French-tv

I’m watching an old episode of a french tv show, “L’instit” (the teacher), and it feels… super relatable. It’s the story of a young girl, Aurélie, who has troubles to fit in her school and to have an “acceptable” behavior. She was fired from a lot of schools and basically, most of the adults around her are treating her like shit.

She is canonically hyperactive, but she might also be autistic. She has a special interest in animals in general (and probably in words too, since she’s using a very advanced vocabulary for her age). 

While we’re quite different, she’s experiencing a lot of situations that I used to be familiar with. Her classmates are bullying her and she tries her best to be liked by them. She’s even ready to obey to her classmates, even when they’re humiliating her. 

She has a terrible opinion of herself and she dreams of “vanishing and being reborn”, to be a “good girl” and to be liked by her parents and everyone else. She knows that she has difficulties, but she can’t help it and she tries to explain it, but until the end of episode, no one really gets it.

The way she’s trying, so hard… Her deep consciousness about her own difference… and the others’ reaction… I’m brought back to my own childhood and it’s painful, but, at the same time, it feels nice. I feel like I’m on screen and it’s a very rare feeling.

This episode was released in the early 2000s and it’s impressive how accurate it is. I’m just a bit sad that, except for the main character and her father, Aurélie didn’t have any allies or at least some kind of friend. But, at the same time, I didn’t have any friends when I was her age…Only classmates or people who were exploiting me…

Aurélie is a cute autistic/hyperactive girl and I hope we’ll get more characters like her, especially in french movies/tv shows, where autistic characters, GOOD autistic characters, are especially lacking.

[picture of Aurélie and her father. She’s a white blond girl with her hair unkempt. She’s wearing a denim jumpsuit and she has put her arms in dirty boots.]

Nota Bene : I’m impressed by the fact that they mentioned how France is totally ignorant about neurological disorders, in 2000. And now… It’s not really better, unfortunately.

French TV shows rec list:

Fais pas ci fais pas ça:

Comedy about two very different families living right next to each other: The Lepics and the Bouleys. There are nine seasons so we can see the characters evolve on a really long time period. Some serious issues are tackled with humour, like education, how to cope with the death of a loved one, or how parents react to one of their children coming out as gay, for instance. Most of the characters are really lovable and you easily get attached to them even though they can be annoying sometimes. Also, there are some really funny moments. I wouldn’t say it’s one of my favourite shows ever but I had a nice time watching it (though, I haven’t watched all the seasons yet).

Trigger warning: none that I can think of (this show is suitable for children).

Level of difficulty when it comes to French: I think it should be fine (there’s nothing really technical, the show’s about everyday life, so it mainly uses colloquial/casual French).

Les Bleus premiers pas dans la police:

A four-season show about rookies in the French police. I used to really love this show when I was in middle school, and I have very fond memories of it now, even if I haven’t watched it for a long time. This show has diversity and representation: a Muslim man (who is one of the main characters) and his family, gay men (one of them is also a main character), a bisexual woman (also a main character in the first seasons), and so on. It also portrays strong female characters (including a woman in a position of power, from season 2 to the end I think). The characters are very lovable (in my opinion), and funny. By the way, this show has very funny moments as well as serious moments (including the scenes showing how the LGBT characters and the women deal with discrimination at their workplace or elsewhere). The only problem with this show is that the end is a bit unsatisfying considering it stopped because it failed to get renewed (or at least that’s what I understood at the time).   

Trigger warning: depiction of discrimination (for instance, homophobia), and of course the usual warnings when it comes to cop shows (even though it is far less graphic than most other shows of this kind, and there are less murder investigations than in most investigation shows).

Level of difficulty when it comes to French: I think this one is okay too. There might be some terms describing police stuff, but all in all it’s pretty casual.

