Le bureau des légendes (Le Bureau)
Totally Serialized

Totally Serialized: Le bureau des légendes (The Bureau) – saison 3

Although I’m not 100% sure it’s still running its Totally Serialized events, the Institut français du Royaume-Uni is still being very marvellous and running French TV events in London. To save me some hassle, let’s pretend it’s still called Totally Serialized so I don’t have to rename this section.

Office admin out the way, appropriately enough, the first ‘Totally Serialized’ of 2018 is a showing of the first two episodes of the third season of Le bureau des légendes (The Bureau) (France: Canal+; UK: Amazon), as well as a Q&A with producer Alex Berger.

Le Bureau des Légendes

FRA | 2014 | Series 3, episodes 1&2 | 2×52 mins | showrunner Eric Rochant | directed by Samuel Collardey | with Mathieu Kassovitz, Jean-Pierre Darroussin, Léa Drucker cert. tbc | in French with EN subs | UK Premiere

If you were hooked by The Bureau, rejoice, here comes the UK premiere of the new season! Based on real-life accounts by former spies, this French addictive series depicts a branch of clandestine undercover agents, dispatched in key and hostile locations around the world. Offering a new perspective on intelligence agencies and intricate geopolitical issues, this third season centres on “Malotru” (Mathieu Kassovitz), who is taken hostage by ISIS.

Followed by a Q&A with Alex Berger, Producer of The Bureau

It’s taking place on Wednesday 24th January at 8.30pm at the Institut in London and you can book tickets online – seats are still available.

Incidentally, I don’t know if the Institut is misspeaking or not, but the Tweet I spotted about the event talks about it being a preview, suggesting that the full season might finally be coming to Amazon…

UPDATE: Turns out there’s also a debate the next day about politics on TV, chaired by Walter of Walter Presents fame:

Power and Politics: The Hottest Genre in TV Drama

22:45-23:45

Chaired by Walter Iuzzolino, the curator behind global drama channel, Walter Presents, ‘Power and Politics: The Hottest Genre in TV drama’ will lift the lid on some of the most popular recent hit thrillers and royal dramas. Why have they struck such a chord with international audiences, and what successful formulae do they share? Meet the producers, writers and actors behind blockbuster hits like Spin, The Crown, Victoria, and The Bureau, and explore the line where fiction and reality meet. Who is manipulating whom, and to what extent is fiction shaping real life politics and public opinion? Mathieu Sapin, author of comic books on politics will also join the debate.

Speakers
  • Alex Berger, Producer of The Bureau
  • Gregory Fitoussi, Actor in Spin series
  • Daisy Goodwin, Creator and Writer of Victoria
  • Andy Harries, Executive Producer of The Crown (season 2)
  • Mathieu Sapin, Political Comic Book Author and Illustrator
Chair
  • Walter Iuzzolino, Global Drama Curator

Tickets available here

Happy 12th birthday to TMINE!

A birthday cake

Crikey, as I always say. How did that happen?

Time has flown again, since The Medium Is Not Enough emerged blinking into the world a stupifying 12 years ago, primed to make sarcastic comments about foreign TV, mainly from the US, mainly in languages I can speak, with reviews of Prison Break, Supernatural, and Global Frequency

Normally, I recall at this point what I’ve learnt in the past year. However, I’ve reached the age where I’ve both achieved true wisdom, so have apparently learnt nothing new, and have started to lose my memory, so I probably did learn something but have now forgotten it.

Oh yes. That was it. My learning is that French TV has more than one good TV programme, now that Canal+ has added Baron Noir and Le bureau des Légendes to its portfolio of Engrenages (Spiral). 

One thing I would say, though, is that I think Peak TV has peaked. There are more and more networks on more and more media, it’s true. But judging by the number of networks who dipped their toes in the water of scripted content a few years ago, shivered a bit, and have now retreated back in the warm, embracing confines of unscripted in the past few months, I’m thinking we’re starting to see some obvious winners emerging from the melée and that there’ll be fewer new dramas as a result. 

As always, a great big thank you to all the regular commenters: Mark Carroll, JustStark, bob and GYAD (who might have been picked off at the back by hyenas in the past few months). Another big thank you and welcome to new arrivals Eagled and Ian Miller for giving me hope in the darkness. But a thanks to absolutely everyone who even left a single comment in passing, particularly Craig Grannell, Toby, idleworm, Robin Parker and Adam Bowie. 

Same time next year everyone? I say that every year, don’t I?

Canal+’s campaign for season 3 of Le Bureau des Légendes (The Bureau) is a bit like watching paint drying

I love Le Bureau des Légendes (The Bureau). It is almost certainly the best French-language TV show I’ve ever seen and that includes all of Engrenages (Spiral). Good news! Season 3 is just starting on Canal+ in France, which means that fingers crossed, it’ll be on Amazon in the UK within the next few months.

However, in its native land, it has to be said, the ad campaign to promote it isn’t exactly going all out to sell its virtues. True, it’s not the most action-packed of shows, despite being a spy drama, although it does have its moments. But all the same, Canal+ is very much preaching to the converted with its latest campaign…

To be fair, they do have one cool one. Spoilers ahoy, obviously…

Take a look at the upcoming Canal+ shows, including Spiral, The Bureau, Versailles, Kabul Kitchen and Guyana

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:

When’s that show you mentioned starting again, TMINE? Including Twin Peaks and Le Bureau Des Légendes (The Bureau)

Every Friday, I let you know the latest announcements about when new, imported TV shows will finally be arriving on your screens – assuming anyone’s bought any, of course.

It’s another quiet week for acquisitions, so I can offer you but one new show premiere time and date:

  • Twin Peaks (US: Showtime)
    Sky Atlantic: May 22, 2am (regular time: Tuesdays, 9pm, starting May 23)
    Episode reviews: simulcast, so I ain’t seen nothing yet

However, I’ll just point out that in case you don’t have Amazon Prime, the truly marvellous Le Bureau Des Légendes (The Bureau) (France: Canal+) will be available to own on DVD from Monday (you can already get it on iTunes, if you prefer digital).