A reclusive telemarketer has only one semblance of a friend: His telecommuter boss. But the telemarketer's social circle seems to improve greatly when a whimsical co-worker enters his life.... See full summary »
Joel David Moore
Joel David Moore,
The original series follows a murder investigation and reveals the cooperation, conflict, transgression and corruption within the French legal system from the perspective of the lead ... See full summary »
Four police officers of the SDPJ Hauts-de-Seine, Eddie Caplan, Walter Morlighem, Theo Wachevski and Roxane Delgado have their lives turned upside down when their colleague, Max, committed ... See full summary »
An Egyptian gangster, El Ott, divorced his wife, Salma, and left the family soon after his daughter, Amina, was mysteriously kidnapped and lost in Cairo. El Ott discovers that Fathi, a ... See full summary »
Paris, 1871. This is a story of the women trapped in a luxury brothel, 'Paradise'. The very young Rose came to Paris in search of her mother, former prostitute. She is trapped and forced to... See full summary »
Magnifique! - gritty French police procedural buried on BBC4, each episode enmeshing you in a darker and darker world of crime, pain, and
as everywhere - a convoluted legal system that is best summed up by a
brief exchange mid-series: "It's cruel." "It's only justice." With great performances and a coldly verité mise en scene, this holds its own among the best US & UK police/legal dramas. Oh, and need I say how refreshing it is to see a non-US drama on British screens? A large cast perform excellent dialogue, an engrossing single theme backed up by numerous sub plots, each one driving the characters forward as all the best drama should. The lead characters are attractive/repellent as required, but always interesting, without looking like an advert for a shampoo. In fact there's none of that slippery high-gloss (where every 'goodie' is always right, and never makes a mistake) that has marred some US series. Spiral attracted a good deal of support on BBC comment pages and is already being replayed on BBC4, with series two on the way. If it doesn't get a showing here there may be a riot.
Now season two is over - all too quickly - I'm left actually gasping for more. It's the kind of show that makes the rash of 'CSI' type programmes looking plastic and rather basic. Is it because I'm so cynical that this show suits my way of thinking about the world so well? That dark, messy, morally ambivalent universe they live in is recognisable even past the cultural differences, such as the astonishing blurring of the boundary between investigative police work and judgement it's not so much uniquely French as uniquely modern. I recognise this world: you could find desperate council estates and desperate police departments just like it all over the less photogenic parts of London and the UK. And as for the relationships they're as fleeting, unresolved and problematic as everybody's are.
I wasn't sure if they could top the tour-de-force complexity and classy storytelling of season one; and I'm not sure they did; but it doesn't matter - the quality is still so high, and the series-long story arc so engrossing, that you don't waste too much time comparing them. Some familiar faces, and some new characters, keep things ticking along nicely. My only criticism really is that the 'villains' (as if it were really possible to separate them from anybody else!) of season one were so nasty, so venal, so atrociously amoral, that it was always going to be difficult to find new villains that didn't make you wonder where the bad stuff was happening. This lot were kind of old school. The final episode did leave me slightly confused and was I think underwritten in the haste to get to the end. Isn't the crucial difficulty of policing - everywhere - precisely that no one ever does really have that last minute change of heart, so that les flics must tread their dirty path alone?
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