TV review | It exists: a program in which Johan Derksen keeps his mouth shut for 45 minutes

The entertainment on Saturday evenings is not going well. Ratings fetishist Tina Nijkamp is sounding the alarm. She reports that programs such as With Van Duin on the backseat (596,000 viewers), I love Holland (620,000) and FriendsLottery Millionaires (639,000) scored severely below par. Two of those shows are very old. Are the viewers looking forward to it? Possibly. Although other golden oldies remain like Who is the mole (2 million) attract many viewers. Quizzes and panel shows no longer run at all, says Nijkamp when asked.

FriendsLottery Millionaires (since 1999) with Robert ten Brink stands out among the entertainment offerings because it is deadly serious. A candidate must answer fifteen multiple-choice questions in a dark arena. If he gets them all right, he gets a million. This has happened twice in a quarter of a century. The game goes very slowly. The candidates take forever to answer, even if they know right away. Would they be trained in this in advance, slow things down to keep the tension going?

The connection with sponsor the VriendenLoterij is tenuous. Halfway through there is a video in which Irene Moors presents a check for one million euros to the unsuspecting winner of the lottery. That was actually the best part. Winner Mieneke from Breda – she wore a scarf with a fallow deer print – shouted twice with joy: “Tita!” or “Tiete!” Could that be dialect?

According to Tina Nijkamp, ​​early evening programs are doing better and better compared to primetime shows. Many people watch television until after the news. Then they go do something fun. But what? The cafes and cinemas are not full. Early to bed? No, the average Dutch person goes to bed at five past eleven.

This was evident from a question in I love Holland (since 2008). This white-nationalist show around Linda de Mol attracted 2.5 million viewers at its peak. Now a quarter of that remains. Singing Dutch songs, a few easy questions, it’s mainly about the cheerful atmosphere. De Mol and her candidates are constantly in stitches. Some ambiguities here and there about foreskin, trick, old box.

They used to have a Chinese man who was ritually laughed at. That was the highlight of the show. But that man is no longer there. John de Mol’s program has been sold to about thirty countries, including China. Who would they have ritually laughed at there? An Uyghur?

Red Rolls

At Van Duin op de Achterbank it has been a year. Last season, André van Duin’s program was on Friday. With the move to Saturday, it lost all viewers for unknown reasons. Van Duin drives around in a red 1928 Rolls and picks up other comedians. During the ride they talk about the profession based on favorite sketches. It looks like on Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.

Except that the tone is nostalgic and the program is not intended to laugh. It is warm and cozy. Claudia de Breij said on Saturday that she played a hash dog in the Christmas musical in high school. She chose a fragment Monty Python’s Life of Brian (“Yes we are all individuals!”). She thought that was the best joke of all time. She wants to display it at her funeral. Of the three programs mentioned At Van Duin the most fun, partly because the presenter of the three is the most sympathetic and gifted.

As a gimmick, at the end of the ride it turns out that the driver is a well-known Dutchman. This time it was Johan Derksen. Huh, what a downer, it was just so much fun. In itself, Derksen has something of an old-fashioned taxi driver: endlessly complaining about women and minorities without being asked. In this program he kept his mouth shut for 45 minutes.