the crime scene (always arriving after Vera Prins, Marian Mudder), get some clues and talk to some people who could have done it or might have a clue who did it. Then there is the little 'gag' between De Cock en Buitendam, which always makes Buitendam look like a little dumb nitwit. Followed by a few short shots so we can see how pretty Amsterdam looks (By the way, if you want to see a film with interesting and nice shots of Amsterdam you should see 'Amsterdamned'). Next on the agenda is some interrogation and the visit to the local pub, with Lowietje (played by 5(!) actors already) behind the counter and the whores at the background. A few more interrogations follow and De Cock (always De Cock) has found out who did it and why.

And the final scene is always (100% always) the one where De Cock, Vledder, Prins, Keizer (played by Martin Schwab) and Mrs. De Cock are eating and summarizing the murder of that episode so childish that it looks as if they own only one human brain together.

And while typing this I realize what makes 'Baantjer' so popular. You can shut down your brain activity a whole lot and watch this mind numbing, unfunny (but with only a few percent brain activity everything is funny I guess), bad-acted, not surprising series! It's no more than mindless, simple entertainment.
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Thinking Person's Mysteries
linda-headley8 February 2020
The Baantjer Mysteries are to Denmark what Midsommrr Murders are to England. They provide intriguing "whodunnits" set in a comfortable framework with continuing lead characters. De Cock, the primary detective, is a seasoned professional and a wise man informed by his Calvinist upbringing; he never settles for the obvious. His counterpoint is Vledder, a youngish and cynical womanizer always swayed by the apparent, yet incorrect solutions. He provides less than comic relief with his insensitive comments and poorly framed humor. The team is rounded out by two workhorses, Prins and Keizer, a versatile and detail oriented female detective and a tech savvy investigator. All technically report to Buittendam, a bureaucrat who lets De Cock run with little actual interference while keeping up the facade of the nit picking manager.

I enjoy the series because the plots are well written and never obvious, while the relationships among the characters, particularly De Cock and Buittendam, are many layered. I also appreciate the standard ending where De Cock gathers his troops in his home with his wife to recap the investigation and solution, a device similar to Poirot or Columbo assembling suspects for a final reveal.

The series is well worth the time of mystery fans, particularly cozy mysteries. My only real complaints are the paucity of the subtitles (they catch only a third or so of the dialogue) and the overly stylized camerawork in a couple of seasons.
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Worldclass leading role acting and a great series
baantjer-7447812 October 2019
Piet Romer is of course my number 1 favorite Dutch actor, it depends on how he portrays the character De Cock, and that was so worldclass, i mean he was a legend. Victor Reinier plays his sidekick. Between Victor Reinier and Piet Romer is many chemistry you feel that. The storylines where never lame but incredible strong builed.
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Late discovery but now I've watched the episodes over and over
comolucas27 February 2019
So...for those who trash this little gem, you certainly don't speak for the majority. Love the 2 lead characters and their relationship, very natural bantering back and forth with respect from the younger to the older. The episode about the jazz big band was cool, man - a lot due to the characterizations of jazz participants being exactly the same as in the US. And that the talent it takes to play jazz can lead its owner astray just to keep the cool coming. Plus...well, every episode I watch - bete it this one or others on MHZ I pick up so much cultural information. One of my favorite non-verbal scenes is that of de Cock walking into police headquarters where he has to make way for two roller skating patrol officers and the look on his face when doing so. Also enlightening is the the laissez-faire attitude of the Dutch towards prostitution. It services are taxed, their government is probably well financed :)
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