BUREAU DES LEGENDES (2015 – ) SEASON 2

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Creator: Eric Rochant

Cast: Mathieu Kassovitz, Sara Giraudeau, Jean-Pierre Darroussin

Four months have passed within the DGSE. Guillaume Debailly (alias Malotru), promoted to deputy director of the Bureau des Légendes, became a double agent on behalf of the CIA. Under cover of psychoanalysis sessions, he delivers to the doctor, his contact agent at the CIA, the information he gathered weekly. In exchange, Malotru expects the Americans to release the woman he loves, Nadia, imprisoned by the Syrians somewhere in the world. On the other hand, as Loiseau starts her delicate and dangerous underground mission in Iran, the DGSE is confronted with a new crisis: a jihad, now an officer of Daech, publicly harasses France in a bloodthirsty way.

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The first season of the Bureau des Légendes had seduced us last year by its authenticity, its realism and the inclination of Eric Rochant to continue to dig further into the  universe of espionage and intelligence that ” He has known so well since his films Les Patriotes and Möbius. The first season however took place in Paris When Malotru comes back in Paris. Eric introduce us with the characters and such. The stories are purely fictional but of what is going on today. The second season however is that the agents on the field. Nadia who trained to be an agent is going to be in Iran to work in a company well that is her cover. The talented Sara Giraudeau assumes the role beautifully well here as wells the other actors Camille de Castelnau, Cécile Ducrocq, Hippolyte Girardot, Raphael Chevènement, Antonin Martin. The narrative intersect with intelligence, participating in the immersion in this new season which is proving exciting. These new episodes embrace, moreover, the actuality with a realism that will put a chill thought your back, taking as background the narratives evoking both the Syrian conflict and the Islamic radicalism. Mathieu Kassovitz and Jean-Pierre Darroussin recover their characters with greediness and engage in this duel of cat and the mouse game, the two actors seeming to savour their acting by bringing more nuances to  their characters that one might have thought immovable. Over all a terrific second season that went up a notch big time and yes there is a season 3. Season 3 will be the final chapter like a trilogies than Rochant I think is going to put new character for season 4 that will start a new chapter.

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ZONE BLANCHE (2017 – )

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Creators: Mathieu Missoffe

Cast: Suliane Brahim, Hubert Delattre, Laurent Capelluto

Villefranche is a small isolated town in the heart of a gigantic forest, a green labyrinth of thousands of hectares making any telecommunication hazardous. This place is not quite like the others has its unmapped areas, its crimes, its disappearances and other mysteries to be elucidated and a rate of homicide six times higher than the national average … but apart from it all everything is fine. , The city can count on its sheriff, Major Laurène Weiss (Suliane Brahim), a girl of the strong country in mouth and strangely connected to Nature. As she continues to investigate, she sinks farther and farther into the forest she discover secrets even some from her own adduction 20 years ago.

Viilefranche is a fictional town somewhere in Belgium. It has 8 episodes and it is a French Belgian series. The filming took places in between the Voges and Belgium. So you can feel the fog, the nature and the thousand of ares of forest, it is a perfect setting for this kind of series. It is dark, intriguing and mysterious and when you watch it the story will have some twist and turns that you won’t expect. Well casted and written which I can’t wait for season 2 to come out. I just finished watching the last episodes this week and what great ending which you are going to want more. Do not miss this one.

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3 X MANON (2014 – )

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Creator: Jean-Xavier de Lestrade

Cast: Alba Gaïa Kraghede Bellugi, Yannick Choirat, Marina Foïs 

Manon is a 15-year-old teenager rebellious  against everything. She is sent to a closed educational center after stabbing her mother with a knife. She has six months to rehabilitate herself and think about her future.

Here is a terrific series that should of lasted only 3 episodes because it was rewarded with a Fipa award and the rating was there on the channel  Arte there will be a second season. And yes it is a joy to see such a great series from France succeed in creating such a quality series.

Here is a Manon (Alba Gaïa Kraghede Bellugi) who stab her mother who is a little too loving if you know what I mean., well you think she is a little strange. Manon get to go to a rehabilitation centre which she has 6 months to get rehabilitate. Once she gets there she is trying to control her anger but she  can’t help it, she react violently. She find comfort in this woman who is the cook there. But there is something there with Manon and her mom something  is not healthy and Manon most of the time does not want to talk to her on the phone. Marina Foîs here does an out standing job here to play Manon’s mom . she is a little disturbing. Manon  tries  to get it together but is she going to succeed?

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DIX POUR CENT (2015- )

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Creator: Fanny Herrero

Cast: Camille Cottin, Thibault de Montalembert, Grégory Montel

English title: Call my agent 

The  accurate translation here is 10 percent that what is an agent gets from the actor. Inspired by the experience of Dominique Besnehard, a great agent representing many French actors, the series “Dix pourcents” plunges us into the universe of the agency AKS.

