Although Christmas is about established traditions and patterns, I always hope for new heroes and stories to emerge. But where can you find it, when Dutch Christmas TV is mainly known as a snack bar where the show rarely changes? A snack bar where you can annually choose from Robert Ten Brink Mexicano, Martin Milland Shawarma Rolls and Shawarma Rolls. Home AloneBammy tablet, but you rarely get a new snack.
If only we had to look for him in the Christmas special Overall important figures, where (fallen) TV stars like Lange France, Pia Dois and Olga Kommandur had to untwist Christmas lights, race toy cars or curl up with a solar base? Did we have to look for him at another Andre Rieu Christmas party? in Merry Christmas With Bert van Leeuwen? Or perhaps in Joris Linsen's Christmas Tree? They're all satisfactory Christmas programs of their kind, but they're not very innovative or stimulating.
But then, as an unexpected Christmas gift, the four-part documentary series began Monday night These are the servants. In this series from director and writer Marlies Smmeng, made for VPRO, we follow six students as they train at the prestigious Butler Academy in Semplefeld, Limburg (“the best butler school in the world,” according to director Robert Winnix).
They were given ten weeks to master all the intricacies of working as a butler in the monastery complex. This would be difficult, because, according to Winix, “there were no limits to what they could learn.”
Some of the students (mostly international) were already experienced, while others knew how to iron a shirt or vacuum a room. Another aspiring butler was dropped off at the school door by his parents. His father bid him farewell, saying: “Good luck, become a good butler.”
Whether experienced or not, all of these students seemed eventually destined for a future in service, as the butler's obsession was evident. Many of them were searching through life and seemed to find adventure, purpose in life, or support in the almost military etiquette that comes with the life of a butler.
'Smiling!' Removal! Spin plate! Right arm behind the back! 'Smiling!' Or: “You should always give positive energy, even when you feel bad.” If someone starts yelling at you, keep smiling! Like it or not: smile, smile, smile! With Christmas still fresh in their minds, those last words were so close.
The best TV shows present us with worlds we rarely experience for ourselves, and in this respect it was These are the servants It was an instant hit, as an iconic and brilliant series, and it would be a shame if it were buried in the overwhelming (and well-known) Christmas offering. Anonymity suits a butler just fine, but in this case the spotlight is justified for once.
“Travel specialist. Typical social media scholar. Friend of animals everywhere. Freelance zombie ninja. Twitter buff.”