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Series / Lazy Company

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The four main chuckleheads. From left to right, Corporal Niels, Sergeant Chester, Private Slice, and Private Henry.

General Paxton: I don't know if you're aware of that, but there's a war on! We're not here to fool around with guns! You're a disgrace to the army. No, you're not even a disgrace, you're morons! That's it! Big ol' MORONS! You're a moron, you're a moron, and you're a moron!
Sergeant Chester: Which moron is he talking about? I lost track.
Major Spring: He means you.
General Paxton: SHUT UP!!

Lazy Company is a French series, created by Alexandre Philip and Samuel Bodin, broadcast on premium movie/series channel OCS Max. There are three seasons of 10 episodes (26 minutes) each.

It's set in summer 1944 France, during the Battle of Normandy (except the first episode, which is before D-Day). While Easy Company is fighting their way through Nazi-infested Norman countryside, four losers are banded together after a spectacular bungle and given the derisive nickname of "Lazy Company" (because "stupid clowns" company was tried and rejected).

Sergeant Chester, Corporal Niels, and Privates Henry and Slice subsequently proceed to alternate Epic Fails and accidental victories, meet very strange people (including a Nazi Super-Soldier, a Glamorous War Time Singer, a... belligerent female member of La Résistance, a former German soldier turned Camp Cook...), and generally try to stay alive.

Lazy Company provides examples of:

