Brave – or a shame – of the NPO to program a very expensive series in the middle of summer

Daughter Carla, played phenomenally by Hanna van Vliet, is absorbed in hippie life.Image KRO-NCRV

Dare to program a new Dutch series on NPO in the middle of summer. Or a costly waste, you could say, because it must have cost a pretty penny, and ratings tend to be inversely related to the temperature outside.

And the The dream of youthof which the first of nine episodes appeared on television on Wednesday (and can be binged in its entirety on NPO Plus) definitely deserves a large audience.

The series tells a family history that spans forty years, starting in 1968. Social change is in the air, but narrow-mindedness is still the trump card at the table of the Catholic Wander family.

Daughter Carla, played phenomenally by Hanna van Vliet, manages to escape the bourgeois morality of her parents, is absorbed in the hippie life and gets along with fellow student Alex, a ‘Suri’. If she unexpectedly becomes pregnant and is denied permission to have an abortion, the game is on the line.

Her eldest brother has already driven to Paris with a photographer who gave him a lift. That may be a cliché of I have you there, but it does result in a cinematic piece of art: director Bram Schouw has succeeded in making historical images of the student uprising pass completely credibly into staged scenes. Could have been very clumsy, couldn’t it. The homoerotic tension between the two men is a bit over the top.

The dream of the youth is overflowing with ambition: it is about relationships within a family, at the same time sketches a picture of the time and, in passing, picks up on social discussions that are still ongoing today: about women’s emancipation, racism and religion. Add to that excellent acting and a fine screenplay and you have high-quality Dutch drama.

Whether it can compete with the overwhelming range of series on the streaming services and the appeal of a sunny terrace or balmy evening on the balcony or in the garden remains to be seen. But you cannot charge the makers for that, but only the NPO bosses who are responsible for the programming.

More TV reviews? read all episodes of Han Lips in our archive. Read also the weekly column Stardust, in which we go through the media week. Comment? [email protected].

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The parole signs the TV reviews in the section Han Lips is watching TV henceforth with the name of the author. The section will of course remain, but the fictional character Han Lips is retired.

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2023-06-07 20:12:35