[Spoiler-free review] Joséphine the guardian angel has a new "client" in the person of Tom Delorme, who owns the Camping Paradis.
French private channel TF1's two hit series Joséphine, ange gardien and Camping Paradis meet in a very well done and enjoyable episode of the former.
The crossover is a "rare bird" in the History of French television fiction: the sitcoms produced for TF1 by AB Productions in the 1990s, an encounter between crime drama PJ (1997-2009) and legal drama Avocats et Associés (1998-2010) on France 2 in 2007 and then nothing until 2016 with Magellan et Mongeville, a crossover between France 3's Commissaire Magellan (launched in 2009) and Mongeville (aired since 2013). 4.508.000 viewers (19.8%) watched this special with its two popular sleuths, which prompted the pubcaster to give the duo another one, filmed at the end of 2017.
Created by Laurent Chouchan with Michel Lengliney & Philippe Niang, comedy/drama Joséphine, ange gardien started on TF1 in 1997. It's the second oldest active series of the channel after Une famille formidable (1992). Comedian and actress Mimie Mathy stars as Joséphine Delamarre, a guardian angel sent on Earth to help people solve their problems. The series celebrated its 20th anniversary in autumn 2017 with its 85th episode. Joséphine, ange gardien is produced by DEMD productions (Lagardère Studios) with TF1 and distributed by Lagardère Studios Distribution. Its format changed from 90-minute episodes to 2 x 52-minute last year.
TF1's comedy Camping Paradis was created by Michel Alexandre and launched in 2006. Produced by JLA Productions (1), it is centered on the everyday life and problems of Tom Delorme, a campsite owner, and his team. Regular cast members since the beginning are Laurent Ournac (Tom), Patrick Guerineau (Xavier Proteau) and Thierry Heckendorn (André Durieux). Patrick Paroux (Around the world in 80 days, Amelie) recurs as Christian Parizot, the most faithful client of the Camping Paradis. In 2017, the series celebrated its 50th episode and left the 90-minute format for the same 2 x 52-minute format as Joséphine, ange gardien. Camping Paradis is distributed by TF1 International.
Trois campeurs et un mariage (1ère partie et 2ème partie) is the 88th episode of Joséphine, ange gardien. It was written by France Corbet & Maia Muller, who write for both series, with Giacchino Campanella. Tom Delorme, André Durieux and Xavier Proteau are invited to the wedding of Tom's ex-girlfriend Ariane Leroy. For the occasion they stay at a luxury hotel-casino where Joséphine Delamarre welcomes them as the new concierge. They meet Arthur, the groom, who happens to be a quasi-lookalike of Tom Delorme. Joséphine must help Tom to deal with the situation but also with his feelings as the event doesn't turn as planned.
Tom almost loses one of the wedding rings in a sink. Arthur is jealous of him and the deputy mayor who'll celebrate the ceremony is the ineffable monsieur Parizot! Jennifer Lauret (Une famille formidable), who was Ariane in Camping Paradis until 2012, returns for Joséphine, ange gardien. Thierry Heckendorn played alongside Mimie Mathy in the TV movie Une nounou pas comme les autres (1994), its sequel Une nana pas comme les autres (1995), and in three episodes of Joséphine as different characters. Jean-Pierre Bouvier is back as Ariane's father Clément Leroy. Amusingly, he guest-starred in a 2013 Joséphine, ange gardien.
Patricia Malvoisin is Françoise Leroy, Ariane's mother, a role previously performed by Alexandra Vandernoot (Highlander: The Series) in Camping Paradis. Also starring Olivier Solivérès (Arthur), Valentine Atlan (Sofia), Évelyne Grandjean (Grandmother), etc. Directed by Philippe Proteau, who regularly helms episodes of Camping Paradis. Produced by Sébastien Pavard and Laure de Kervasdoué. Didier Langlade exec produces. Music by Xavier Berthelot, Roland Romanelli & Didier Vasseur. Cinematography by Jonny Semeco. Produced with the participation of RTBF (Télévision belge) and RTS Radio Télévision Suisse.
Belgian channel La Une and Swiss channel RTS Un aired Trois campeurs et un mariage ahead of TF1, which will show it tomorrow. Joséphine Delamarre and Tom Delorme will meet again, this time in an episode of Camping Paradis.
(1) The production company behind Commissaire Magellan. Founded by Jean-Luc Azoulay, who was the "A" of AB Productions (Claude Berda was the "B").
(Mongeville and Magellan)