Limburg: Anyone who lives here seems to be buried alive. The sleepy Belgian province is known for its apple production and geneva. Tourism relies on hiking and cycling. There is nothing exciting to see except landscape, mostly flat, with cows. And greasy fries on the hustle. Teddy bear shooting with napping little ones as a highlight of the weekend or slumping in the village disco with the local cheap version of Lascivious Dance. And a lot of alcohol. You could think of Limburg as the center of a good backwoodsmen's comfort, but that's just the visible surface. She comes to those who secretly turn the big criminal wheel, because another export hit provides the big money: pills. Limburg – Ecstasy's Colombia – that is what the slightly different recommendation brochures call it.
The business leads balloon silk lover Ferry Bouman (Frank Lammers), a sort of Tony Soprano character. To underestimate his cunning, to challenge his mistrust is perilous. Quickly you are not only alive, but also buried dead. His inner circle, CEO and brother-in-law John Zwart (Raymond Thiry) and the aggrieved ex-kickboxer Jurgen van Kamp (Kevin Janssens), looks little smart, but all the more ruthless. Family cohesion is just as pronounced as with the mafia in New Jersey. The law of silence applies also to the junkyards and in the football stadium, the barbecue at the campsite and the dog-hairdresser, the Bouman's naive wife Danielle (Elise Schaap) visits, if not at the "healer" Ludo (Stefan Perceval), a scumbag before the Lord, Aurareinigungsspray acquires.
Seeking access to Bouman's ecstasy family is a fire hazard. The plan, which Drugs Director Marc Gevers (Robbie Cleiren) recounts to the prosecutor, seems risky. Two experienced undercover police officers, Bob Lemmens (Tom Waes) and Kim De Rooij (Anna Drijver), still pull in love with Peter and Anouk as a couple in love next to Bouman's weekend bungalow. Her superior Nick (Manou Kersting) derives the operation from Antwerp. While Bob is being scrutinized by Ferry, Kim manages to gain access to Danielle. Coordinated cooperation looks different. Bob is for safety, Kim for risk. What nobody knows: Bouman has an informant with the police.
"Undercover", a ten-part German-Belgian co-production of ZDFneo and Netflix, is based on true events, as they say. Chef producer Nico Moolenaar turns them into a style-and-sound-proof, plump, plushy Belgian Noir variant. Violence is commonplace, women watch television, men have their wives "under control", otherwise no one respects them, machoism is trumps at all, and Bob and Kim just do not get the game right. Grand ganos give small-time fanfare. The business is underestimated. Which brings you back to Limburg, as a province and as a metaphor. As a genre television, "Undercover" is definitely good. The production model – in addition to the broadcaster ZDFneo and the streaming provider Netflix are other European partners in the boat – is as forward-looking as "Babylon Berlin". Of it more like.
The series Undercover starts today at 21:45 at ZDFneo and is available at Netflix.
Ferry Bouman Bob Lemmens Frank Lammer ZDFneo Netflix ISIN_US64110L1061 (t) Apple production