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A French village and its inhabitants go through the ups and (mainly) downs of the occupation by the German army from 1940 to 1945. The village doctor is assigned as mayor, and confronted ... See full summary »
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Joel David Moore
Joel David Moore,
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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 »
The Returned opens in a small mountain community which is rocked to its core when several local people who are presumed dead suddenly re-appear at their homes. Despite having passed away ... See full summary »
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 »
After the french president is killed by an assassin, a political intrigue about the following campaign begins. The best friend of the dead president and his spindoctor installs the ... See full summary »
Complex, dark, gritty murder and political thriller
Forget formulaic shows posing as violent, dark and gritty. Spiral shows how the genre should be done. The French title means cogs or gears which trap the characters into ever more convoluted situations. No good & bad here - the naively honest prosecutor facing his first job is drawn ever deeper into a conspiracy which forces him to make increasingly dangerous compromises. The initial mystery underpinning the entire series, unfolds each week to offer us more fascinating pieces of the puzzle. Even the weekly murder - often solved within the episode - has repercussions that continue on. This is compulsive viewing the end of the hour feels like ten minutes.
Tho' shot in colour, the drab settings and costumes often give the impression of black & white, till a bright handbag or scarf pull us back to reality. The mood is edgy and challenging. Caroline Proust and Philippe Duclos give particularly outstanding performances. Although a police lieutenant, the stunning Proust (as Laure Berthaud) has the direct wide-eyed look of a bewildered naïf. Duclos' Roban, looking somewhat like an ironic vulture, is the judge determined to unearth the truth despite sinister political pressures.
Spiral is uncompromising in its presentation of violence including sexual paraphilias (tho' I thought the French might have had their own word for Laure's "fist-f**cking?") Despite the graphic violence & frequent coarse language, which is only noticeable in programmes with sub-titles, this 8.30 pm free-to-air show - competing with the very tame "Gil Mayo Mysteries" still only attracts an Aussie M (parental guidance), not an MA (over 15).
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