At Modern Luxury, connection and community define who we are. We use cookies to improve the Modern Luxury experience - to personalize content and ads, to provide social media features and to analyze our traffic. We also may share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. We take your privacy seriously and want you to be aware that we have recently made changes to our Privacy Policy, which can be found here.


Going Dutch

Jonathan Kiefer
 | March 1, 2013 | Lifestyle Story Culture National

Take a Dutch series (Penoza) about a housewife with ties to the underworld, transplant it to Marin and San Francisco, give creative control to über-screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg (the Twilight films, Dexter), and you get Red Widow (debuting March 3 on ABC). How does the San Anselmo native turned Hollywood heavyweight translate Euro-grit into (she hopes) an American hit?

Let the heroine be flawed: “We see Marta [Walraven, played by Radha Mitchell] making morally questionable decisions and screwing things up. She gets drawn into a criminal operation, and for the first season, she’s doing all she can to break free. Then she discovers that she’s actually pretty damned good at it.”

Make the setting a character: “The Dutch series has a very liberal social progressive sensibility. Marin has the same feel, and it’s also a bit of a bubble, which works with the theme of two worlds. In one, a safe and sheltered enclave, Marta has her family life, and then the Golden Gate Bridge takes us to the city, the criminality. The bridge is a very symbolic image.”

Pick up the pace: “The original is much slower. What it does in three episodes, I’ve done in one.”

Originally published in the March 2013 issue of San Francisco.

Have feedback? Email us at
Follow us on Twitter


Photography by: