A couple of intriguing events for TV lovers have popped up on my radar recently.
Long-time readers will remember that for five years, the Institut Français organised an annual French/UK TV festival called 'Totally Serialized'. Some of you might even have won tickets to it on this 'ere blog. However, there wasn't one this year, since Totally Serialized is going to become a series of ongoing events throughout the year.
The first of these is a showing on 26 April at 6.30pm at Ciné Lumière in London of France 2's Le Repenti(Reborn), which is being made available on Walter Presents (US readers can get it through Amazon). It stars Engrenages (Spiral)'s Bruno Debrandt as Alexis, who six years after he was left for dead, burned and wounded by his best friend Victor whom he betrayed, returns to Le Havre to work undercover at Victor’s docks. After significant reconstructive surgery and a changed identity, he is unrecognizable but struggles to stay away from his ex-family.
As you do.
Debrandt will be there on stage in conversation with Walter himself, preceding the showing of episode one. It's worth noting that it's actually a two-part telemovie, originally broadcast in 2010, so you'll only be getting half the story and given that episode one is 90 minutes long and the event's supposed to finish at 8.15pm, that sounds like about 15 minutes of chat.
Elsewhere, for fans of old UK TV, on 22 April at 7pm at the Museum of Comedy, also in London, Annette Andre will be reminiscing about her career, particularly Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased), but also A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum and The Benny Hill Show. There'll also be a chance to meet her afterwards. Tickets are £17 each.
I've been a bit occupied with a broken phone today - grrr, argh - so WHYBW is going to have to wait for another time. But I've not forgotten you. Today - hat-tip to Thierry Attard - we have a trailer or two for season 2 of Les Témoins (Witnesses). Despite its being one of the very few French shows to make it to network TV in the UK, I missed the first season because it started airing just before my August holidays. So I can't tell you what that was about, although the suggestions from Wikipedia are that it was quite conventional.
Witnesses is set in the small coastal town of Le Tréport in northern France, where the bodies of murder victims are being unearthed and left for discovery. The former chief-of-police, Paul Maisonneuve (Thierry Lhermitte), is implicated in the murders. Detectives Justin (Jan Hammenecker) and Sandra (Marie Dompnier) investigate the case
Sounds very vanilla.
However, season 2 looks a bit different. Marie Dompnier returns but one of my favourite actresses - Audrey Fleurot of Engrenages (Spiral) fame - is this season's guest star and here are the trailers I promised you.
If your French is a bit duff, that's "15 men found dead, frozen on a bus. All loved the same woman." And here's a write-up which I genuinely did translate myself this time:
A country road along the North Sea, the first day in Spring. 15 dead men, frozen, found sitting quietly in a bus.
Catherine Keemer: a mysterious woman, an amnesiac, discovered the next day in her car, 100km away. The 15 victims in the bus: all the men shared her love, for one night or a year. Sandra Winckler, a determined and obsessed cop who won't tolerate an unsolved mystery. Sandra Winckler (Marie Dompnier) and Catherine Keemer (Audrey Fleurot): two woman who are going to need to unite for the better and against the worst.
Now that's a bit more interesting. The show's back on France 2 in March but no word yet if either Netflix or Channel 4/Walter Presents is going to pick it up. You'd hope, wouldn't you?
PS No, I don't know why the names are above the wrong people in the poster (the tag line: "Love is the biggest danger")
Canal+ is my favourite (and the best by a country mile) of all the French TV channels and although it's having a bit of a problem at the moment with subscriber numbers and is cutting back quite severely, it is at least still producing a fair old number of top notch shows. Evidencing that is the channel's trailer for its upcoming TV schedule, which has something of the Beeb's "Original Drama" vibe to it.
Most of the shows will be familiar to British viewers or at least visitors to this 'ere blog, since it features season 6 of Engrenages (Spiral) (BBC Four) and season 3 of Le Bureau Des Légendes (The Bureau) (Amazon), as well as season 2 of Versailles (BBC Two) and season 3 of Kaboul Kitchen (Kabul Kitchen) (Channel 4).
But new to the pack is Guyane (Guyana), an eight-part "modern Western" lavishly filmed in the country of the title and which started a couple of days ago. Here's a synopsis:
Twenty-year-old Vincent Ogier (Mathieu Spinosi) is a Parisian geology student who has come to Guyana for an internship at a gold mining company: Cayenor.
A thirst for danger and a foolish mistake will push the young engineer to team-up with the "godfather of gold" Antoine Serra (Olivier Rabourdin from Spin and The Last Panthers), who reigns over the lost village of Saint Elias. Vincent believes he has found a mythical gold mine: a mine abandoned for 120 years, named "Sarah Bernhardt". Serra has the skills to operate it. Seemingly paternal and friendly, Serra embarks with Vincent into the depths of the Guyanese jungle…
In a few weeks, Vincent will pass from trainee to adventurer…
No, I'm not quite sure about the Sarah Bernhardt thing, either. Here's the trailer and you can have a much longer Guyane trailer, too, you lucky people:
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A UK media blog focusing on the best scripted TV from around the world, with daily news, views, exclusive reviews and good conversation. There's a bit of a bias towards the latest and greatest US TV, but we also cover Scandinavian, Canadian, European and Antipodean TV, as well as UK TV ranging from new Doctor Who to old Z Cars, and BBC4 to S4C.
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I'm Rob Buckley, a freelance journalist who writes for UK media magazines that most people have never heard of, although you might have heard me on Radio 5 Live's Saturday Edition or Afternoon Edition. I've edited Dreamwatch, Sprocket and Cambridge Film Festival Daily; been technical editor for trade magazine Televisual; reviewed films for the short-lived newspaper Cambridge Insider and the equally short-lived Death Ray and Filmstar magazines; written features for the even shorter-lived newspaper Soho Independent; and was regularly sarcastic about television on the blink-and-you-missed-it "web site for urban hedonists" The Tribe. I'm freelance now and have contributed to the likes of Broadcast, Total Content + Media, Action TV, Off The Telly, Action Network and TV Scoop.