The New York Times Celebrates French TV Series

September 5, 2013 | By Myriam Laville
Fabrice Gobert 's Les revenants (2012)

Last week, the New York Times dedicated a full article to French TV shows worth knowing and yet unaired in the US. In The Elusive Pleasures of French TV Series, Alessandra Stanley observes that some “beguiling” French shows are unknown and thus unacknowledged in America.

The article highlights four “excellent French series”: Spiral [Engrenages], Maison Close, Un village français and Les revenants. All four shows were sensations in France but none of these shows are currently broadcast in the United States. However, the growth of the Internet and streaming “has opened the door a crack” to “well made programs in every corner of the world.” People in the US may know some of the shows that are made abroad, but they can’t always access them.

The series' deal with disparate subjects, they all share a “context of history and a stylishly unhurried pace that is a legacy of French cinema in its heyday ” and “they serve up the most common themes — crime, war, sex and the occult — in fresh and unexpected ways.”

France is known more for its cinema than TV and thus, French producers and Stars prefer movies over television. Yet, Alexandra Stanley suggestions, there shows demonstrate that the French are capable of making great TV. Shows like Spiral, Un village français, Les revenants or Maison Close may not be easily available in the US but they may be worth the effort to seek out.

The Elusive Pleasures of French TV Series by Alessandra Stanley, New York Times, August 29, 2013
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