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Where do I start? I'm British. This is a French sitcom. Where did I meet it? How do I even know about it? Scroll back. Seven floors up in a clifftop hotel in Folkestone, England, while a really Grand Guignol thunderstorm played out over the English Channel. Finding it impossible to sleep at midnight, I resorted to the TV set and discovered that when you're on the south coast of England (France is actually visible on a good clear day), then French TV - and to an extent Belgian - can be received loud and clear.Even in a lightning storm. This was an exotic revelation. If nothing else, I discovered French TV is, in the main, every bit as mediocre as British. And I tuned into the sort of TV station that must be the French version of Channel Dave, as it showed nothing but repeats of old sitcoms and cartoons on a sort of moebious loop. And this show came on. Now I can speak and comprehend French up to a certain level. Which is useful. And I arrived halfway through a show that instantly screamed "SITCOM!" at me: i honestly thought at first it was a French remake of Friends as the same sort of vibe was happening - expensive looking apartment, big and spacious, inhabited by - I counted them - three men and three women of a thirtysomething aspect. Other characters came and went, but there were these six core people who were there all the time. I started tuning in. Nothing wildly original at all. Just Up to Eleven sitcom stock characters running through the standard sort of plots. It wasn't hard to see why it hasn't been subbed/dubbed into English or sold for overseas remakes. A knock-off of "Friends" with a side-salad of "Three's A Crowd/ Three's Company". But there was still something indefinibly charming/pleasant about it. also wondered if this was a case of TV Tropes having ruined my life - oui, je parle francais, oui, je le comprends bien. But the sitcom formula was so strong here that I felt I could get the idea what was going on by just watching and ticking off tropes, even if I spoke no French at all. Wikipédia francais says this show only ran for fifteen months - but they still made 170 episodes. That's three a week. Three. A week. So this explains the lack of originality or decent scripts or on occassion good acting. But damn. It grows on you. Even after returning Oop North outside the reach of French TV I started looking it up on youTube. It has its charm. And Cecile Auclert, who now joins the ranks of memorable French (well. French-Canadian) actresses, even though she is not in the same league as Huppert, Deneuve, Beart or Girardot (Now a young Annie Girardot in this sitcom - she'd have cracked it.) . Good for learning or improving French from!
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