Tilburg in Smeris: Local Audiences Engaging with (Familiar) Locations on National Television


  • Sandra Wagemakers Tilburg University




local colour, audiences, location, place, television


When a city that is rarely featured on television is used in a television series, local audiences get enthusiastic. Locations featured on screen have particular cultural values to those living close to these television locations. This article expands on local audiences’ experiences by using a case study of the Dutch television series Smeris. Besides analysing the series and metadata, audience research, including Tweets and interviews, was conducted. While the first season of Smeris is set in Tilburg, the second season is mainly filmed in the capital Amsterdam. The normality of viewing Amsterdam on the screen is contrasted against the novel and special, yet familiar, experience of seeing Tilburg. Precisely because Tilburg is rarely featured on television, local audiences play with this physical place in relation to the place as featured on television. Local audiences may display their pride in this repositioning of Tilburg as a central figure. Locals may engage with the (mistakes within the used) mediated familiar locations. Moreover, residents may mix elements of reality (e.g. news articles) with events from the series. Thus, locals engage with this television series in for them new ways through mixing the places with their imagination.


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TV Series and Films Cited

Doctor Who (2005 - )

Smeris (2014 - )

The Edge of Love (2008)

Torchwood (2006-2011)




How to Cite

Wagemakers, S. (2017). Tilburg in Smeris: Local Audiences Engaging with (Familiar) Locations on National Television. Series - International Journal of TV Serial Narratives, 3(1), 87–99. https://doi.org/10.6092/issn.2421-454X/7148



Culture / Reception / Consumption