Anyone who knows me or has read this blog for some time will tell you, I watch barely any American television. I mostly stick to BBC and some of my Brit shows on PBS. One shows that popped out, that I got hooked on, and I recently binged, was a PBS show called Professor T. It's an extraordinary burst of mind. If one could take Inspector Morse, with some Doc Martin, a pinch of DC Vera Stanhope, and mix them with the part from that show Monk...you'd get Professor T. It's an extremely quirky, Dutch show from Belgium with English subtitles, and ran from 2014 -2018. The eponymous central person is Professor Jasper Terrlinck, a famous professor of criminology at the university in Antwerp. He is played by daddy in my head, the handsome Koen de Bouw. He sports a metrosexual buzzcut, sleek suits, and those black framed arty glasses that make him even hotter. And he plays the part with an almost expressionless face, and often struggles to even half smile, and he even moves like a robot. But his acting is such a magnetic performance... he conveys personal mystery and profound depth.
In the series, a star student of his, has gone on to be a defective herself. DC Annelises Donkers ends up begging him to work with her and the police to solve weekly cases, usually very bizarre and creepy cases. He goes on to solve the cases, and the police, though most of them find him arrogant and crazed, grudgingly admire his unconventional sleuthing ability and talent at sussing out who's lying. If you hang in for three episode ...you'll be hooked.
The detective stories we follow are smart, tightly knit whodunits in themselves...but as the series goes on, they often became the background noise to the riveting drama about the Professor. He always wear gloves, hates germs, and if anyone touches anything, or leaves his office, everything get a spray. As as the seasons go on, we learn just how, and why he ends up this way. And he suffers from not only germophobia, but anal retentiveness, and OCD, not to mention is in a terror of people getting to close to him. To soothe his soul, he listens to classical music. He often hires female escorts to his home, but it's never clear if he has sex with them or not, or just there for dinner partners, who mercifully punctuate his solitary existence.
Some in the professor's police and university circles loath him, but others, though flummoxed and frustrated by his eccentric behavior, feel a protective, tender way with him, like the Dean of the Faculty, and the faculty administrative secretary, Ingrid Sneyers, who he often has some hilarious banter with, and she often puts him in his place. The actress plays her brilliantly. There's also Christina Flamant, the police commissioner, and as we discover, the professor's ex-girlfriend, who after time, we see still has feelings for him. And then there's his omnipresent mother, Adeline VanMarcke, a oppressive, domineering battleax of a woman, played by the lovely, Viviane DeMuynck, in a wonderful grand performance.
What is cool are the quirky scenes, You sometimes don't know if something is happening or it's in the professors head, and we often see inside his head. His mind, without warning, suddenly slips from perceiving an ordinary person standing in front of him, to seeing a huge yellow feathered bird or a vulgar hooker. In this show, reality and dream merge, and what's imagined is no more absurd, then the quotidian world the Professor with his fragile sanity must somehow navigate.
And this hunk! Inspector Dann De Winter use to get me hot.
He was DC Annelises Donkers partner till he left in the second season, but luckily she, and we got another hottie who melted my boots...Inspector John Van Humbeeck
Professor T includes a list of memorable characters to long to list here, played by superb actors. But more so, it brings to the fore, the biggest problems troubling the human race- how to balance emotions and intellect, either one of which, if out of proportion, will destroy a person, what it means to be fully human and what exactly, is truth, and why we uncover it at our peril. If you like different, quirky and chic visuals, I recommend it.
Now I'm all involved binging on the series Endeavour. Don't get me started on Shawn Evans!!!!!! Just caught the holiday special of Call the Midwife. Excellent!!! I'm also watching All Creatures Great And Small. One of Diana Riggs last acting stints, and the britcom Upstart Crow.
What's can I say? I love Brit tv better.