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Context Series / LesPetitsMeurtresDAgathaChristie

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1[[quoteright:300:]] ²²''Les Petits Meurtres d'Agatha Christie'' is a French TV adaptation of Creator/AgathaChristie's murder novels and short stories. The stories are set in 1930s (and 1950s in the second era) Northern France.²²The series has two sets of main characters and era: Commissaire (equivalent of DCI in Britain) Jean Larosière and Inspecteur (DI) Emile Lampion in 1935-1939, and Commissaire Swan Laurence and reporter Alice Avril in 1955-1962. The setting update was made when the two actors playing Larosière and Lampion left the series. There are 11 90-minutes-long episodes in the first era and 16 (so far) in the second.²²The show comes from a 2006 TV adaptation of ''Hercule Poirot's Christmas'', ''called Petits meurtres en famille'', for which the characters of Larosière and Lampion were created. They proved so popular that the producers decided to continue telling stories with them. While ''Petits meurtres en famille'' has some EarlyInstallmentWeirdness (it happens in 1939, in Brittany instead of Northern France, and it's the first time Lampion works with Larosière), the ending ([[spoiler:with Larosière being unmasked as the murderer and an illegitimate son of the old man who was killed]]) makes it fall squarely into ContinuitySnarl.²----²!!The series in general provides examples of the following tropes:²²* BigScrewedUpFamily: A staple of Christie's.²* InCaseYouForgotWhoWroteIt: ''Les Petits Meurtres d'[[Creator/AgathaChristie Agatha Christie]]''.²* ScreamingWoman: A OnceAnEpisode staple when a corpse is discovered. In the second era, Alice and Marlène are not exempt of this trope.²²²!!The 1930s era:²²* AdaptationalAngstUpgrade: A few episodes make it [[ItSPersonal personal]] for the heroes:²** Le Flux et le Reflux (Taken at the Flood): Larosière's former CO from the war and mentor dies; he takes it so hard that it takes most of the episode before he snaps out of his HeroicBSOD.²** La Plume Empoisonnée (The Moving Finger) ''begins'' with Lampion getting shot very seriously during a police operation.²* BusmansHoliday: Or Busman's Convalescence for Lampion in La Plume Empoisonnée (The Moving Finger). Someone has been sending letters accusing the village's notables of all sorts of horrible things for weeks before he arrives, and a murder is committed a couple of days after.²* ByTheBookCop: Emile. Larosière has a stronger tendency to think outside the box.²* BookDumb: Played with with Lampion, who is smart and interested in new sciences and techniques (like profiling), but often fails to recognise the classical poetry and literature Larosière is fond of quoting.²* ClearTheirName: ''The Body in the Library'' is adapted as "A Body on [his] Pillow", in which Larosière wakes up with the mother of all hangovers and a dead woman he doesn't know in his bed. Lampion and he spend the episode trying to figure out what happened.²* DisappearedDad: Lampion mentions once that he never knew his father.²* DisguisedInDrag: Emile in "Je ne suis pas coupable", in order to infiltrate a feminist meeting. Not as quite PlayedForLaughs as the trope usually plays out.²* GenteelInterbellumSetting: The context of this season. Partly deconstructed, as the series doesn't shy away from the racism, homophobia and other DeliberateValuesDissonance.²* GentlemanAndAScholar: Larosière can be quite charming and is rather vastly learned in literature, poetry and theatre. Several characters (especially upper-class people) express their surprise at seeing a police detective with such a large classical culture.²* ShellShockedVeteran: Averted with Larosière, who fought in UsefulNotes/WorldWarI but is well adjusted to civilian life. It takes the death of his former commanding officer to trigger memories of how hellish the trenches were.²* StraightGay: Emile.²²²!!The 1950s era:²²* AFriendInNeed: Alice and Marlene usually help each other, sometimes while Laurence is working alone.²* AllLoveIsUnrequited: Marlene has a crush on Laurence, but he hardly notices it.²* AmateurSleuth: Laurence never misses an opportunity to remind Avril that she's this, not official police.²* AssholeVictim: Alexandre Protheroe in "L'Affaire Protheroe".²* AwLookTheyReallyDoLoveEachOther: in the first episode, as in the rest of the series Laurence never lets pass an occasion to put Alice down or insult her. But when at the end of the episode he finds out that her editor has put his own byline on the article she wrote he wordlessly stomps in the editor's office and bitchslaps him off his chair.²* BeCarefulWhatYouWishFor: In episode six "Cartes sur table" a man is murdered in Laurence's appartment with Laurence's own pistol and he has no alibi. To avoid being suspended from the case he asks Alice to pretend to have had a dalliance with him that night. She plays along but in front of Marlène and the commissaire divisionaire she gives the story her twist: under the pretext of discussing the case Laurence had brought her to a dark country road where he had attempted to have his way with her, asked if she wants to press charges she answers that she found him so pathetic and vulnerable that she took pity on him and when asked if that was at the time of murder she says no, that it was much earlier but you know how it is with men of a certain age, they don't last very long and that afterward Laurence had fallen asleep, all the while impishly glancing at a glaring Laurence.