If you know the (Erasure) song, you are old enough to understand this series.
If you don't know why you hate certain people, and you've got the feeling it's got something to do with hysteria, watch this series now :)! Mélanie Doutey is too nice for the role, whereas Zoé Félix is right on track for this role. She's hysteria incarnate, but as her features are not that perfect, you can focus more on how dumb, manipulative and "emotional all the time" she is. Did I mention "selfish"? She's the best at that. Just an example: when her stunning mum, now with cancer, is kicking her out of her house, all she has to say is: "But you're going to die!" (meaning "I'll miss you, you need me, can I stay a little longer?). Maybe the fact that she's hateable is her success, and what she wants. If so, she deserves an Oscar :). The ending of the series is just another instance of her constant provocations.
This series is filled with French (parisian) psychoanalysis. As I live in BA, Argentina, this comes as no surprise, but I suppose it's kind of unusual for... the rest of the World :). The episode "Le mystère du catogan" in fact deals with Clara and Gilles's psychoanalysis, with a Freudian coach and everything. They even analyze their dreams at length, and Clara about arcane concepts like "penis envy" and incestuous relations at the family gathering like an American would about, I don't know, their latest home theater :). By the way, had Freud got Clara as a patient... he'd written a more readable case book about hysteria :)! Music is perfect (for the series). The "main title" we get to hear before each episode is as addictive as it's simple. I ended up wanting to watch the titles, I guess I was "conditioned" to the simple beauties of a TV series with people just struggling to be happy, without ANY "message". Clara is endowed with good lines, frequent and timely "philosophical reflections", literary summaries of what happens to everybody else. And she's given the best lines when there are arguments etc. (which seems to be pretty often). Nevertheless, even this is too funny and frivolous to be taken seriously.
Paris is shot extremely well, it comes to the rescue when it's being so dumb you want to turn off the TV & give back the cable TV decoder :). It feels modern and new, unlike other similarly modern series. I am thinking about "Le silence de l'epervier" (2008, same year), but there are many others, who seem to be XIX century prose like Balzac's in comparison. Patrick Mille is the character I like the most. He's got the hell of a role to play, a very nice person, witty but not too much, who makes mistakes like all the others in the cast but at least is not screaming for attention. Christophe Malavoy's Bertrand is probably the most intelligent character. While being a secondary role, when he speaks... behold :)! Again, him being unassumingly intelligent is what gives him force. Frédéric Diefenthal did a JP almost as good. If you saw him at "Pas de panique", you'll enjoy him making such a different role here. Julie Judd, who plays there his virtuous and materialistic "beautiful blonde girlfriend", is here again, in a much more subdued role, which she carries off naturally, good proof she is a good actress when well directed &/ given a decent character :). François Vincentelli's Gilles doesn't transmit anything to me. Thierry Neuvic's is much better as the "piece of meat/ hunk".If you can't stand the idea of gay people, don't watch this, for it's a topic as natural as smoking in this series.
Some things are better left not analyzed, this is definitely the case with the "bad teenager who doesn't want to grow old" Clara. Notice she lives at Gilles, then at her mum's (always "dependent"), until finally... Not for the morally jaded, for homosexual and bisexual love is given ample screen time. Enjoy like a bubblegum.
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