Sunday, April 17, 2011
The picture above--taken from the Canal+ website--shows the despair and hopelessness in the faces that infects this series of Spiral 3: The Butcher of La Villette. This weekend I've been catching up on missed episodes (3 and 4) and watching 5 and 6. As subfusc and drear as the setting is, I find myself on tenterhooks for the next one. (Not the best simile, I know.)
So far the series has contained political corruption (now a commonplace with a state so vast as the French), incest (consensual), Jack the Ripper-style murders, human trafficking of Russian women, police brutality, judicial malfeasance, and a few others I've missed.
Despite the negative tone of some comments, I think Spiral is wonderful. It never takes an easy way out like so many detective TV shows. Just when you think a character might have got away with something, a twist occurs to make your stomach knot in tension one more time--e.g. Raban burgles his own judicial chambers but to be seen by his pupil. Characters don't always act in character.
And you know the coffee they drink is strong and bitter and the cigarettes rough and aromatic. The smells and sounds of Paris almost come through the screen. I'm already looking forward to season 4.