Hot Lines, the review: sex, love and telephony

The review of Lines Boiling, the Dutch series from 8 April on Netflix, which tells the birth of Europe’s first erotic telephone line in Amsterdam in the 90s.

Hot Lines: A scene from the Netflix series

It is with an irreverent spirit that we write this review of Hot Linesthe same that characterizes the series available from April 8 on Netflix. An original Dutch product of the platform that catapulted us into Amsterdam in the late 80s – early 90s, before it became the city we know today.

The birth of phone sex

The point of view, the fulcrum of the story and the off-screen voice that accompanies us in the narration is the unfiltered one of Marly (Joy Delima), an enterprising student who accidentally starts a new career at an erotic phone line started by two deeply different brothers ( Minne Koole and Chris Peters). A voice over that is never invasive or intrusive, indeed peppery and irreverent just like the general tone of the series itself, brings the viewer into her life, made of shyness and modesty towards a theme – that of sex – which is still a taboo more than how much do you think.

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Hot Lines: A scene from the Netflix series

The awareness of one’s own sexuality, one’s body and one’s identity show us a sort of coming-of-age novel for the protagonist and her best friend, on the contrary libertine and uninhibited, after Marly is thrown out of the house and will have to learn to get by. alone, and it will be a chance meeting with the two brothers to change her life. Two opposites who cannot be without each other, who admire and envy each other, just like the two male counterparts in history, the most staid and conscientious one and the sly, who continues to have “revolutionary ideas” until it will really have one: the advent of the first of the Hot Telephone Lines, as the title suggests, or the first and most famous and profitable paid hot line in Europe. It all began in Holland, in Amsterdam, in what will become the “city of perdition” par excellence (we deliberately use hyperbole, exaggerating the identity of the city).

Sexify, the review: the Netflix TV series that breaks down taboos on female sexuality

There is no time to … come

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Hot Lines: A scene from the Netflix series

Between a joke and a what if, a flashback and a narrative parenthesis, the story flows quickly in front of the screen thanks to a tight editing and a dynamic direction that make the narration fluid and lively together with a script and sparkling dialogues and that do not get lost in chatter, thanks to the pen by the creator Pieter Bart Korthuis (Penoza). Various types of sexuality are explored in the six episodes that make up the series, including the homosexuality of one of the characters to be kept hidden in those years as a taboo. This is precisely the key word of a product that wants to make us reflect on how sexist sex has often been (and still is), starting from Freud’s theories on libido and how little was known (or is still known?) female pleasure organ compared to the male one.

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Hot Lines: A scene photo from the Netflix series

Sometimes Marly breaks the fourth wall talking directly into the room, just as the irreverent protagonist of Fleabag would do, and explains to the audience the context and background useful for understanding what is being told, with a wink at Adam McKay’s filmography. Lines Boiling is a sort of Masters of Sex of the 90s, which lives and breathes from the soundtrack of those years thanks to the birth of house music, which allowed you to go wild while dancing and not having to contain yourself in the movements. The colors of the series – warm and neon – that make the protagonists shine and their desire for lightheartedness are the elements that best enhance this serial adventure.


How nice to present a series that brings a breath of fresh air into the increasingly dense and monotonous landscape of Netflix, and that for once comes from the European basin and not overseas, in our review of Hot Lines.

Because we like it

  • Screenplay and staging that enhance the liveliness and irreverence of the (true) story being told.
  • The issues of female and male sexuality and how pleasure is seen today, together with the concept of taboo that still contains too many arguments.

What’s wrong

  • The tight editing and the sudden changes could annoy the public looking for a more classic and linear story.

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