Everyone is doing their best to be perfect in Posthoorn. The young people drink, the mothers in the rich village have filler addictions, the “dirty fathers” only encourage everything. “It’s the type of perfection that you can only inherit or fake.”
It wasn’t a bad monologue with which Alex Idema produced the fourth season of the originally web series The Slut of 6VWO (AvroTros) began. Enough in any case to continue watching the daily series. After all, making youth television is one of the things the Netherlands – the country of Vermeer, Bergkamp, Theo & Thea – is really good at.
It felt like I was being put in a ‘new’ class where everyone knew each other and already had a history with each other. More concretely: in which Sephine, the girl from whom the series takes its name, is found dead at the bottom of a watchtower. A nude video of her was circulated among the boys in the class. So it will be suicide slut shaming have been. Only Alex – who is ahead of her peers in intelligence and empathy – has doubts, but she is the misfit of the school. Her nickname is the Posthoornpot and she also has a history of psychological instability. She is the only one who insists that ‘the slut of 6VWO’ was not at all happy with that honorary title.
Alex’s friend grumbles after the report about the suicide: “I didn’t know anything could go on in her head at all.” Indeed, things are not gentle at this Athena College. As Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679) The Slut of 6VWO had seen before he Leviathan wrote, he had represented man’s life in the state of nature (“nasty, brutish and short”) even more cruelly. Looking at the video of the deceased, the boys say “fucking shame on those tits”, Between the girls it goes from “bitch” to “backstabbing BFF”.
That last characterization from Monday’s episode stuck with me so well that it came to my mind at other times last week as well: in my mind I heard the leader of an undisclosed political party with a boreal slant already calling out a former crony for ‘backstabbing Best Friend’. forever’. Despite the thick wood from which the Posthoorn pre-university students saw their planks, I apparently have difficulty tearing myself free from the entanglements in this above-average horror village.
Meanwhile, Alex has discovered that shortly before her death, Sephine was not alone at the watchtower; she becomes increasingly convinced that the girl was murdered. The inconsolable father of the dead, a dentist by trade, threatens a boy with his drill because he wants to learn more about the revenge porn that his little girl fell victim to.
Alex’s digging makes her even less popular with classmates and with her parents, who fear their daughter’s mental instability. The doors bang firmly into their rebates. Then there’s a teacher who liked all of Sephine’s Instagram posts, raising serious accusations in this small community.
So stomps The Slut of 6VWO noisily along the pedagogical picket posts, but any form of sideliness is avoided. See, for example, the text of a girl who dedicates herself to faking perfection. Angrily, she stammers to the elusive Alex: “You’re just too… too… You’re just too!” There’s a lot to like about this series, too – but just before the holidays, that’s more tolerable than the constant ‘te’ and the ‘backstabbing BFFs’ of the real world.