Posted Jan 31, 2023, 4:03 PMUpdated Feb 1. 2023 at 01:45 PM
This month of February will not be quiet on the small screen. Many series will take you through rugged, unexpected, futuristic and often dangerous terrain. Whether in an Iraq at war with “Black Hearts”, in a London where a secret agency tries to prevent the end of the world (“The Lazarus Project”), in an Oklahoma more Tarantinesque than ever (“Tulsa King”) , or even in a New Babylon of a western which is no less so (“Django”)… And the tension will not fall again with either the Franco-British spy thriller “Liaison” as passionate as it is fascinating, the second season of “Your Honor”, the fourth of “You”, the retrofuturistic “Hello Tomorrow! or the awkward “The Consultant”. Hold on tight!
“It’s a story that hasn’t really been treated on television yet that talks not only about the war against Daesh in Iraq in 2016 but also about intelligence soldiers tasked with finding French terrorists and avoiding other attacks in France. Here is a summary of the new, to say the least, ambitious French series from Amazon Prime by one of its main protagonists, Nicolas Duvauchelle, also recently seen in the excellent Arte thriller “Les Papillons Noirs”.
Action series where the tension is well rendered during the perilous missions of these special forces in Islamist territory thanks to the precise realization of Ziad Doueiri (“Slippage”, “Black Baron”) but which does not neglect the psychology of the characters. , carried by excellent actors (Marie Dompnier, Tewfik Jallab, Nina Meurisse…) Thus, the commando leader played by Nicolas Duvauchelle is torn between his desire to find his wife in France who will soon give birth and that of extending his mandate to support his colleagues after one of them was seriously injured… A good surprise. On Prime Video, February 3.
The Lazarus Project
The series where we play to go back in time are fashionable (“Plan B”, “Vortex”). This new British production takes the concept on a more collective level by integrating it into a political-climatic scenario well-crafted by showrunner Joe Barton (“Giri/Haji”). We quickly follow in the footsteps of George (magnetic Paapa Essiedu seen in “I may Destroy you”), recruited by a secret organization which seeks to simply prevent the end of the world… A breathless thriller but also a beautiful love story . On OCS February 5.
Rambo in a series? It’s the latest big move for showrunner Taylor Sheridan, who has already signed up two other Hollywood stars (Kevin Costner and Harrison Ford) for her hit series “Yellowstone” and its prequels. Here Sylvester Stalonne (76) plays a mafioso from New York who, barely out of twenty-five years in prison, is “exiled” by his clan to Oklahoma to develop their business there. Surrounded by a gallery of colorful characters, Dwight will sparkle there. Between “Boardwalk Empire” and “Soprano”, this reintegration turns out to be rather entertaining… On Paramount+, February 9.
Netflix star series, “You” continues to play its disturbing little music. At a time when “true crime” documentaries are making the heyday of the platform, fiction draws on the same springs, while mixing serial murders, social networks and the thwarted loves of its main character, Joe Goldberg. For three seasons, viewers have followed the bloodthirsty impulses of this bookseller obsessed with the young women he meets. To the point of nurturing a morbid curiosity for the latter, eliminating all the obstacles that could oppose their romance…
The fourth chapter opens here far from the United States but in Europe, and more particularly in London, where the young man, still camped by Penn Badgley (“Gossip Girl”), evolves under a new identity. After stalking his prey, he is the target of a mysterious crow. On Netflix, February 9.
Highly anticipated series of this beginning of the year, Django undeniably has something to seduce fans of westerns. First of all because this creation is freely inspired, in the imagination, by the work of the same name by Sergio Corbucci but also by the more recent one by Quentin Tarantino. Here we are immersed in the heart of New Babylon, a utopian city born of the Civil War and its violence, where pariahs, men and women of all origins and beliefs stay. It is in this place away from the world that resides Sarah (Lisa Vicari), desperately sought after by her father since the murder of his family eight years earlier.
His father is precisely Django, a solitary cowboy superbly played by actor Matthias Schoenaerts, hailed in the drama “De rouille et d’os”. At his side, Noomi Rapace (“Millennium”), in the skin of Elizabeth, a Puritan figure at war against New Babylon, a city founded on the lands of her father by the reckless John (Nicholas Pinnock). With a real desire for modernity in the production and the subject, the series is as much a family story as a fresco where conflicts, illusions and passions mingle. A journey filled with references by Leonardo Fasoli and Maddalena Ravagli (creators of the “Gomorra” series), carried by the high quality of its actors and the immensity of the landscapes. On Canal+, February 13.
