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Series / Alexandra Ehle

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Alexandra Ehle is a French Forensic Drama created in 2018. The first season counts four episodes, each one of them being one hour and a half long.

Alexandra "Alex" Ehle (Julie Depardieu) is a red-headed French thanatologist and coroner who examines corpses (including cut off limbs) of murdered people at the forensic institute of Bordeaux. She's brilliant but quirky and stubborn, and has to work with a young trainee, Théo Durrel (Xavier Guelfi). The police officer she collaborates with happens to be her brother Antoine.

Théo quickly finds out that Alexandra doesn't like to limit herself to working in her forensic lab, she always jumps in to investigate cases in the field without authorization, much to her brother's chagrin.

This series provides examples of:

  • Amateur Sleuth: Alexandra and Théo investigate cases way beyond their simple forensic lab work, and without authorization. This includes criminal profiling and pretending they are police officers to ask questions to witnesses, closed ones of the victims or people they suspect.
  • The Apprentice: Théo is Alexandra's trainee in thanatology, and he's not the first at that. The previous one she had gave up forensics because of her behavior and became a hatter.
  • Awesomeness by Analysis: Alexandra can deduce myriads of details on a person's life just by observing said person's remains.
  • By-the-Book Cop: Alexandra's brother Antoine. He always follows procedures, and Alex is always one step ahead of him in investigations as a result. That his sister doesn't follow the procedures annoys him to no end and causes him troubles with his hierarchy more than once, although he always ends up letting her proceed.
  • Character Title: The series is named after its main character.
  • Collector of the Strange: Alexandra collects body parts preserved in jars of formalin. In the first episode, she stole cut off fingers that belonged to a famous female poisoner of the 19th century. In the second episode, she gets offered a lung.
  • The Coroner: Alexandra's primary job. She doesn't stop there however, doubling as an Amateur Sleuth.
  • Da Chief: Antoine's boss reprimands him in the second episode, specifically because the fact that Alexandra borrowed a card of his for a Bavarian Fire Drill attracted a ruthless bureaucratic hunter of Dirty Cops from the IGPN (the general inspection of French police services).
  • The Dead Have Names: Alexandra names the first dead person Théo works with her on "Albertine", as it is unidentified for the time being.
  • Due to the Dead: At the end of the first episode, Alexandra sews the murdered woman's pieces back together so her husband can mourn her. Moreover, she became a coroner precisely to do that kind of things after the trauma she endured when her father was murdered in a car bombing.
  • Embarrassing Ringtone:
    • Alexandra uses an American police siren as her cellphone's ringtone. Viewers who are used to watch American cop shows might be confused for a few seconds.
    • Antoine uses Chopin's Funeral March as ringtone.
  • Expy: With her job, personality quirks, Awesomeness by Analysis, annoyance to her workplace colleagues and "adaptable" work ethics, Alexandra feels like the love child of Dr. Gregory House and Temperance Brennan. She has more social skills than either of them, however.
  • Follow in My Footsteps: Both Alexandra and Antoine pursued a career in the police (or with ties to it in Alexandra's case) after their father (himself a police officer) died in a car bombing.
  • Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: Alexandra is the foolish sibling who investigates cases way outside her morgue and without being allowed to do so, and Antoine is a By-the-Book Cop and thus the responsible sibling.
  • Hologram: Alexandra uses a technology that recreates the corpses she works on as holograms.
  • Impersonating an Officer: Alexandra passes as a police officer from the Brigade for the Protection of Minors to ask questions to the sister of the murdered woman in the first episode.
  • I Want Grandkids: Alexandra's mother badly wants her to remarry and have kids.
  • Man Bites Man: In order to make up an excuse in the second episode, Alexandra bites Théo's hand when the IGPN inspector and Antoine spot them at the hospital where they went to ask questions to colleagues of a dead doctor, after being warned by Antoine not to investigate anymore. Alexandra pretends it was a dog that bit Théo's hand.
  • Overworked Sleep: How Alexandra is introduced, sleeping in her forensic lab and being awakened by Théo. She still has blood on her medical gloves when shaking his hand. It's later revealed that sleeping at her lab is a habit of hers.
  • Pop-Up Texting: In the first episode, messages pop up onscreen whenever people type short messages, such as when Alexandra texts the lifeguard she dates.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: If Alexandra feels she has to do some things she doesn't have the right to do out of professional ethics (such as doing more than her coroner job), she'll do it anyway if she feels it is crucial to solve a case.
  • Sherlock Scan: Alexandra doesn't listen to people. She observes how they dress, how they talk, how they move, and deduces plenty of things as if they were open books.
    Alexandra: Only the body never lies.
  • Standard Snippet: The "Sugar Plum Fairy" theme shows up several times, when Alexandra is alone and concentrates on other things than corpses.
  • Unrequited Love: Théo tries several times to woo Alexandra, and fails all the time. She easily sees through it and ends up with a "Here he goes again..."-like sigh every time.
  • Vomiting Cop: Théo gets nauseous in the first episode upon seeing a lone cut off leg on the crime scene. It gets worse when studying the leg at the lab.