The law of the series, a selection of “TéléObs”: “Vers les étoiles”, “State of Happiness”, “The Pentaverate”

♥️♥️ “Towards the Stars”

American series by Holden Miller and Daniel C. Connolly (2022). Available on Prime Video

Starring Sissy Spacek, JK Simmons. 8 episodes.

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Alongside the deluge of SF series traveling to the confines of the galaxy, where heroes with a strong character are entrusted with perilous missions aboard spaceships of all kinds, this creation has the good idea to take the genre completely from the back. The heroes of “Towards the Stars”? The Yorks, an elderly couple in good shape, married for fifty years, living in a small town in the United States where nothing happens. Access to the stars? A simple door in the basement, located a stone’s throw from their workbench. Like the rural science-fiction novels of Clifford D. Simak, it offers to penetrate a universe devoid of mutants and laser weapons, in which the strangeness, camouflaged in a most banal reality, is only more fascinating. Another welcome subtlety, the planet to which these explorers in slippers have hidden access is deserted. Beautiful but deserted. Every evening, they will contemplate it through a bay window as one watches the stars twinkle in the sky on summer evenings. Their routine will end when they find a lifeless man in their basement, which will reinforce the suspicions of a neighbor already intrigued by their nocturnal walks.

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As the episodes go by, the quality of the acting of the two main actors, as touching as they are annoying as old couples know how to be, makes you forget the thinness of the plot and the slowness of the story. Depending on his mood, one can appreciate the series for its way of telling the destiny of the world through this thin canvas or for its ability to show how curiosity is the only effective derivative against boredom, old age and death. Little by little, the series also sacrifices to contemporary serial demands – tensions, violence and passages between different parallel worlds. However, we remain a taker and we continue to envy these little old lunars.

♥️ “State of Happiness”

“State of Happiness”
“State of Happiness”

Norwegian series by Mette M. Bølstad (2018). Available on Arte.tv

With Bart Edwards, Malene Wadel. 8 episodes.

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We suspected it a little since “Dallas”, “State of happiness” confirms it four decades later: it is not good to be a king of oil. The Norwegian setting of this series, which arrived late in France, does not change the situation, even though many studies maintain that life is good there, at least more than anywhere else in the world – a small miracle, knowing that the half of beer is often sold there for eight euros per unit, as we were able to verify on the spot. It is because this immense territory leaning against the Atlantic Ocean with a breathtaking view of Iceland is particularly fortunate, in large part thanks to the exploitation of the hydrocarbons present in its marine subsoil.

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“State of Happiness”

This mini-series tells how the discovery of an oil field in 1969 will change the life of the port of Stavanger, in particular that of a group of young people from different backgrounds. On the screen, we find the elegance of the characters of “Mad Men” and what usually seduces fans of family sagas: the conflicts about to burst, the knowing looks, the thwarted loves and a social determinism at all times. test. However, we remain very far from the Bourbon-flavored nervous breakdowns of “Dallas”: “State of Happiness” is more like a skilful or academic study of manners, depending on its degree of tolerance for the genre. All the same, the gesture remains commendable: like our Nordic friends, we would have loved to watch a French series on the beginnings of Elf or Total in Africa. We poor Latins are still waiting.

“The Pentaverate”

“The Pentaverate”
“The Pentaverate”

American series by Mike Myers (2022). Available on Netflix.

With Mike Myers, Ken Jeong, Keegan-Michael Key. 6 episodes.

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On paper, marriage seemed like a given. On the one hand, the author of the “Austin Powers” ​​franchise, a humorous (although heavy in places) parody of the sixties aesthetic and James Bond films in particular; on the other, conspiracy, a subject dreamed up to derision, which was one of the most salient phenomena of the time. The Canadian Mike Myers has therefore set out to depict the adventures of a mediocre journalist infiltrating a secret society called The Pentaverate, which has ensured the survival of humanity since the Great Plague of 1347. As usual, Mike Myers interprets made up most of the roles, in this case eight of them. And if some make you smile, most are imbued with a heaviness and a vulgarity that you only see on the small screen on the side of reality TV.

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The fall is therefore particularly painful for the star of the cult show Saturday Night Live in the early 1990s: at best wee poo, at worst sexist, his new punchlines no longer pass at all in 2022. This is not the subject what gets in the way – others, like Blanche Gardin or Jonathan Cohen, come out on top with the same material – is the writing, which is totally outdated. And that’s despite the on-screen reinforcement of comedy heavyweights like Keegan-Michael Key and Ken Jeong. In order to keep its subscribers in the face of higher-end competition, Netflix is ​​misguided by taking them for rednecks. The criticism of generalized conspiracy was better.

The law of the series, a selection of “TéléObs”: “Vers les étoiles”, “State of Happiness”, “The Pentaverate”