Rich Dutch housewives show a hit in France


The French version of the hit Dutch television show and Desperate Housewives copycat ‘Gooische Vrouwen’ (‘Women of het Gooi’, a rich neighbourhood of Hilversum where Dutch TV makers used to live’) is known in France as “Jardins Secrets” (Secret Gardens), is dubbed rather than subtitled and is a hit. (The Dutch subtitle shows from other countries (cheaper), while big countries like France and Germany dub everything (laws and such).

Back in 2008 when we first posted about it, “some 2.3 million people watched the first episode, which translates to a market share of 26.6%. TF1 broadcast the first three episodes back-to-back, and later during the evening the market share rose to 31.6%.

French television station TF1 is super sloppy with the introduction of the show on their website, as they claim it’s Danish. Dutch people commented in good French with a polite explanation, but the information was copy pasted from another site with the same mistake. The blurb even implies that Amsterdam could be in Denmark! Ouille, ├ža fait mal !

As well, De Telegraaf tells of Linda de Mol (pic) who in the dubbed French version has a nasty low class accent, which now has me all curious. It is ironic since people of het Gooi have a specific accent that is associated with money and a rolling ‘r’. The cast has also received criticism regarding the Gooische Vrouwen film that is coming out for the excessive drinking that takes place in the film. De Mol explains that the series was sold to Russia and China and expects nothing less that a lot of drinking in their versions as well. After all, it it’s television, not reality.

(Link: De Telegraaf. Source photo: RTL)


  1. Jeroen Mirck says:

    I am positively surprised that a great Dutch actress like Annette Malherbe is featuring dubbed on French television. That’s a compliment.

    But I have to comment on this sentence: “The Dutch subtitle shows from other countries (cheaper), while big countries like France and Germany dub everything (laws and such).” The argument is not that it’s cheaper, but Dutch people understand English very well. The Netherlands don’t have a tradition of subtitling foreign productions, except youth tv. And in fact: dubbing is a cheap way of attrackting foreign productions. The Dutch have a great reputation on tv productions, so they prefer to adapt foreign series themselves. Take for instance “In Therapie”, the Dutch equivalent of “In Treatment”: a very expensive production with Dutch top actors. Calling Dutch tv makers cheap is a little cheap itself.

  2. Orangemaster says:

    @Jeroen as answered on Facebook,

    1) You being positively surprised means you don’t know about the law in France with regards to subtitling
    2) Assuming subtitling is based on the Dutch’s understanding of English is an assumption, not a fact.
    3) The Dutch licence productions like the rest of the world. Nothing new under the sun there.
    4) Cheap also means ‘less expensive’, your response is based on semantics :)

    And again, if you even knew how little subtitling pays, cheap would be the mostly polite word you would use. I actually do subtilting and you know little or nothing about the business :)

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