Finished the House of Cards binge? Still annoyed at the ending of homegrown drama Amber? Suffering knitwear withdrawal since the departure of The Killing? No need to worry. We’ve decided to take a cultural trip across the channel to France and investigate the best le box has to offer those in need of a thrilling televisual fix. Et voilá.
Known as Spiral to us subtitle-reading and Netflix-subscribing folk, this French crime drama first came to our came to our attention some years ago when the Intelligent Person’s Channel, BBC4, broadcast it to a smattering of critical acclaim. One of the first foreign language television shows to achieve a modicum of success on English speaking soil, it paved the way for all things Danish. Season one opens with the murder of a young woman – don’t they all these days? – that exposes corruption in the French judiciary system.
Not one for the faint hearted, Maison Close is set in 1871 in a Parisian brothel that is just a little bit too stylised for our comfort. The series follows the young and innocent Rose as she is trapped in the sex trade and seeks to escape her oppressive and oftentimes violent existence, while showcasing various other female characters struggling to gain control in a society dominated by men. If you’re a fan of HBO-esque exploits – think sex, violence, gritty urban underbelly – then this one is right up your alley.
We’re in a small town in modern France with the aesthetic of Twin Peaks where the dead suddenly start to reappear, setting in motion an unsettling exploration of grief. As existential as a zombie television show can get Les Revenants has garnered such a buzz that HBO are currently in the throes of recreating this slice of gallic gothic for the US market.
Jeanne Sutton @jeannedesutun