EYEWITNESS (2014)

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Creators: Jarl Emsell Larsen

Cast: Axel Bøyum, Odin Waage, Anneke von der Lippe

Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy took the publishing industry by storm and everything since then  the Nordic noir is in business. Eyewitness is something slightly different, merging crime thriller and family drama.

When Philip (Axel Bøyum) and Henning (Odin Waage) witness a multiple-murder they stay quiet, fearing for their lives, normal reaction for teenagers. Philip has his foster-mother who is  the officer leading the investigation, Helen Sikkeland (Anneke von der Lippe). When the SRO are drafted in to deal with a drugs war involving The Sixers and a biker band called The Ferrymen, Sikkeland begins to see connections. However, without evidence and the gun that they can’t find she is at a halt and struggle to make progress.

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Here is a terrific Nordic Noir as I love them with some terrific actors and story telling. Henning, an alpha male motocross champion, seems more terrified by his family to discover who he is really. In keeping quiet Philip to protects him  but messes up  his already complicated relationship with his foster family. Thank god for trying to avoid the clichés. The performances of the actors are strong with some great sensitive writing to go with it. The Norwegian / Swedish nine series has 6 episodes that are dark and tense.

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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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BEAU SÉJOUR (2016 – )

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Creators: Nathalie Basteyns, Kaat Beels, Sanne Nuyens

Cast: Lynn Van Royen, Inge Paulussen, Jan Hammenecker

Here from Belgium on the Dutch side a fantastic realistic thriller series. A hotel room under renovation and a girl who is in a blood bath in a bathtub. Someone knock on the door and she disappears. Later her body is found by the lake. She soon realise while solving her own murder that 5 people can see her.

Terrific  series here where the tile is the name of the hotel. Beau Séjour is the collective creation of Sanne Nuyens, Bert Van Dael, Kaat Beels, Nathalie Basteyns, the  two last one being also the directors of the episodes. Kato is a ghost, but of a very special type: five people can see her, communicate with her … and even more, Her alcoholic father, a policeman who does not hesitate to eliminate evidence, his half-sister Sofia, devoured by jealousy, Ines, a friend who rounds off his end of the month by hard drug trafficking and Charlie, a Another friend just out of a psychiatric asylum. But the police investigation is the main part of the plot with the elimination, one after the other, of people wrongly suspected. Secrets will emerge left and right. It has been rewritten as almost the same style as the film named Six sense , where the ghost is trying to solve her own murder. In order to make it sinister the series was shot in the winter to reinforced the landscape that got with the theme of the series. The rumors that circulate on a season 2, in the form of an anthology with another story and other characters, have not yet been denied, nor confirmed. I ham hoping for a second season.

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BLACK MIRROR (2011 – ) SEASON 3

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Creator: Charlie Brooker

Cast: Chris Martin Hill, Hannah John-Kamen, Beatrice Robertson-Jones

The first two seasons of the great British series Black Mirror consist of a grand total of seven episodes (including the Christmas Special starring Jon Hamm). So far so good. The third season of the series has 6 episodes, nearly doubling the seasons one and two. Each season has their own stories.

NOSEDIVE: In a distant future where people rate each other through their daily social interactions, we follows a young woman (Bryce Dallas Howard) trying to move into an upper-class neighbourhood. she must secure a high-ranking and a friend’s wedding seems like the perfect occasion to up her social status. But unfortunately , not everything goes according to plan. It is like the network that we have now but friends has to like you in order to be popular. I thought they were going to go somewhere dark with it  but the episode turned  out to be funny.

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PLAYTEST: An adventurous backpacker (Wyatt Russell) signs up to test an experimental virtual reality game. While the technology starts off as fun, it eventually it goes into this horror trip from hell. Actually it is my favourite one.  Nightmarish imagery is employed to scare the viewer and a few moments. It was a bit predictable here but hey! what isn’t those days. I knew how it was going to end. Maybe it should end differently. well c’est la vie.

SHUT UP AND DANCE: Here is the coolest one of them all . Anteenager (Alex Lawther) is  blackmailed  after the hackers record him through his webcam. In order to keep an embarrassing video off the internet, the teenager goes through with their increasingly strange demands. Great performance by the actors here. What I like they think they are done and the hackers keeps demanding stranger demands.  The ending is just right there they nailed it. So cool.

SAN JUNIPERO: In 1987,  (Mackenzie Davis) meets an outgoing party girl (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) in a strange town. However, things aren’t exactly what they seem and a timeless romance soon blossoms between them. They keep meeting in different time and you think they are time travellers. They try to look for each other every time the switch world. I do love this on as well do to the fact this one is the romantic one and become a bit twisted.

MAN AGAINST FIRE: After his first battle a soldier with an elusive enemy A soldier becomes experiencing unfamiliar sensation and strange technical glitches. I do love this one where they will be a twist in there they even ended it just right. This soldier goes in battle to fight the enemy but he comes back he has some vision and glitches that will question him of what is going on here. When he does well he superior gives him an alternative and the end I did not expect here it is so good.

HATED IN THE NATION: A journalist (Elizabeth Berrington) is brutally murdered, two detectives (Kelly Macdonald, Faye Marsay) investigate a series of homicides that are linked to social media. Unfortunately, the case is complex and things are out of control. So far season 3 seems to deliver some great episodes. I can’t wait until season 4.

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MR. ROBOT (2015 – )

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Creator: Sam Esmail

Cast: Rami Malek, Christian Slater, Portia Doubleday 

The lonely, alienated computer whiz is the hero and his solitary battle against, among other things, corporate greed and corruption is at the core of the show. (He also hates debt of all kinds — credit card, third world and college.) By day, Elliot works as a programmer at a cybersecurity company whose major client is E Corp; it’s a job that he found through a childhood friend, Angela (Portia Doubleday). Elliot has a thing for Angela, but she has a handsome, normal boyfriend, Ollie (Ben Rappaport), who’s favorite line is  “I don’t need this kind of negativity in my life.” In his off hours, Elliot has some hobbies, like  hacking into and searching the emails and caches of strangers and even his friends. He meets this guy a self proclaimed hacker who has a plan to hack and make the big corporations well all businesses drop to their knees into a financial melt down a self proclaim anarchist hackers (led by Christian Slater) who want to recruit Elliot to their cause.

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You see Elliot coulee crazy and at the same time could be the saner dude in the room. Mr. Robot is either a gripping high-tech thriller or a gripping psychological drama. The brilliant thing is you are not quite sure. Elliot here has this problem with morphine although he uses it in low dosage. Like every hackers paranoia plays a big role here, he thinks he is follows and he si careful enough to leave no trace when he hacks but then again. We spent a good portion of the show in his head. The show has a dark social complex commentary hidden into a rich layer of high tech mambo jumbo. Do not miss this one. Here in France we are going to get to see the second season already which is unusual and that is fine with me.

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RESIDUE (2015 – )

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Cast: Natalia Tena, Iwan Rheon, Jamie Draven

The story is set in a nameless city, where photo-journalist Jennifer (Natalia Tena) is investigating a mysterious explosion that occurred one New Year’s Eve. We start in the night in question and go from there. There is a quarantine and two side the infected side and the clean side. Plus as one boy says to the reporter “you have seen it haven’t you? “ and yes there is more than meets the eyes here. What was that explosion? with a little investigation they realized that is something there underneath the surface but what is it. Terrific series here from Netflix I hope there is a second season. This one here is only 3 episodes of 45 minutes. It would kind of sucks if it would stop here it leaves so many unanswered questions and would be frustrating for the viewer.

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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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