Two Summers: How Male Perspective Leads the Story in This Belgian Series

Two Summers (Twee Zomers) is a thriller series from Belgium which was released on Netflix in June. The show follows a reunion of best friends after a gap of three decades. They meet up to celebrate the birthday of one of the members but, their celebrations are haunted by a tragic past. Someone is blackmailing them about what they did 30 years ago and soon the secrets get revealed which shakes up the group.

The series is written by Paul Baeten Gronda and Tom Lenaerts, as well as directed along with Brecht Vanhoenacker. The star cast includes An Miller as Romée, Tom Vermeir as Peter, Herwig Ilegems as Didier, Inge Paulussen as Sofie, Kevin Janssens as Luk, Ruth Becquart Saskia and Vincent Van Sande as Stef.

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Series Recap

The series starts off with Peter getting an anonymous message with a video attached to it, that shows him and the other guys (Didier, Stef and Mark), sexually assaulting their female friend (Sofie) and filming it with Luk’s camera. This incident happened 30 years ago in 1992, the last time the group got together in summer. In the present day, the same group of friends are having a get-together to celebrate Romée’s 50th birthday on an island.

They start suspecting each other and one thing leads to another, all of their secrets get revealed to everyone. One of the biggest clues to how the video resurfaced again even though they destroyed the tape, was that Luk had changed the tape then and discovered the original one months before the blackmail text.

The ladies were the blackmailers with Romée being on the front of it, while others thought they were just going to scare the men but Romée had bigger plans. The reality of Saskia’s child’s father was the turning point for her and made threats that drove Stef to kill himself. Which led to an investigation whose conclusion we didn’t get to know in the series.

To know more in detail you can read the review and the ending explained.

Still from Two Summers

Story Through the Male Gaze

While reading some of the comments on the ending explained article, that said that how the sexual assault incident was minimised just because years have passed and everyone involved is living a normal life. They especially mention the victim, Sofie, who is living a happy life and married Didier, who was one of the boys at the scene. They believe that she doesn’t remember anything and punishing them for it now, doesn’t make sense.

It made me realise how the series is solely told from the perspective of the male members of the group. Peter is the one who tells Romée about what happened that night when they were out drinking and smoking. And if you look closely, the portrayal of Sofie from the beginning is of someone who is just looking for trouble or we could simply call it a male gaze.

The Male Gaze theory, in a nutshell, is where women are viewed from the eyes of a heterosexual man, and that these women are represented as passive objects of male desire. Audiences are forced to view women from their point of view regardless of what gender they identify with. Similarly, Sofie is shown as a desirable character who will have sex with anyone in front of her.

Of course, the reason for it is blamed on her drunken state but could there be a possibility that the events might not actually be as Peter remembers them? We never get to see the turn of events from Sofie’s point of view. She never tells anyone what exactly happened when she was alone out with the guys. When she wakes up in the morning she has slight clues of what could have happened to her, even if she doesn’t remember everything but the body remembers.

Still from Two Summers, a Belgian series

But she is too scared to make a scene because they are nice and normal guys who are her friends. The creators of the Two Summers series, Paul Baeten Gronda, Tom Lenaerts and Brecht Vanhoenacker have made a story that is primarily from the perspective of a male. Their characters consider the #metoo movement as a facade based on stupid mistakes by men that should be forgiven and moved on with.

The same is reflected when they are only afraid that their reputation might be maligned like the men accused in the movement and ruin their lives for a small mistake they did, 30 years ago. That’s how they minimize the incident and say that it was a terrible mistake but they never feel sorry or guilty.


Two Summers (Twee Zomers) on Netflix is an important series to watch, that tells the story about ordinary nice men with deep-rooted beliefs of entitlement and internalised misogyny. It is either deliberately done by the creators to make the audience read between the lines and identify the problems with the characters or they believe the same. This could explain why oftentimes the series feels like we need to sympathise with the perpetrators whereas they are the ones to blame. Periodt.

Two Summers (Twee Zomers) is streaming on Netflix.

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