I dream about perfect, full-blown self-expression for myself and all women. So I sat up straight on discovering the French TV series called Spiral (Engrenages) via SBS’s OnDemand service.
I’ve binge-watched series 1 to 3 of the show and I’m obsessed with Captain Laure Berthaud, offsider Gilot (aka Gilles Escoffier), Tintin (Lieutenant Fromentin), Huggy Bear and the rest of the squad, as well as barrister, Joséphine Karlsson, prosecutor-turned-barrister, Pierre Clément, and Judge François Roban.
What a program! I walk around imagining myself as Laure or Joséphine. I’m fascinated by the matter-of-factness of the characters. They just shrug off stuff-ups, mistakes, threats, danger, shocking murders, associates wanting revenge, personal disasters, sexual deviance, whatever! They let out a few vicious swear words and then they get on with it. There’s a total absence of repression and cheap moralising.
Laure, played by Caroline Proust, is completely self-expressed, whether in anger, tenderness or lust. Same with Joséphine in her role as ruthless goddess. These characters just couldn’t exist in an Anglo-American setting. Also fascinating are the differences between the inquisitorial legal system practised in France and the adversarial one practised in the Anglo-American sphere.
There is a series 4 and 5 and if anyone knows how to get a copy in Australia, please contact me. I don’t know how I’ll get by without Laure and Gilot otherwise.
The show has just won the International Emmy award for Best Drama Series. For Australian readers, you can watch series 1 to 3 on the SBS website.