Saturday, October 31, 2015

New Media: Binge Watching "Spiral" ("Engrenages") On Netflix

(Drivebycuriosity) - I love the new media. Platforms like Netflix & Amazon Prime open the world of cinema and TV for little money. There are so many gems to find. Recently my wife and I discovered "Spiral" ("Engrenages") on Netflix and we started binge watching the French cult TV series (imdb). The production, which began in 2005 and expanded into 5 seasons so far, is a real jewel. We are watching the show in French with English subtitles.

The show, which is set in Paris, focuses on a police captain, a single woman between 30 and 40, and her squad. The team behaves almost like a family, there are conflicts and black sheep, but also a lot of solidarity, which is often needed. Their universe is accompanied by other important characters, like an idealist assistant prosecutor, a highly dedicated judge (investigating magistrate) and a scrupulous female lawyer (about 30). A season stretches over one large criminal case, often with grisly murders, which is accompanied by other minor cases, which are not directly related. There also is much room for the personal interactions between the characters, which gives the production the spice.

I think "Spiral" is more realistic and more honest than the typical US production. The producers don´t shy away from messy & ghastly images and frank sexual references, they also give a dark picture of the French law system and the political environment. It seems that the law enforcers have more to struggle with themselves and against powerful & corrupt politicians than with their investigations. "Spiral" is complex, intelligent and highly entertaining.

                                                             Intelligent & Addictive

The cast is superb. My favorite is Caroline Proust as the very ambitious & stubborn police captain Laure Berthaud, who often acts outside the rigid law to hunt down the villains. The Guardian describes her role as "feminist anti-hero" (theguardian). The actress displayes convincingly the strengths and frailties of her character.  Audrey Fleurot as a hyper-ambitious lawyer is the beauty and the beast in one person and Philippe Duclos as a highly dedicated investigating magistrate gives the show some humor and tragedy as well. 

"Spiral" is one of these TV series which are addictive. Highly recommended!

No comments:

Post a Comment