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Series / P.J.

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P.J. is a French Police Procedural series created by Michelle Podroznik and Frédéric Krivine. It first aired on the France 2 channel and ran for a total of 13 seasons between 1997 and 2009.

It follows the routine of Police Judiciaire (hence the acronym) law enforcement agents in the 10th and 11th arrondissements (greater administrative districts) of Paris as they deal with petty criminality, bigger criminality, bureaucracy, and their personal lives. Their police station is located in the district of Porte-Saint-Martin, near the Saint-Martin Canal.

P.J. provides examples of:

  • The '90s: The show started in 1997 and it shows with the time's distinctive cars, computer hardware, cellphones and children playing the Game Boy.
  • Bad Liar: Very often, petty criminals and whatnot who get caught in the act and have drugs, weapons or stolen goods on them will deny that it's theirs or deny that they stole it. Fell Off the Back of a Truck is also frequently used.
  • Big Eater: Inspecteur/Lieutenant/Captain Bernard Léonetti loves to eat, and it shows with his looks.
  • Da Chief: Commissioner Henri Meurteaux, although he's quite laid-back most of the time and him really losing his temper usually means O.O.C. Is Serious Business.
  • Citizenship Marriage: One case involved the team dismantling of a network of smugglers of illegal immigrants who facilitate "mariages blancs" (marriages of convenience).
  • Crossover: In a movie certainly invokedinspired by the CSI-verse, P.J. became the first French cop show to cross over with another series, that being the Law Procedural Avocats et Associés ("Lawyers & Associates"), in 2007.
  • Delinquents: The agents (particularly the lower ranked ones) have had to deal with pretty much the whole spectrum of petty criminality, juvenile included.
  • French Accordion: The main theme of the show (which is set in Paris) is a Sinister Tango Music-like take on the instrument to emphasize the show's serious tone.
  • Gay Paree: Thoroughly averted. The show reflects the immigration-induced diversity and least glamorous and picturesque aspects of Paris quite well, right out the gate in the early episodes. It was quite rare at the time it first aired (in the late '90s).
  • Initialism Title: "P.J." as in "Police Judiciaire" (judicial police).
  • Lead Police Detective: Inspector (then Captain, then Commandant) Vincent Fournier usually fits this role, being The Leader whenever investigations and field operations are organized.
  • Office Romance: A lesbian romance develops between colleagues Nadine Lemercier and Tina at the police station after a while.
  • Politically Incorrect Hero: Brigadier Chloé Matthieu's political opinions tend to lean on the far-right spectrum and she's somewhat homophobic initially, though she gets a fair share of Character Development.
  • Rank Up: Most of the show's characters ranked up over the twelve years that the show lasted. Some of them didn't however, such as Agathe Monnier (who remained a Captain throughout) and Alain Porret (played by Thierry Desroses, remained a Lieutenant).