The agents Mathias (Thibault de Montalembert), Gabriel (Grégory Montel), Andréa (Camille Cotin) and Arlette (Liliane Rovère) give themselves body and soul to represent their actors and also to incidentally touch … 10% of their cachet. Following the sudden death of Samuel, founder of ASK, the agents and their assistants try to manage the agency as well as possible. and yes the Guest stars are : Cécile de France, Françoise Fabian, Joey Starr, Laura Smet and Nathalie Baye (playing mother and daughter) and more. Ten percent is a successful  French series; Funny dialogues filled with humor, caricatured characters and an ironic look at this facet of the film industry. They include desperate, vain or capricious actors and actresses , tortured filmmakers and outdated and relentless agents. This monstrous little world of the agency ASK, where the “big ones” of this world are found finally seems to be transformed into a place where simple humans coexist. The self-mockery with which Ten percent builds his story and his characters is probably his greatest strength and intelligence. And if the 6 episodes made you want more laughter and glamor, a second season is about to be written. Would you believe that most actors the guest stars were hard to find due to the fact they did not want to play themselves. The series delivers from beginning to end and it is not even boring, It is on Netflix video streaming.

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EN IMMERSION (2015 – )

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Creator: Philippe Haïm

Cast: Patrick Ridremont, Olivier Chantreau, Emmanuelle Meyssignac

English title: Deep

diagnose of  a degenerative neurological disease, Michel Ferrero who is a cop, learns he has only six months to live. Suspended for hitting a colleague, he decided to risk it all out by infiltrating a Parisian network of distribution of hard drugs. His motivation is further enhanced when his 17-year-old daughter, Clara, was hospitalized after an overdose.

Here is a great series of only 3 episode of 45 minutes. Do not confuse this one with the one by the BBC called In Deep (2001 – 2003). Here Haïm who is the creator, writer, director and even compose the music for it. This series is a series noir, very noir it is shot in black and white with some impressive diving camera work, some in slow motion, some not. Immersion adds a neat and  tightly structured script and an editing which links sequences smoothly. Surrealism calls repeatedly with hallucinations that grips Michel Ferrero. a great casting to top it all off with Patrick Ridremont dans le rôle principal, Emmanuelle Meyssignac, Olivier Chantreau  et Pénélope-Rose Lévêque. Do not miss this one it is on Netflix.

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PANTHERS (2015 – )

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Creator: Jack Thorne

Cast: Samantha Morton, Tahar Rahim, John Hurt

It is a  story inspired by the notorious Balkan jewel thieves the Pink Panthers Independent claims specialist Naomi (Samantha Morton) is given the job by her boss, Tom (John Hurt), of recovering stolen diamonds no matter the cost. Suddenly the investigation is taking us all over Europe.

Here is a terrific series noir. The Panthers of the title were a real gang of thieves from the former Yugoslavia.They acquired their nickname because they specialized in stealing jewels and, in one  case, hid a diamond in a jar of cold cream, copying a scene from The Return of the Pink Panther. Panthers opens with a diamond robbery in Marseilles.  It’s efficient, brutal and precise. The gunmen don’t even bother to cover their faces, and they deter the police response with war tactics.But something goes wrong during their escape, and a bystander is killed, triggering a series  of events. An English woman, Naomi Franckom (Samantha Morton) is an insurance investigator for a firm in London that will have to pay 15 million euros if she does not recover the diamond. Here where is it getting interesting there is flash back from her life even the other characters so you know where they come from and how they meet. The series was shot on location in London, France, Belgrade and Montenegro. English, Croatian, Serbian is spoken. What I like about it takes you all over Europe so you get to see the devastating landscape or even beautiful one.  You will be hooked the first episode. Only 6 episodes in this one.

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P’TIT QUINQUIN (2014- )

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Creator: Bruno Dumont

Cast: Alane Delhaye, Lucy Caron, Bernard Pruvost

Set in a small town on the Northern French coast in a few short days around Bastille Day, P’tit Quinquin is the latest TV drama, comedy à la Twin Peaks from Dumont to open with the discovery of a body. Here, the corpse is found stuffed inside a dead cow. Leading the investigation is Captain Van Der Weyden (Bernard Pruvost), aided by his oft-puzzled partner Carpentier (Philippe Jore). It’s not long before a second corpse turns up in similar circumstances, and the bodies quickly begin to pile up. Meanwhile, the title character (Alane Delhaye) is a mischievous off beat kid  who roams the town with his girlfriend Eve (Lucy Caron) and his off beat  young mates. There are a bunch of homophobes and bigots. Quinquin looks like (when he is going to grow up) a deviant serial killer but he seems like a nice boy.

For the most part here it is a black comedy off beat and crazy at times, and you can tell right away that it is the work of Dumont who is such a genius. Dumont seems to use actors that are not professional actors, I think he sees the face of a dude in the street that looks a little bizarre and tells him if he would like to make a film or series for the most part that is what he does.This is director Bruno Dumont’s satirical vision of France. Keep in mind it is a off beat comedy that is on steroid. You see Davis leach has influence a lot of directors in his life time. At times it was going on my nerves a little bit but you have to give it time. Some of you might not like it at all. the series is an irresistibly funny accretion of quirky characters and bizarre details – the unpriestly behaviour of the priests at a funeral; The two off beat and bizarre cops etc…. The series is a little compulsive at times. Of course I come to find out that is going to be a Hollywood remake. No thank you. I love this one just fine. I am getting tired of remake.

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