What I loved about those shows – which I think is a characteristic of Belgian TV – is the ability to mix genre and tone,
From ‘Desperate Housewives with a gun’ to the Flemish answer to Cracker … Belgium’s fierce independence and creative wackiness is creating thrilling TV
In show business, acts struggling to make an impact in the UK were often sardonically described as “big in Belgium”, the joke depending on the small size and perceived irrelevance of the country stuck like sand between the pushy toes of France, the Netherlands and Germany.
This year, though, Belgian television really is going to be big in Britain. Next month, Channel 4 will screen a huge hit from the tiny nation, 13 Commandments, in which a moralistic serial killer becomes a social media celebrity, as part of the network’s year-long season of Flemish-language drama..
The last major European invasion of UK television was Scandi-noir crime dramas such as The Killing and The Bridge. So is Belg-fiction the new Scandi-noir?