The fabulous Audrey Fleurot (Spiral, A French Village) stars in HPI, a fun and well-crafted 8 x 52-minute French comedy/crime drama created by Alice Chegaray-Breugnot and Nicolas Jean — two of the creators of La Mante — with Stéphane Carrié (1) for TF1.
Vincent Jamain (Balthazar, Profilage) helmed the first four episodes and Laurent Tuel did the rest.
Audrey Fleurot plays Morgane Alvaro, 38, single mother of three children (from two different fathers) and cleaning lady at the commissariat de Lille with a disdain for authority and a 160 I.Q. that makes her HPI (Haut Potentiel Intellectuel, hence the title). Following her unsolicited intervention on a case, Commissaire Céline Hazan orders Commandant Adam Karadec to bring Morgane on the investigation. The no-nonsense Karadec is less than pleased to work with this uncontrollable civilian who hates cops!
Alvaro finally accepts to be a consultant for the police but only if Hazan finds what happened to Romain, the father of her daughter missing for 15 years. Mehdi Nebbou, who worked for Steven Spielberg or Ridley Scott and appeared on German TV in Tatort and GSG 9 – Ihr Einsatz ist ihr Leben or in the U.S. drama Homeland, plays Karadec. Céline Hazan is played by Marie Denarnaud (La malédiction du volcan). Also starring Bruno Sanches (Gilles Vandraud), Bérangère McNeese (Daphné Forestier), Cypriane Gardin (Théa), Noé Vandevoorde (Eliott), Rufus (Henri) and Michèle Moretti as Morgane's mother Agnès.
In Colin-maillard, Commandant Karadec suggests Morgane Alvaro to confront Agnès about the video but she can't. Florence Grangeon comes to the police station with her father Arnaud Grangeon, owner of a chain of luxury hotels, to report the disappearance of her two little girls. Did Frank Sorin, their father separated from Florence for six months, kidnap them? Morgane gives Adam a lecture about permaculture and risks big to find the children in this excellent episode which combines comedy (the talent of Audrey Fleurot + fast-paced montages of stock photos), suspense and emotion.
Written by Julien Anscutter, Marion Carnel and Alice Chegaray-Breugnot (with Stéphane Carrié). Christopher Bayemi, who plays Dr. Bonnemain is also the French Luther in TF1's adaptation of the BBC series. Guest starring Michel Voïta (Baron noir, R.I.S. Police scientifique) as Arnaud, Clémentine Baert (Florence), François Pérache (Jérémy Morel), Annette Lowcay (Agathe Grangeon), Olivier Faliez (Ivan), Juliette André (Juliette), Margot André (Laura), Saverio Maligno (Les petits meurtres d'Agatha Christie) as Maître Balland, Cerise Peroua (Cheryl), Pauline Pouchin (Clara Patrelli), Jean-Pierre Duthoit (Antique dealer) and Cédric Le Maoût (Clerk).
Phyllobates terribilis is the latin name of the Golden poison frog. It's also the title of the very good fourth episode, written by Julien Anscutter, Julie-Anna Grignon and Alice Chegaray-Breugnot (with Stéphane Carrié). Fanny Marini, a veterinarian specialized in exotic animals, is murdered. The vet's ex-boyfriend just got out of prison and recently her clients started to grow disatisfied. Morgane saves the life of Karadec and finally talks to her mother. No spoilers but the epilogue leaves a tad perplexed.
With Akache Busiah (Ranir, owner of the restaurant), Christelle Cornil (Camille Duez), Christophe Sermet (Paul Duez), Thao Maerten (Maël Duez), Frédéric Quiring (Loïc Ballant), Agnès Château (Odile Marini), Jacques Bouanich (Thierry Marini), etc. Produced by Septembre Productions and Itinéraire Productions with TF1, Be-Films, RTBF (Télévision belge) and Pictanovo. Filmed with the support of Région Hauts-de-France. Made in association with Umedia and the support of the Tax Shelter du Gouvernement Fédéral de Belgique.
Jean Nainchrik, Anthony Lancret and Pierre Laugier are the line producers. Patrice Onfray exec produces. Produced by Anthony Lancret, Pierre Laugier and Bérengère Legrand. Music by Yannis Dumoutiers. Cinematography by Benjamin Louet. Editing by Emmanuel Douce. High Intellectual Potential (the international title of HPI) is distributed by Newen Connect. HPI started this week on TF1 with phenomenal ratings (2). The 8 episodes are available on Salto, the French streaming service.
(1) Based on an idea from Nicolas Jean. Djibril Glissant and Franck Martins contributed to the series.
(2) https://www.toutelatele.com/hpi-tf1-quelle-audience-pour-la-nouvelle-serie-avec-audrey-fleurot-2-episodes-129506 + https://www.ozap.com/actu/audiences-demarrage-canon-pour-hpi-sur-tf1-loin-devant-ratatouille-sur-m6-envoye-special-plus-suivi-que-f3/604110
Reviews of episodes 1 & 2: