It’s no “Spiral.”
Thursday we finished season six of the French TV series. That’s 64 episodes, but who’s counting?
It started with “A French Village.” That was 72 episodes. Bob Bookman recommended it. There were seven seasons, but now it’s finished. The war is over. We had to pay for MHz in order to see seasons two to seven, but it was worth it. The story of the Nazis’ occupation of a French village during World War II. The performances were outstanding, and some of the same stars are in “Spiral.” That’s why we started to watch it. For Thierry Godard and Audrey Fleurot. They’re stars in France. Actually, “Spiral” is a hit everywhere but here, it’s been shown in more than 70 countries. Unlike “A French Village,” there’s no deeper meaning, no history, no learning, unless you’re interested in the French legal system, which is unlike ours.
“Spiral” is a cop show. But not like the police procedurals in America. The cops constantly screw up, and they live for their jobs, they sacrifice everything for them, and every case is not linear, other investigations permeate each season, you’re never quite sure how it’s going to turn out, who the perp will be.
I knew I was hooked when I was at a gig and started thinking about Laure and Gilou, I couldn’t wait to get home to them, they’d become part of my life. Gilou, i.e. Thierry Godard, was in “A French Village,” but Laure was not. Laure is played by Caroline Proust, whom you see aging through the seasons, who you ultimately get to know in 3-D. Most TV is two-dimensional, especially when it comes to women. But not Proust in “Spiral.”
Now they don’t make TV overseas like they do in the United States. Before we started “Spiral,” we watched an episode of “Inspector Montalbano,” made in Italy. There have been 13 seasons so far. It started in 1999! That’s right, they don’t make them every single year. Same deal with “Spiral,” which began in 2005 and continues to this day.
Now “Spiral” is free on Amazon Prime. All available six seasons. The seventh aired overseas earlier this year, but not here. So you can watch “Spiral,” but you probably won’t, because you won’t be part of the discussion. But that’s one thing I love about watching these “obscure” series, it’s not a competition, I’m in my own little bubble, it feels good.
And to tell you the truth, the images from 2005 are not perfect in this HD world. It isn’t until the third season that you get pristine HD. And, in the third season, the series really hits its stride. Not that it isn’t excellent before this, but when season three wraps up, you’ll tell yourself…THAT WAS GREAT! Kinda like movies used to be, satisfying.
You see the French do it differently. Being beautiful is not enough, you have to know how to act. And the players in “Spiral” are so good you believe they could be on the big screen, or on stage, which many of them are.
Actually, I saw Jonathan Groff as the king in the original production of “Hamilton,” he plays against type in “Mindhunter,” if you consider said king his type. He’s really good. As is Holt McCallany, who truly embodies an FBI agent with his buzz cut and sculpted body. As for Anna Torv, she’s an enigma. The way she speaks…maybe it’s because she’s Australian, she’s almost always hesitant in getting the words out, as if she’s afraid of showing her accent, her voice is oftentimes deep, like Elizabeth Holmes’ fake voice, or maybe she’s just playing the character.
Speaking of Holmes, did I tell you to read “Bad Blood,” John Carreyrou’s book about Theranos? It’s a must-read, even if you saw the TV show and listened to the podcast. There are many more details, the story comes alive, you’ll be riveted, you won’t want to turn out the light to go to bed.
“Mindhunter” is based on a book. But I haven’t read it. It’s all about FBI agents profiling serial killers.
The first season was riveting. Really dark and it came together. But during the second, you always asked yourself…DID THIS REALLY HAPPEN? I’m talking less about the killers than those pursuing them. Were these plot twists made for TV or did the real characters’ lives play out this way, I’ve got to do some research.
Now Kendall made a convincing case for “When They See Us” as our next viewing adventure. Normally, I’m against watching something when I’ve followed the news closely. That’s the reason I didn’t view “Escape At Dannemora,” I followed the story when it played out in the news.
Then there’s “Unbelievable.”
And I hate to admit I’m the only one who hasn’t seen the second season of “Fleabag.” I wasn’t riveted by the first, but now everybody says the second is genius.
But people don’t say the same thing about the second season of “Killing Eve.” And I didn’t even know the third season of “13 Reasons Why” had been released, there’s no buzz.
Except for the last one, the “Mindhunter” episodes were too short. We killed the show in three days. I like to marinate in a series. As for the debate re drip versus all-at-once, the same people who want to drip out product are the same people who said we had to save CDs and record stores…look how that played out. It’s satisfying to binge, you don’t have to wait when you’re intrigued. Whereas week by week is a challenge. What if you’re busy one week, suddenly you’re behind on the conversation, and there’s nothing so satisfying as rolling into the next episode just when you finished the previous one, to find out what happened.