²* BigDamnHeroes: Subverted in Jeux de Glace (They Do It With Mirrors): Laurence hears Avril scream, finds her struggling against a big, mean-looking guy, and [[CurbStompBattle Curb Stomps him]] into unconsciousness. Avril is not impressed; she'd [[PeekabooCorpse stumbled across a body]] and subsequently freaked out, and the big guy was just trying to calm her down.²* BiTheWay: [[spoiler:Alice]] finds [[spoiler:her]] ClosetKey in "Le Miroir se brisa" after having had previous heterosexual affairs.²* BreakingTheFourthWall: Promotional teasers for the show feature the main cast telling when the next season will begin.²** There are also [[ bonus videos]] where the main cast meets their own characters. The actors explain that they play the characters but the characters disagree.²* BreakoutCharacter: The second era was meant to be about the new duo of Laurence and Avril, like the previous one was about Larosière and Lampion, but Marlène, Laurence's secretary, proved so popular in the first couple of episodes that the rest of the series is centred on the trio instead.²* CutHisHeartOutWithASpoon: In reply to one of Laurence's meanest, most cruel insults, Alice grins and says, "One day, I'll rip out your heart - with an oyster fork".²* DeadpanSnarker: Laurence.²* DisguisedInDrag: Laurence dresses as a woman in the episode "L'Homme au complet marron" in order to pass himself as a secretary.²* TheDitz: Marlene. She's well aware of it.²* DumbBlonde: Downplayed with Marlène. She's not very bright, but even the super-smart Laurence finds her more endearing than annoying.²* EvilCounterpart: Marlène's sister Solange is the exact contrary of her. As Marlène is the nicest person on the show, Solange is the most despicable. However it is proved they both share physical similarities through [[spoiler: Solange's death while she was disguised as Marlène, and how everyone thought it was really Marlène]]. ²* FieryRedHead: Alice.²* FriendOnTheForce: Avril ''[[WrongGenreSavvy thinks]]'' she's this to Laurence, who originally considers her a nuisance and doesn't get much better.²* HairOfGoldHeartOfGold: Blond-haired Marlene is arguably the kindest character in this season.²* IWorkAlone: The reason why Laurence refuses to work with an inspector under him in the first episode. In the same (first) episode he uses Marlène as a sounding board and Alice triggers an EurekaMoment. Gradually they get more and more involved in his investigations.²* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: Laurence is usually cold and snarky towards Alice, but he can be willing to help her during difficult times.²* MasterOfDisguise: Avril and Marlene sometimes have to disguise or use a fake identity in order for an investigation to progress.²* MistakenForDying: Alice has a scooter accident at the start of "Albert Major parlait trop" and has to spend most of the episode in a hospital. At some point, her doctor gets her file mixed up with that of a cancer patient, and tells Marlène and Laurence (her next-of-kin) that she's not long for this world. Them taking it badly is both PlayedForLaughs and [[PlayedForDrama for drama]].²* MissingMom: Alice is an orphan, and the reason her last name is "Avril" is that she was [[ParentalAbandonment abandoned as a baby]] and given to the Assistance Publique as a DoorstopBaby one April 1st. [[spoiler:She's reunited with her mother in "La Mystérieuse affaire de Styles", only for her mother to be murdered.]]²* MoralityPet: No matter how cynical and cutting Laurence is with practically everyone, he is mostly polite and kind to Marlene. Her apparent murder sends him in a deep HeroicBSOD.²* NotSoStoic: Commissaire Laurence is usually a cool-tempered DeadpanSnarker and a SmugSnake. When he finds the body of his secretary (apparently), though, he just crumbles from the inside and ends up getting drunk with a tearful Alice and reminiscing.²* PowerTrio: Laurence, Alice and Marlene.²* ReassignedToAntarctica: Laurence was transferred from the Quai des Orfèvres, in Paris (more or less equivalent to (New) Scotland Yard) to Lille because his investigations annoyed some politicians. He makes it clear this is a big step down for him.²* RedOniBlueOni: Alice Avril is the Red to Laurence's Blue. Their costumes even lampshade this; Avril wears a red leather jacket and Laurence's suit is usually blue.²* ReplacementGoldfish: Litteraly. In the episode "Crimes haute couture", [[spoiler: Laurence accidentally kills Marlene's pet goldfish Bubulle by feeding him liquorice. He buys a new one before Marlene becomes aware, but she notices the slight differences between Bubulle and other goldfishes.]]²* SignificantDoubleCasting: Marlene's sister Solange is played by Elodie Frenck, who happens to play Marlene!²* TemporaryBlindness: Laurence spends most of "Meurtre à la kermesse" blind from PTSD (from getting shot in the head).²* UnspokenPlanGuarantee: Subverted in Jeux de Glace (They Do It with Mirrors): The scene ends just after Avril tells Laurence she has a foolproof plan, cutting to other characters, then comes back to them just in time for Laurence to forbid her from going through with her plan (which he says is idiotic). [[spoiler:Avril intended to pretend to blackmail the murderer to find out who he was. She's almost killed and he gets away.]]²* VitriolicBestBuds: Laurence and Avril, with an extra serving of vitriol. Laurence is probably the coldest, meanest DeadpanSnarker in the history of French television.


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