Dutch series Amsterdam Vice is really terrific — a gritty, fast-paced cop drama filled with criminals, conspiracies, action, and more.
Based on the novels by A.C. Baantjer, Amsterdam Vice (Baantjer het Begin) tells the origin story of Dutch police detective Jurre de Cock, played in the original Baantjer Mysteries series by Piet Römer and here in the prequel by Waldemar Torenstra (Divorce).
The eight-part series opens on April 23, 1980, a week before the coronation of Princess Beatrix as the Netherlands’s new queen. While protests, fighting, and looting are happening in Amsterdam’s city center, Jurre is gearing up for his first day of work at the capital city’s roughest police department. It starts badly and ends even worse: After chasing a guy from a squat through the city’s streets and a Chinese restaurant, Jurre catches him in the Gelderse Canal — alongside another man’s corpse.
Tonnie Montijn (Tygo Gernandt, The Last Kingdom), a street-wise cop and born-and-bred Amsterdam native, is not pleased. Neither with Jurre, a rookie cop from the fishing village of Urk and his new partner, nor the paperwork he has to do now because of the floater.
But the police chief has bigger things to deal with than a dead guy fished out of the canal — namely preventing any mayhem from occurring on Coronation Day. Word has it that three violent, anti-capitalist squatters are planning to cause trouble that day, so the chief’s understaffed team of cops must find and stop them so the coronation can go off without a (criminal) hitch.
With the clock ticking, Jurre does a bit of undercover work and discovers something else that will upset Tonnie to no end if he should find out about it. But he also learns about a deal amongst criminals and puts two and two together vis-à-vis the dead guy. Then it’s Tonnie’s turn to learn something he wasn’t supposed to know…
Coronation Day finally arrives and the event itself goes smoothly in front of the news cameras. But at roughly the same time, Jurre, suspecting something is amiss, ends up walking directly into a crime scene — and within hours into another, where the outcome is both deadly and devastating.
As the series continues, we follow Jurre as he gets recruited for a secret investigation, wonders who amongst his colleagues he can and can’t trust, and works desperately to prevent a catastrophe from happening.
Costars include Peter Bolhuis (The Blood Pact), Ruben van der Meer (The Godless), Horace Cohen (Strike Force), Jelka van Houten (Fresh Meat), Robert de Hoog (Lord & Master), Bas Keijzer (Undercover), Yannick Jozefzoon (Dare), Poal Cairo (Black Widow), Juda Goslinga (The Neighbors), Raven van Dorst (Gloria), Charlotte Vandermeersch (Salamander), and Lisa Smit (Ares).
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