Reviewed by Me’Chele Sevanesian: MHz Choice Announces the New Season Premiere of the Beloved French TV Series Captain Marleau: Season 2. Creator Elsa Marpeau describes Captain Marleau as a combination of Peter Falk’s Columbo, Raymond Chandler’s Philip Marlowe, and Marge Gunderson from the Coen brothers’ Fargo. The series, directed entirely by Josée Dayan, stars Corinne Masiero as the title character, an eccentric captain of the National Gendarmerie, whose mixed personality of black humor and brute force often separates her from her colleagues.
When there is nothing to watch, and you are sitting on your bed or couch, a good ol’ episode of Law and Order: SVU or Criminal Minds will keep you entertained for quite possibly the whole entire day. The viewer feels so included in the show which makes it extremely entertaining.
Now the French have given us Captain Marleau a detective show that is engaging, but it’s also hilarious, and refreshing. It takes all the paranoia and gruesomeness out of what real detective life is like and reels you in with in-depth characters who have amazing chemistry. Corinne Masiero stars as Captain Marleau, a character that definitely marches to her own drumbeat. Her style adds to her quirkiness as she is never going to fit into “typical” fashion standards for the women around her but you just admire her for who she is which is what makes you love her so much.
There is a simple consistency in the plot as every episode is different in its content but also has separate storylines dealing with family and friendships that add more characterization to her. Even thinking back to shows like Special Victims Unit (SVU) lead detective Lt. Olivia Benson(Mariska Hargitay) is essentially forced into a more masculine form in order to keep up with the field. We see the similarity in Captain Marleau however it is more of the character’s preference rather than giving us a styled male look that is portrayed in SVU.
While some of the shots are quite dark in tone, there are some beautiful outside shots that truly reflect the essence of France. Additionally, the shots are perfectly placed allowing the audience to take in the scenery which I think is something to be noted because if you have a show that has so many historic landmarks and other beautiful tidbits, then as a director you can fall into the trap of giving the scenery too much attention diverting the audience away from the plot.
If you are lucky enough to speak proper French fluently then you can listen and not have to read the captions but the show is still enjoyable and it doesn’t need a notepad like ‘Game of Thrones’ in order for you to feel in the know. A lot of series’ have a difficult time introducing characters in a timely manner. Oftentimes I feel as though new characters are so important for a plot later but can arrive too late which adds confusion in moving the story forward. Not to worry in Captain Marleau, each character even if they arrive for a short period of time is given the proper… due process for lack of a better phrase. I give the show, 10/10, although not an original concept, it’s different in tone and the characters are compelling and fun to watch. Don’t let the language stop you from adding Captian Marleau to your watch list. So branch out and appreciate a series like this from across the Atlantic.
Profite du spectacle(Enjoy the show)
Captain Marleau broke records in 2017 as the most-watched television show in France. Season One is currently available on MHz Choice and Amazon Prime Video. Three seasons have been broadcast to date. A total of seventeen episodes have been broadcast to date. Outside of France, the series is broadcast by La Une in Belgium and RTS Deux in Switzerland and is available in the United States on the MHz broadcast network and MHz Choice streaming. The series does not currently hold a British broadcaster.
MHz Choice is a U.S. based streaming service featuring new and exclusive international mysteries, dramas and comedies—unedited with easy-to-read English subtitles. The monthly fee of $7.99 (USD) a month or $89.99 (USD) a year, watch any title available in our sizable catalog. MHz Choice offers a free 7-day trial.