The girl from Kyiv
After the Nordic Noir, Arte introduces us to the Slave Noir. Two years ago, we were able to appreciate the excellent thriller “Geometry of Death”, which was located between Poland, the Czech Republic and Ukraine. This time, it is “The girl from kyiv” (“The silence”, in English) whose action takes place between Croatia and Ukraine. An unknown girl is found dead by a river in Croatia. The local police and a freelance journalist join forces to lead the investigation while, for her part, the very pretty aunt of the victim (Kseniya Mishina), at the head of a Ukrainian philanthropic foundation, moves heaven and earth to uncover the truth.
All the ingredients of the thriller are there: from the policeman in the midst of an existential crisis between his wife who has left, his dying mother and a boss who pressures him (Darko Milas) to the journalist who plays the ugly coach (Goran Bogdan) in through human trafficking and corruption. Without being original, this series based on a true story does not lack effectiveness. On arte.tv, February 16.
Amazing series that “Hello Tomorrow! “, both in its aesthetics and in its scenario. From the first minutes, the fiction clashes with its retrofuturistic universe, evoking the imagination of the 50s and 60s in a world where robotics and the desire for progress punctuate daily life.
It is in this universe on the border between the real and the fantastic that Jack, a traveling supplier, evolves with the ambition of selling lunar timeshares. A project that arouses around him as much inspiration as disillusionment, with characters in search of hope and renewal. In the cast, the excellent Billy Crudup (“The Morning Show”, “Big Fish”), but also Hank Azaria and Jacki Weaver. On AppleTV+, February 17.
Worn by Bryan Cranston (“Breaking Bad”, “Dalton Trumbo”), who himself had the idea of adapting this series of Israeli origin with Peter Moffat, the first season of “Your Honor” told how a judge above suspicion fell from Charybdis to Scylla, to escape his son from the hasty justice of the local thug, will go through all the insults. The ability of this deemed incorruptible judge to deceive those around him, to shift the blame onto others, and even to kill could leave doubtful despite the impeccable score of the hero .
At the beginning of the second season, we are immersed in another atmosphere. The pretty clean houses of a posh suburb of New Orleans give way to the dilapidated walls of a prison where this same judge, unrecognizable, with his beard shaggy and thin as a nail, who just wants to die, languishes. Through flashbacks, we understand that all her efforts to save her son only provoked an infernal cycle of revenge like in an Ismaïl Kadaré novel and led to the final tragedy… After the descent into hell, a chance for redemption will however offer itself to him… Will he seize it? To do what ? A series with its flaws but with attractive tragic accents. On Canal+ on February 23.
Many good fairies have bent over the cradle of this new Apple TV series. The platform’s first Franco-English production, it is indeed written by Virginie Brac (“Engrenages”), directed by Stephen Hopkins (“24 Hours chrono”), and played by Eva Green and Vincent Cassel, accompanied by Peter Mullan, Laëtitia Eïdo, Gérard Lanvin, Stanislas Merhar and Irène Jacob…
Presented as a contemporary thriller exploring “the stakes and the possible devastating consequences of past mistakes on our future”, “Liaison” is based on an international espionage case based on cyberterrorism to rekindle a burning passion between a mercenary at the salary of the French secret services and a person in charge of the British Home office. A duo that hits the mark served by a breathless scenario. It is true that danger and desire generally go hand in hand… On Apple TV+, February 24.
In line with “Severance”, one of the most surprising series of 2022 , “The Consultant” explores the workings of a management that is atypical to say the least. If he does not have the emotional power, this new series created for Amazon Prime by Tony Bagallop (“Servant”) has in any case the mystery. It is indeed difficult to resist this uncomfortable program which opens with the murder of the young leader of a mobile game company and then gradually descends towards the worst when a tyrannical consultant appears out of nowhere, determined to right the ship, costs what does it cost.
Played by Christoph Waltz, this abusive and unpredictable newcomer is certainly what keeps us going. Caught up by the sometimes delirious, sometimes horrifying atmosphere of the series and its convincing cast, the spectator can only be seduced, almost in spite of himself. If the four episodes watched do not really allow us to say whether the fall will live up to its premise, “The Consultant” certainly manages to spare the suspense and create an effective thriller. On Amazon Prime, February 24.