  • Accidental Misnaming: Unrelated characters sometimes call Sergeant Chester "Fletcher". He objects every time.
  • Adolf Hitlarious: The Lazy Company capture Hitler in mid-season 1 as he's picking up mushrooms in the woods, cut off the hair from his forehead (which reveals a genitals-shaped birth mark), and he's mocked at every turn. He fittingly becomes much darker in seasons 2 and 3.
  • All Women Are Lustful: General Margaret Sanders pinches and grabs Major Spring's butt every time she can. In Season 3 she's shown to enjoy sex a lot.
  • All Men Are Perverts: Zig-zagged. Niels gleefully tries to seduce French girls, but his advances are constantly rebuffed, while Henry is a married virgin and has a lot of trouble not giving in to enthusiastic French girls.
  • Amusing Injuries: Generally, when someone gets hurt, they're down for a little while... Except Chester, who is kneecapped (in both knees) and shot in the shoulder in the opening of Season 2, and is fine ten minutes later in the same episode. Nobody even mentions his wounds. Played for Laughs.
  • Anachronism Stew: Generally Played for Laughs, too. General Paxton calls Chester "Lucky Luke", and MacGyver is mentioned at some point.
  • Anyone Can Die: Isla, Das Nemesis, Henry, the Patriot, France... Jessica, General Sanders, Dr Sheffield, Chuck, Hitler and Niels die in the last two episodes alone]].
  • Apologetic Attacker: Chuck, holding Helmut at gun point: "Now I'm sorry, but I have to kill you. Well — when I say "I'm sorry", I don't mean it, it's just a phrase."
  • The Berserker: France after Henry is wounded in "Alamo". With a machine gun. "NOBODY OCCUPIES ME!"
  • Bittersweet Ending: The finale of the series. Niels kills Hitler and stops Operation Blauer Wind from happening, but dies in a Heroic Sacrifice, breaking Jeanne's heart; Slice and her son are alive, but Jeff is going to have to live with his actions; Chester is badly wounded and Jessica is dead; Spring is possibly immortal but missing a foot now on top of the eye and hand he already lost. And presumably they're still on the run from the OSS.
  • Boldly Coming: Niels' idea of liberation is to sleep with all the pretty French women he can find. Not that he's very successful.
  • Boom, Headshot!: How Henry and later Chuck die.
  • Catchphrase: Chester's "MERDE!", whenever he steps on a land mine.
  • The Cavalry: The Résistance girls swoop in with munitions when the guys run out. Then they run out of munitions as well.
  • Cerebus Rollercoaster: The series' tone is comedic in the first season with some emotional sucker punches; the second season alternates hilarity and drama. The third and final season is Darker and Edgier as a whole, but there's still some pretty hilarious moments.
  • Chekhov's Skill:
    • Charlie's Hitler impersonation, a minor gag in episode 2, is a major plot point in episode 10.
    • In the beginning of season 1, Henry mentions he can do a 11.7 seconds 100-metre run. It comes up again (as an episode Title Drop, no less) during Niels' and Jeanne's wedding when he volunteers to run back to camp to get the rings.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Niels, with his Skewed Priorities, and Chester, to some extent.
  • The Comically Serious: General Paxton, and his long-suffering aide, Chuck. You can count the times when they crack a smile on one hand.
  • Darkest Hour:
    • The end of episode 7, "Counter-attack". Isla tortures and captures Niels, while Chester finds Captain/Patriot and Slice seriously wounded and brings both back to camp.
    • In the last minutes of "L'aigle noir" (episode 9) things look pretty darn hopeless, too. Chuck reveals himself as the mole, shoot General Paxton and Major Spring, tortures Helmut, and Camp Neptune is his and his men's. Meanwhile, Isla activates the bomb that was planted in her body. Cut to black. And that's just for the first season.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Chester and Major Spring, who engage in Snark-to-Snark Combat when they're not at each other's throats (literally).
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: Chester's misogyny. His song in the Musical Episode is about women being useless and dumb. Slice is not amused.
  • Did You Just Have Sex?: Louise can tell almost instantly that Henry is not a virgin anymore, because he is "a little taller, and less honest".
  • Digging Yourself Deeper: Chester, being interrogated by Lieutenant Erica, ends up bringing up the army's equivalent to Casting Couch and implying that she slept her way into her rank.
  • First-Episode Twist: Well, Fourth Episode Twist: Slice is a woman.
  • Formula-Breaking Episode: "La Normandie du bonheur", in the first season, is a Musical Episode; in season two, "Petits Secrets" is in black and white and a Homage to old horror movies.
  • Gender Reveal: Slice, played by male actor Benoît Moret, is a woman, despite looking exactly like a man (except for the groin area, judging by the Reaction Shot). Played for laughs with a dose of You Never Asked. Everybody takes it in stride except Sergeant Chester, for whom it's more an Unsettling Gender-Reveal.
  • Gilligan Cut: When everyone stops to relieve themselves in "L'aigle noir", Chester orders Henry to help a handcuffed Hitler to pee. Henry vehemently refuses. The next frame shows him holding Hitler's penis, stone-faced.
  • Global Ignorance: No, Chester, Winston Churchill is not a chocolate maker.
  • The Guards Must Be Crazy: Subverted. The medic tries to sneak up to the German guarding the radio to pour a sedative into his cup of coffee. The guard notices, and the medic keeps pouring, while denying he's doing it. Then Helmut knocks the guard out with a ladle.
  • Handicapped Badass: Downplayed with Niels, who like his actor has congenital agenesis (underdevelopment) of his arms, but it doesn't factor into his being badass or not.
  • High-Heel–Face Turn: Attempted by Niels with Isla. It doesn't end well.
  • Historical Domain Character: Winston Churchill, Adolf Hitler and General De Gaulle make cameos.
  • Historical In-Joke: Helmut "invents" the hamburger, remarking that it's a Hamburg recipe.
  • How We Got Here: Season 2 opens with the guys getting ready for Niels' wedding, with no indication as to who the bride is, then segues into what happened immediately after the season 1 finale. The wedding itself happens in the last episode of season 2, the bride being la Jeanne.
