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Now and Again (1999)
An incredible good surprise
I'm a TV addict and I watch almost half the TV series that are broadcast in France. When I see in my TV program that "Now and again" was scheduled, I was not very confident. First the french title was not engaging at all ("Un agent très secret" which is, in litteral translation 'A very secret agent'), making me fear a totally conventionnal program. Second the actors : Eric Close (only seen in the bad "Dark skies"), Margaret Colin, Gerrit Graham, Dennis Haysbert (never heard about them), Heather Matarazzo (only one famous role in "Welcome to the dollhouse" ("Bienvenue dans l'âge ingrat")), and John Goodman (good actor, but only present in the pilot). Third the hour of broadcasting : Sunday afternoon, so many sport events can delayed broadcasting from one week to the other. The pilot, with exposition of the non original (at first sight) plot, was not really convincing. I decided to watch another one.
What a good idea !! Now I have seen all the episodes (too bad it was stopped after only one season), I think it is one of the five best TV shows I have ever seen. The timing is perfect, with the exact dosage of fantastic (a guy who can command bugs), science-fiction (a bionic body with a brain took on a dead man), emotion (Michael Wiseman died in the first episode, and his wife and his daughter are trying to go on), humor (dialogs between M. Newman and the doctor are real funny, with several degrees, even in the french version !!), action... All the stories are original, with a different plot in each episode, and some recurrent stuff, but never being too present (like it was sometimes with Mulder sister's in "The X-files" or Harm's father in "JAG") ; the actors are good, and the scenarists give them independant stories : in at least half episodes, the four (M. Newman and the doctor can be considered as one character, they always act together) don't meet each other, the story goes in several directions,... What a divine surprise to see that such series are still existing in the US production. I would recommend this program to everybody, without restrictions, as everyone can find a different reason to enjoy it, and I'm pretty sure that no one could pretend after looking it they hadn't feel anything. It's a real success.
Jamais 2 sans toi (1996)
Probably the best french sitcom
This sitcom was originally broadcast in 1996, and it remains the best french sitcom ever (this is not a great compliment, but it could be considered as a victory). Not surfing on a concept made for popularity only (like "H", using the fame, and the talent (?) of their actors without having a real plot), not pretending to be a reference, it succeeded by introducing some news (for french programs), like multiple places of action, stories concerning several people without a necessary link making them met every minute... It could be considered as the first french sitcom of the second generation, not strictly based on funny but useless replicas and episodes with absolutely no continuity. Unfortunately, the new french sitcoms are closer to those from the first generation, and the increase of this second generation is only a hope for the future. Congratulations for the effort, sorry it didn't change the whole french production. French producers ! Now you have the model, please use it and create a real funny but intelligent french sitcom !
De gré ou de force (1998)
Very interesting approach of the job market.
An enterprise decides to employ a man for moral harassment (staying in legality) in order to make some of their employees quit their job by themselves (which means no firing indemnities). One decided to resist against these methods. A really original story, unknown (yet) but great actors, well directed : a good TV movie. It's a shock when you discover (even in a fiction) that such methods can exist.