This is my response and message to the New York Times’ Aleesandra Stanley for her Article: The Elusive Pleasures of French TV Series– ‘Spiral’ and 3 Other French Shows Worth Seeking Out. I agree with her that Engrenages (Spiral) is really good as is The Killing (which is also what it was called when broadcast in the UK, which was Danish and not French–so, I’m not sure why she mentioned it, but…). Anyway: here’s my comment.
Really elusive for one of them: Un Village Francais. That is the only one of them which has no English subtitles. It’s also fairly expensive too boot since it’s pretty much a region two item. Amazon UK has the first series on sale for £30 (it’s the only one with subtitles–French subtitles).
My french is good enough that I probably don’t need the subtitles, but I also don’t want to spend between £30 and 125 for the series!
Only the Returned (Les Revenants) and Spiral are available on Netflix. I’m not sure if Maison Close is available in the US.
On the other hand, there is a fifth show for this list: Braquo, which I think is a US release, but also not on Netflix. I have a region 2 copy, which happened to be cheaper (As was Maison Close series 1).
I have to add to this that I have been wanting to see Un Village Francais since Audrey Fleurot and Thierry Godard from Spiral are in it. I’ve been looking for a copy and your article made me a bit hopeful.
Everyone who has seen it has said it is really good: so, it’s kind of a bumme heure that it’s not available en anglais.
And expensive to boot!
Anyway, I haven’t seen two of these, Returned (Les Revenants) and Maison Close, and will take her advice. I am upset that no one has decided to market a subtitled Un Village Francais since everyone who has seen it has said how good it it, I’m pretty sure a UK (or Aussie version) would be a whole lot less expensive than the current French release.
Also, one other point it seems that the French release of Un Village Francais only has French subtitles on series one. The rest of them have no subtitles.
Also, I decided to price check Amazon.fr for this. The series DVDs are pretty expensive, but L’Integral (series 1-5) works out to be €58,49 (about US$84.54). That would be the best option, except that it doesn’t come with English (or French subtitles other than Series 1). I hate ordering a DVD only to have it become available later with subtitles. Also, having subtitles lets me share it with my friends.
Actually, there are aftermarket subtitles available for this series. They’re free and “work”, but you get what you pay for.