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”)
It’s “What have you been watching?”, my chance to tell you what movies and TV I’ve been watching recently and your chance to recommend anything you’ve been watching.
I did promise you on Monday one potential last WHYBW to sign off with before the Christmas hols to mop up the few shows with remaining episodes this week. And here it is! How exciting. How reliable of me for a change.
After the jump then, the finale of Falling Water and as Netflix released all of Travelers today in the UK, I was able to binge-watch the final episodes, so I’ll be looking at them, too. Thanks to its delayed airing, I’ll be looking at the latest (not final) episode of Shooter, and I’ve also watched a few more episodes of The OA since I started it on Monday.
On top of that, I also managed to catch up with another of Netflix’s French imports:
Dix pour cent (Call My Agent!) (France: France 2; UK: Netflix) Sort of the French equivalent of Extras, Dix pour cent is set in a talent agency, where the various members of staff have to deal with all the problems that beset the ‘talent’, including the talent themselves. Except there’s all manner of inter-agency rivalry, poaching et al to deal with, too, once the head of the agency pops his clogs.
The show’s selling point in France is that series producer Dominique Besnehard was one of the biggest talent agents in France for 20 years and managed huge numbers of top actors, actresses and directors. He then persuaded a select range of these stars to appear as ‘themselves’ in the show to send themselves up, with episode one seeing Cécile de France (The Young Pope, Around The World in 80 Days, Mesrine) finding herself ditched from a Quentin Tarantino movie for being – gasp! – too old.
Which is a problem for UK audiences, since although there’s a chance that some of us will be familiar with some of the stars such as Audrey Fleurot from Engrenages (Spiral), most of the stars are like de France and are going to leave virtually everyone scratching our heads in exactly the same way every American did when Les Dennis turned up in Extras, for example. Even if you do know the show features such cameos (which isn’t obvious), most people aren’t going to know fictional character from cameo, let alone know an actor’s public persona and what they’re sending up.
On top of that, it’s just not that funny. Quelle surprise, given it’s France 2, but the show’s few jokes went flashing past unaccompanied by laughs. Oh, and the subtitling is terrible.
One to avoid unless you really know your French acting scene, I’m afraid.