“La Maison d’en face”, broadcast on M6 and Salto, is none other than the remake of a successful Dutch soap which has had four seasons. Screenwriter and director Lionel Bailliu explains the main differences between the two versions.
All good things come to an end. M6 broadcast the last two episodes of The house oppositeits back-to-school event series led by Julie de Bona, Thierry Neuvic, Caterina Murino, Marc Ruchman and Antoine Dulery.
And if the channel is waiting for the results of the audiences (including replay) to decide on a possible season 2 – after all, the finale closes on an unbearable suspense – a sequel is not at all impossible since La Maison d’en face is none other than the remake of the Dutch series New Buren (literally “The New Neighbors”), which had four seasons between 2014 and 2019.
The starting point is the same in both series: the arrival of a couple – Eve and Yanis in La Maison d’en face, and Eva and Peter in Nieuwe Buren – in a suburban street where the secrets are legion. And their meeting with their neighbors opposite, with whom they will very quickly share everything. Including their partner during a swinger party which will have serious consequences.
Met recently during the La Rochelle TV Fiction Festival, where the M6 series was presented in preview, the director and screenwriter Lionel Bailliu (innocent), who wrote La Maison d’en face with Deborah Hadjedjexplained to us that he started with a fairly free adaptation, which takes many liberties with the original Dutch format.
Fewer episodes, less soap, and more links between the characters
“The adaptation is quite free. First, because the first season of the original series is made up of 10 episodes of 42 minutes, while we have 6 episodes of 52 minutes”confided Lionel Bailliu to our microphone. “As it is more diluted, there is in fact a soap side which is more present in the Dutch series. With us, the thriller stands out much more, which was not to displease us”.
In short, from there to think that Nieuwe Buren is even closer in the spirit of Desperate Housewives and its soapy twists, there is only one step. But this is obviously not the only difference between The House opposite and the series of which it is the adaptation.
Indeed, Lionel Bailliu also explained to us that the desire in the writing was to ensure that the characters intersect much more than in the original series. He and his co-author therefore imagined different frameworks or work situations that made it possible to bring Eve and Livia, and Yanis and Stéphane, even closer together.
“As we were closer together, we felt the need to change things about the characters so that they crossed paths more. We managed to have the two girls work in the same place, and so that the boys, who are both cops, be partners. We found that in the original series the police intrigue was a little too apart”.
“And then, the end did not satisfy us. There are certain arguments at the end which were quite specific to a culture that is not ours. So we transformed a lot of things”continued the director and screenwriter of La Maison d’en face.
It is true that if the series of M6 ends on a huge cliffhanger (Yanis wakes up in the hospital after being shot and seems to have forgotten the past months and the death of his daughter), other aspects have modified since, in the Dutch series, the character who corresponds to Livia (Caterina Murino) dies in the season 1 finale. While it is Eva/Eve (Julie de Bona), who finds herself plunged into a coma and becomes amnesiac in season 2.
But Lionel Bailliu assures us: the spirit of the original series is very present in La Maison d’en face, regardless of the adaptation choices that have been made. “The spirit of this meeting between these two couples which leads to this swinger party, which we tried to do in the prettiest way, so that it wasn’t just a creepy thing, it was something that was very successful in the original series. It was an inspiration but we deviated from it a lot”.
Find the complete version of La Maison d’en face on Salto.