  • Just a Stupid Accent: Everybody speaks French. The Germans have German accents (some characters often step in What the Hell Is That Accent? territory, especially Helmut and Isla), and Winston Churchill sounds like a parody of Winston Churchill speaking French. Rule of Funny applies with Charlie and Hitashi the Japanese pilot, who sometimes use Poirot Speak but have no foreign accent at all.
  • Just Following Orders: Repeatedly defied with a Nazi character whose shtick is "I'm just doing my job." The Allied characters systematically beat him up.
  • Large Ham: General Paxton, Da Chief with No Indoor Voice.
  • Lethal Chef: Downplayed with Chuck: his cooking isn't deadly, just bad. Thankfully Helmut took over the kitchens.
  • Let's Wait a While: Spoofed with Henry and his wife, who decided to "wait" before having sex... even after their wedding.
  • Lovable Coward: Niels, who is determined to sit out the war, because it's dangerous business and he's there for the chicks. He fights anyway. This bite him in the arse in season 3, as he has a habit of not handling torture well and spilling the beans quickly enough.
  • Made of Iron: Chester, who keeps going whether his wounds are Amusing Injuries or not. Played for drama in the finale.
  • Malaproper:
    • Winston Churchill, speaking French with a very thick English accent (or close enough) due to Translation Convention, says "cou" (neck) instead of "cul" (arse).
    • Dr Sheffield doesn't know how to work a radio, because he's "not a radiologist".
  • Manipulative Bastard:
    • Chuck, which is why nobody suspected he was the mole until it was too late.
    • Hitler is a bit of a Butt-Monkey in season 1, but is shown to be this in later seasons.
  • Nice Guy: Jeff, the Patriot (and Captain America ersatz), is a genuinely kind-hearted guy, always polite and genial. (He's also crazy jealous).
  • The Nicknamer: Chester, who calls Isla "Snow White", Major Spring "Major Calvitienote , Niels "Cyrano de Bergerac" (after a few jokes on his nose), Das Nemesis "le Noiryennote " because he's an African-American forced into fighting for the Nazis)...
  • Musical Episode: Episode 6, "La Normandie du bonheur", a pun on "La mélodie du bonheur", the French title for The Sound of Music.
  • Naked First Impression: Ants crawling into Niels' uniform make him tear his shirt off. Cue "la Jeanne", who holds him at gunpoint and calls him a pervert. Her opinion doesn't change for most of the season, and she keeps calling him "parvart" even during their wedding.
  • Nothing Is the Same Anymore: After Henry's murder in the season 2 finale, the Lazy is disbanded and Slice, Helmut and Niels leave the army altogether.
  • Not So Above It All: Combined with Evil Feels Good when Chuck giddily announces, "Holy crap, this feels good! I mean, I was trained not to feel a single emotion, but this feels totally awesome!" when he shoots General Paxton. Twice. And another couple of times.
  • Now What?: Niels in "L'aigle noir" points out, "Okay, we captured Hitler. Now what do we do?"
  • Perp Sweating: Lieutenant Erika of the Military Police, looking for the mole. It works too well on Henry, who is so terrified that what little he says is completely useless.
  • Rag Tag Bunch Of Misfits: Lazy Company is comprised of a spectacularly unlucky sergeant, a Lovable Sex Maniac corporal, a Blind Without 'Em ingénue and an escapee from an asylum who is probably the Only Sane Man of the bunch.
  • Really Dead Montage:
    • Jeff, the Patriot, in "Tic tac". Each character has a flashback while they carry or walk behind the coffin.
    • Subverted in season 3 with Major Spring, whose death turns out to be a Disney Death.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: General Paxton is very fond of giving those to anyone under his command.
  • Red Herring:
    • When Chuck reveals that he's the mole and has sleeper agents inside the camp, the camera cuts to Helmut the German cook. Then one of the three guys he's giving food to thanks him in German, and they open their uniforms to reveal Werhmacht ones underneath and hold everyone at gun point.
    • In a few episodes of season 3, viewers and characters both are led to believe Chester is going to have to make a Heroic Sacrifice to end things. He steps on a landmine at the last moment, and it's Niels who ends up doing the aforementioned Heroic Sacrifice.
  • Rule of Funny: Most of the series runs on this. Things like a Japanese kamikaze crash-landing in Normandy or Hitler strolling through the nearby woods, picking mushrooms and getting captured should be absolutely impossible.
  • Running Gag: Poor Chester steps on a mine every two episodes in season 1. At some point both his feet are on land mines. He always comes out all right. It becomes a lot less funny in the series' finale when this keeps him from making a Heroic Sacrifice which Niels ends up making.
  • Sexless Marriage: Henry and his wife back home.
  • Shipper on Deck: Niels does everything he can to get Henry and France to finally sleep together.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Smug Snake:
    • Major Spring, who lords his victories over Chester.
    • And Chuck, once he's revealed as the mole.
  • Springtime for Hitler: During Major Spring's stint as general, he sends Lazy Company on a suicide mission; meanwhile, US planes are set to flatten the enemy air base. Unfortunately, a mysterious mole has sabotaged the planes, meaning that even if Lazy did survive, they would have no air support. They survive anyway, and even bring back the plans of the aforementioned secret base.
  • Take Our Word for It: We never see exactly how Chester doesn't get blown up every time he steps on a land mine, but it sounds awesome.
  • Taking the Bullet : Isla ends up doing this for Slice, showing that she isn't totally devoid of feeling, as she claimed.
  • Those Wacky Nazis: Wackier than most while still being very serious threats.
  • Tyke Bomb:
    • Project Adlerlager was taking 22 infants and brainwash them into becoming assassins who could murder someone with just a pen. Chuck and Isla are part of the 22, and Das Nemesis became the 23rd because he was in love with Hitler's sister Sandrine.
    • Jeffrey, Slice's and Helmut's son, has telekinetic powers and looks like a 17 or 18-year-old two months after his birth. Hitler takes advantage of his resentment and tries to groom him to kill people.
  • Wham Line:
    • "You're gonna be a mum!"
    • The reveal of The Mole:
      Paxton: Why is [the radioman] dead? He was perfectly fine ten seconds ago!
      Chuck: Because I killed him with his own knife, General.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Henry's wife is last mentioned when France lets him down gently in the end of season 1 and never brought up again, even after Henry's death.