Le Bureau des Légendes (ongoing show):

A show about the DGSE (Direction Générale de la Sécurité Extérieure), which is basically the French intelligence agency concerning foreign matters. It has three seasons so far and it’s one of my favourite TV show ever. It’s captivating, I got really attached to many of the characters (and most of them are not completely good or bad, there are a lot of grey characters, which is great), and it’s also really moving (especially the last season I think). One of my favourite thing about this show is its subtlety: it’s deeply moving, but in a subtle and somewhat low-key way. There are close to no typical tear-jerking scenes, with sad music and close-ups on the crying faces of devastated characters. There are really sad scenes, but they are played out with a great sobriety.

Trigger warning: psychological and physical torture (nothing too graphic though).

Level of difficulty when it comes to French: it should be mainly okay, I think. There are probably some technical terms, since it’s about an intelligence agency, but it should be understandable as a whole. Also, many scenes are in other languages (English, Farsi, Arabic, etc) and are subtitled in French, which is really good in order to practise your written French ;)

Les Revenants (ongoing show):

A show about dead people coming back to life in a village of the Pyrénées. It only has two seasons so far, but I’m really looking forward to more. The show is really mysterious, with a gloomy atmosphere that I absolutely love. The dead people (who are from different generations and died at different times) come back to their family/loved ones (when they have some), and no one understands what happened, including the dead people. After their arrival, other very strange events take place in the village. Some characters have very dubious motives and you’re often unsettled, not knowing what to think of them. However, you can’t help but to get attached to some of them anyway. This show has some very serious themes like how to cope with the death of a loved one, death in general, love, family (by blood or by choice).

Trigger warnings: death, suicide.

Level of difficulty concerning French: I think it’s pretty okay… The show aired on American TV so you can probably find a subtitled version quite easily, which is pretty cool :D

Kaamelott:

My favourite French tv show (and even my favourite show ever). This show depicts the Arthurian legend in a humorous way, and it’s one of the funniest thing I’ve ever watched. The humour is unique, the characters are really lovable, and the entire show is extremely creative: this is honestly pure genius. Plus, the atmosphere evolves from something exclusively light and funny to something that is serious and deeply moving at times. The show goes from episodes that last a few minutes to far longer episodes in the 6th (and last) book (=season). I could go on and on about this show, but nothing I could say would make it justice. Honestly, just give it a go, this is brilliant.

PS: Alexandre Astier (who plays Arhtur, wrote the scenario, the music and basically came up with this entire masterpiece) is a national hero. That’s all I had to say.

Trigger warning: it’s really funny and you’re having the time of your life, and suddenly there is a serious/sad scene and you feel like crying (but it’s worth it)… just be prepared ^^

Level of difficulty concerning French: it might be pretty hard at first, because they speak quite quickly and use weird expressions (but then, use these expressions in front of Kaamelott fans [ie a looooot of people] and see their faces lit up => it could be really rewarding I think).

Apart from these, all the creations canal + (Braquo, Engrenages, Cercle polaire…) have a good reputation/positive reviews I think, but I’ve only watched Les Revenants and Le Bureau des Légendes for now, so I only talked about those ^^

I think many people like 10 pour cent and Hero Corp too, but I haven’t watched them (yet) so I couldn’t include them in the list.

Here are some LGBT movies I’ve watched !!

Top picks (in alphabetical order)

Big Eden (2000)
Gay artist Henry moves from NYC to small hometown to take care of sick grandfather. A really sweet, heartwarming story. Bonus points for no homophobia (!!) plot line & a gay native american man, Pike, who is adorable and crushes on Henry.

Brokeback Mountain (2005)
Who hasn’t seen this? Two shepherds and their tumultuous love story over the years. 

But I’m a Cheerleader (1999)
Girl gets sent to a boot camp meant to alter her sexuality. Funny and aesthetic and really cheesy but worth the watch.

Carol (2015)
A young woman in her 20s, Therese Belivet is a clerk working in a Manhattan department store and dreaming of a more fulfilling life when she meets Carol, an alluring woman trapped in a loveless, convenient marriage. 

