Private boss Evert Santegoeds is talking nonsense when he says that we should not all be so hard on John de Mol, says AD media journalist Marcus den Blanken. “He should be ashamed of himself!”

    © William Rutten

    John de Mol has perhaps delivered his worst TV production ever: Avastars, a program in which digital puppets compete against each other while dancing and singing. Friend and foe has denounced this old-fashioned-looking show, but Private boss Evert Santegoeds thinks that is mean. “Everyone’s back at John!”

    Shame on you

    It is sweet that Evert steps into the breach for his employer, but AD media journalist Marcus den Blanken thinks his complaint is exaggerated. He points out that John is not as ‘sticking his neck out’ as Evert claims, because Avastars-like shows have already been made abroad and they really look much better.

    Marcus in the AD Media podcast: “Then people say: ‘Yes, people shouldn’t be so hard on John de Mol, because he tries things.’ Well, if you’re trying something that’s already been done and you’re doing it so badly, you should be ashamed of yourself. Then it is not commendable that you tried this. I don’t understand any of that.”

    Clubhouse of Talpa

    According to Marcus, Evert cannot be blamed. “That’s Talpa’s club base, that’s fine. But this was just real… Shame on you for coming up with this. I mean that.”

    The Netflix version of Avastars (see below) looks much slicker, says his colleague Angela de Jong. “I have only seen that one fragment of Netflix that was circulating on Twitter. But at least I understood that: that makes more sense, because they are monsters. Those are not people.”


    John tries to impersonate humans in Avastars. “The problem with Avastars is that you’re supposed to be looking at something that some kind of human being is supposed to represent. And of course it doesn’t look like that at all,” says Angela.

    She continues: “The strange thing is: if you hear from someone or you read that someone thinks something is really terrible, then you already assume the worst and then it is actually not too bad 9 times out of 10. And now it was just worse than I imagined. I think it’s really sad how you made this up.”

    ‘It’s fake!’

    Angela thinks it’s really bad TV. “Also the fact that as a viewer you are of course watching a presenter and jury members who have memorized text about that performance, because they don’t see anything… And then they say: ‘Well, I just found a film where I was watching.’”

    “What do you see then? You see nothing. Everything is completed by computer! It’s just fake!”

    Netflix’s Avastars

    Netflix’s Avastars: