Saturday, 24 September 2016


Finishing the week quite unwell, I'm afraid. What is cool now is that I can do a perfect impersonation of famous French news anchor Yves Mourousi...

I didn't hate the latest episode of Les petits meurtres d'Agatha Christie (Albert Major parlait trop). I didn't like it either but at least it was an improvement over the abysmal La mystérieuse affaire de Styles.

Credit must be given to scriptwriters Jeanne Le Guillou and Bruno Dega for what could have been a good Larosière & Lampion. People die a lot in Les petits meurtres but the two writers brought back some life in it. Yes, I know for the ratings, folks... Don't make me yell at you, I just can't (laughs).

I enjoyed the return of Lucifer. Smiled but rarely laughed with the first episode of Red Dwarf XI (I prefer the opener of the previous series) and, though I had an open mind about the project, I could find half a dozen things I don't like in MacGyver 2016 (maybe more actually). Its only quality is that you want to watch the original series again.

Oh, please allow me to remind you that there's a great book on TV series available since yesterday.

Thursday, 22 September 2016


Spanish pubcaster RTVE has announced today that El Ministerio del Tiempo will (finally) have a third series.

Four months after the end of Series 2, the board of TVE has greenlit 13 new episodes of the acclaimed sci-fi/adventure drama El Ministerio del Tiempo. Though ratings suffered during its second series, the creation of Pablo Olivares & Javier Olivares (Victor Ros, Isabel) is more than ever a pop culture phenomenon in Spain and gained a solid fanbase outside its country even before it started to interest foreign markets.

Produced by Cliffhanger TV, Onza Entertainment and RTVE, El Ministerio del Tiempo is one of the best contemporary television series and it's also (without exaggeration) a fantastic cultural ambassador of Spain. Starring Rodolfo Sancho (Julián Martínez), Aura Garrido (Amelia Folch), Nacho Fresneda (Alonso de Entrerríos), Cayetana Guillén Cuervo (Irene Larra), Juan Gea (Ernesto Jiménez), Francesca Piñón (Angustias Vázquez) and Jaime Blanch (Salvador Martí). Hugo Silva played Pacino in Series 2.

You can find spoiler-free reviews of episodes 1 to 11 of the second series on this blog. Episodes 12 and 13 were not reviewed due to unforeseen circumstances.

Wednesday, 21 September 2016


OK, it's another post about Capitaine Marleau but judging from the stats of our little blog this month no one will complain.  

France 3's crime drama is a favourite here since even before the French pubcaster aired the pilot. Now Marleau is a certified phenomenon.

A repeat of Capitaine Marleau: Philippe Muir, the pilot of Capitaine Marleau, caught 4.533.000 viewers (19.6%) and ranked #1 against Blindspot on TF1! In September 2015, Philippe Muir drew 3.731.000 viewers (15.3%) for its first transmission. Brouillard en Thalasso, the fourth episode, hit a rating record for the series last week with 4.608.000 viewers (20%) and ranked #2 against the premiere of Blindspot

France 3 will air En trompe l'oeil, the brilliant fifth episode, at the beginning of 2017 (1). It guest stars Pierre Arditi (Blood of the Vine) and Aure Atika (The Night Manager). A sixth Marleau will start filming in October with guest star Sandrine Bonnaire.

(1) According to Capitaine Marleau helmer/producer Josée Dayan in Le grand direct des médias on radio Europe 1 yesterday.

See also: 


French journalist Alain Carrazé is an acknowledged expert on TV series. Les nouveaux feuilletonistes, his new book (published by Fantask), will be available on Friday. It's an anthology of more than 30 years of his interviews with the greatest series creators, writers, producers, actors and directors.

The interviews are introduced with the context of these encounters and are followed, not only by a few lines about what happened next, but also with interviews of personalities mentioned during the main conversations. The book is divided in eras: The Great Classics, The Golden Age of the 1980s to 1990s and The new generation.

The "cast" of Les nouveaux feuilletonistes is stellar: Brian Clemens, Patrick Macnee, Martin Landau, Robert Conrad, Leonard Nimoy, Patrick McGoohan, Gerry & Sylvia Anderson, Steven Bochco, Stephen J. Cannell, Donald Bellisario, Dick Wolf, Michael Mann, Mark Frost, Kyle MacLachlan, Matt Groening, Chris Carter, Gillian Anderson, Patrick Stewart, James Gandolfini, Joss Whedon, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Ted Danson, Kiefer Sutherland, Steven Moffat, Mark Gatiss, Sue Vertue, Benedict Cumberbatch, Bryan Cranston, Jon Hamm, George R.R. Martin, etc...

Les nouveaux feuilletonistes is absorbing, generous and essential. A must-read book for those interested in TV series.

Full review ASAP.

Les nouveaux feuilletonistes 
by Alain Carrazé (with the participation of Romain Nigita)
656 pages
EAN : 9782374940069
27 € (Referenced under its working title Mes grands entretiens) (Referenced under its working title Mes grands entretiens)

Friday, 16 September 2016


[Spoiler-Free] In which Swan Laurence worries about a decline. And it's not the quality of the episode.

The bottom line:  « J'ai touché le fond de la piscine... » 

Émilie Beauregard, 60, owns the luxurious Styles beauty institute. She's married to the much younger Adrien Sauvignac, a masseur. Journalist Martial Marchetti arrives at the establishment and Sauvignac immediately catches his attention. Ève Constantin, Émilie Beauregard's business partner, tells Commissaire Laurence that she fears the young man wants to get rid of Émilie for her fortune but Swan ignores her. In fact, Laurence has a very personal concern as he doesn't take his birthday well.

Marlène and reporter Alice Avril go to Styles, where Émilie Beauregard mistakes them for a lesbian couple. Later, Marlène finds Marchetti dead in the bottom of the pool of the institute. Laurence investigates and meets Diane Clément-Roussel, a customer of Styles. Meanwhile Alice finds... her mother. What goes up must come down, they say: Les petits meurtres d'Agatha Christie returned on August 26 on French pubcaster France 2 with the brilliant L'étrange enlèvement du petit Bruno. Then it regrettably started to lose steam with Le cheval pâle. The following week things got worse with L'affaire Protheroe.

Directed by Éric Woreth, La mystérieuse affaire de Styles is adapted from Agatha Christie's novel The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Pierre Linhart. In this catastrophe, the dynamic trio Laurence/Avril/Marlène is neither dynamic (weariness shows) nor a trio. Laurence (Samuel Labarthe) has not one but two embarrassing moments plus a couple of terrible lines. Since last week a photo of Avril (Blandine Bellavoir) illustrates the definition of "Pathos" in the dictionary. At some point you see a soap opera development coming but you hope they won't dare. Unfortunately they do. Marlène (Élodie Frenck) tries hard to bear the burden of comic relief alone. 

This year the pathologist of the commissariat seems to be the equivalent of the secretary in Murphy Brown (though the new one is an improvement over Dr. Everest). About the commissariat, fans noticed that it looks different. Actually the big budget hit series had to leave its production base in Tourcoing because the site was sold by the municipality. Thankfully another place was found in the same town at the beginning of 2016. Frédérique Tirmont (Émilie Beauregard), Sophie Cattani (Ève Constantin), Alexia Barlier (Diane Clément-Roussel), Andy Gillet (Adrien Sauvignac), Charlie Joirkin (Dorothée Mellul) and Frédéric Fisbach (Professor Hoffman) are amongst the guest stars of this episode. 

Cyril Gueï plays the pathologist (of the week?) Timothée Glissant. Dominique Thomas is Tricard. Les petits meurtres d'Agatha Christie is produced by Sophie Révil for Escazal Films. France Télévisions is now co-producer. With the support of Pictanovo and Région Hauts-de-France. Also with the participation of TV5 Monde and RTS Radio Télévision Suisse Main characters created by Sylvie Simon and Thierry Debroux. The music is composed by Stéphane Moucha. The Styles institute is in fact the Najeti Hôtel Château at Tilques (Pas-de-Calais). In terms of ratings, Les petits meurtres is more popular than ever. La mystérieuse affaire de Styles caught 4.553.000 viewers (19.1%) and ranked #2 against the French version of Survivor on TF1.