First Girl I Loved (2016)
Girl falls in love with the most popular girl from her school. Bonus points for a nuanced and realistic portrayal of teenagers.

The Way He Looks (Hoje Eu Quero Voltar Sozinho, 2014)
Brazilian coming-of-age drama about a blind boy who falls in love with his classmate. Based on a short film called “I don’t want to go back alone”, which you can find on youtube.

Holding The Man (2015)
In the 1970s, two teen boys in Australia fight all obstacles thrown their way and refuse to renounce the love they feel for each other. Based on Australia’s “most famous gay biography”.

I Killed My Mother (J’ai Tué Ma Mère, 2009) 
Biographical drama. Directorial debut of Quebecois actor Xavier Dolan, which he also wrote, produced and starred in. My favourite film by him.

Kill Your Darlings (2013)
Biographical drama/thriller. A murder in 1944 draws together the great poets of the beat generation. Peep Daniel Radcliffe and Dane DeHaan.

Laurence Anyways (2012)
A drama that charts ten years in the relationship of a transgender woman’s relationship with her lover. Directed by Xavier Dolan.

Maurice (1987)
The story of a gay man in the early 20th century. A really sweet film with bonus points for being a gay period drama that - spoilers - has a happy ending.

Moonlight (2016) (see title card)
A chronicle of the childhood, adolescence and burgeoning adulthood of a young black man growing up in a rough neighborhood of Miami. First lgbt film (and film with all-black cast) to win Best Picture at the Academy Awards 2017.

Pride (2014)
U.K. gay activists work to help miners during their lengthy strike of the National Union of Mineworkers in the summer of 1984. A truly feel-good movie every one should watch.

The Handmaiden (2016)
A woman is hired as a handmaiden to a Japanese heiress, but secretly she is involved in a plot to defraud her. It’s been called a “South Korean Gothic Lesbian Revenge Thriller”. Just watch it. Trust me. 

The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)
A cult-classic and must-watch. Need I say more?


Rest of movies in alphabetical order under cut, with some commentary by yrs truly (me. a gay.)

Keep reading

French Music

When learning a new language I’ve found, and I’m sure many of you have as well, that whatever website you may use (assuming it’s not a class in school) is not enough, because you need to hear it spoken by a real person the way the people really speak. So I have a few artists to suggest for French learners that I like very much, and just a couple of tv shows.

*_Singers/Bands_*

Zaz- (Listen to “Si” and “Eblouie par la Nuit”)

Indila- (“Derniere Danse” is very good)

Kids United- (“On Ècrit sur les Murs” is great)

Maître Gims- (Not my favorite, I actually prefer his songs when other people sing them)

Kendji Girac- (Andalouse is okay)

*_Tv Shows_*

Engrenages (Spiral)-very popular in France from what I understand, it’s similar to Law and Order

Les Revenants (The Returned)- I love this one and I have been watching it a lot lately, it’s about a town where people start coming back from the dead, but not as zombies or ghosts, just back to live normal-ish lives.

Both of these series are available on Netflix, and Les Revenants is available in both English and French, if it doesn’t show up under that name look it up as The Returned.

Aïssa Maïga as Henriette

Featured on the French television film Mystère à la Tour Eiffel, the Senegalese born French actress portrayed a Victorian-era crime solving lesbian/magician’s assistant opposite Marie Denarnaud. 

The moment when you realize...

Thomas Astruc

our beloved Hawk Daddy - @miraculoushawkdaddy (edit)

Director and Writer of this beautiful show…

was a storyboard and writer of this beautiful show…

its no wonder why I love Miraculous so much!!!!

sorry its a long post, but had to get it out there!

French YouTubers

Hi everyone! A few days ago @unsuitable-for-engineer asked if I had any recommendations for French TV series or YouTubers. I actually don’t watch any series, but by golly do I love YouTube. Hopefully you can find something you like. * indicates my favourite channels.