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Series cast summary:
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 Guy (47 episodes, 1997-2003)
Sylvie Léonard ...
 Sylvie (47 episodes, 1997-2003)
Norman Helms ...
 Le policier / ... (26 episodes, 1997-2003)
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March 1997 (Canada)  »

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The next step of TV Comedy - sound bite vignettes
11 May 2003 | by (Kingston, Ontario, Canada) – See all my reviews

This is a very well written show, but it goes a step beyond that. Rather than the usual sitcom format of taking a story's premise, and playing around it for the half hour, usually of one character trying to hide a misstep from the others, this show plays on the moments, allowing it to play with many, many different, nominally connected jokes through a half hour.

The normal show is split into three scenarios - Guy and his "blonde" (slang in Quebec for female significant other) Sylvie, interacting in a situation or with others. Each scenario is split into 5 to 7 segments, split with flashy graphics and sometimes an appropriate comment such as "jalousie" or "le monde est pervert" Each segment sets up and plays out jokes that stand on their own, playing on the quirks of the characters. For much of the earlier series, with a few exceptions, you do not see the other characters beyond hands or feet, or in the case of Genvieve (a co-worker of Guy's who was always too friendly to him in Sylvie's company, inspiring her "jalousie",) the entire shapely figure below the neck, particularly when she was pregnant.

It just finished up some five seasons run on Radio-Canada, but I've found that while knowing French sometimes help understand the jokes, it isn't essential - you can tell what is happening. An example is one Christmas when Guy's father gives two year old Anakin (yep, Melanie chose the name from Star Wars) a Barbie doll as a present. Sylvie lectures the father about how Barbie is such an unrealistic image of women, while Elise and Guy both happen to look at Melanie, seated obliviously between them, with quite the Barbie build and wardrobe.

This series has been licensed for local production in numerous other countries and languages, to great success there. I yearn for an English edition.


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