Four brothers, three women, and one legacy are at the center of New Texas, a comedy filled with tunes that will have (some of) you exclaiming, “Hey, I haven’t heard that in ages!”
New Texas (Nieuw Texas) opens with a scene featuring a recording of the late Luciano Pavarotti singing the aria “Nessun Dorma” from Puccini’s Turandot opera. (I was hooked already.)
Listening to the recording (on vinyl, no less) is the patriarch of the Vrancken family, an elderly widower about to celebrate Christmas with his four sons and their respective significant others. Downstairs the younger Vranckens are raising a ruckus, as they have done since childhood. Only this time, their arguing at the dining table gets cut short when their father keels over and dies, face down into his plate.
Fast forward to the Vranckens’ meeting with the notary managing their late father’s last wishes: The house they are standing in is their inheritance, but they only get to keep it if they live in it — together and in peace — for one year.
Yeah, well, good luck with that.
Businessman Jan (Tom Audenaert, The Break) and businessman-wannabe Fons (Bert Haelvoet, The Team) are the second and third sons, and they argue about and compete over practically everything, down to which one of them gets to sit at the head of the table. Peter (David Cantens, Ella), the juvenile eldest, is a DJ and a moron, so when he wants to be the big man of the family, no one takes him seriously. The most reasonable amongst them is Stan (Joren Seldeslachts, Hotel Beau Séjour), the youngest and the only one who avoids confrontations, even if it means not standing up for himself.
That said, though, there is one thing they all agree on: their mother was a great cook and her homemade pasta sauce was the best, bar none. If they only they knew what Jan’s preschool teacher wife Irina (Jits Van Belle, Emma), Fon’s beauty specialist wife Nur (Anke Frederick, Bingo), and Stan’s down-to-earth girlfriend Kato (Frances Lefebure, Amigo’s) know…
Speaking of the women, Irina and Nur have been in the family long enough to know, nay, insist on, a few things, such as eating tomatoes. So it’s not just the Vrancken men who have idiosyncrasies.
The guys also have flashbacks to their youth, each one accompanied by a song that might bring on a sense of nostalgia for you, too. For example: who remembers the Sammy Davis Jr. song “The Candy Man”? Or Robbie Dupree’s “Steal Away”? Some veritable hits internationally, some one-hit wonders in the US, but still. They’re groovy!
I’m three episodes in right now, and will be watching the remaining ten this weekend cos New Texas is a fun, lighthearted show and a nice balance to all the dark, gritty, intense series I’ve been watching lately (like the fourth season of British crime drama Line of Duty).
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