Philippe Roche, Maxime Roche & Nora Abadie (Détectives)

Created by Marc Eisenchteter and Stéphane Kazandjian

Here’s some more private eye action… comme vous l’aimez.

For years I’ve been waiting for a good P.I. procedural to come along on television. Something like Ed McBain’s 87th Precinct, but with private eyes, following the inner workings and investigations of a working detective agency.

I always thought Joe Gores’ Dan Kearney & Associates series would have been just ripe for a nice video adaptation, but it never came to pass. Oh, there have been a few noble attempts. Total Security (1997, ABC) and Eyes (2005, ABC ) come to mind, particularly the latter which, given a bit more network patience, coulda been a contender. I’m sure there were a few others, but none of them quite did it for me. Either they were played for alleged laughs and skimped on the actual detective work, or soon devolved into a focus on one or two operatives, with the rest of the agency reduced to mere background noise.

But Détectives, a 2013 show form France, of all places, may just do the trick.

MHz, who started airing it in the States in November 2014, and promised the “the quirky exploits of a family-run detective agency in Paris.”

Idealistic loose cannon and ladies man PHILIPPE ROCHE now runs the Roche and Son Detective Agency, much to the dismay of his pragmatic father MAXIME ROCHE. Thing is, Phillipe’s not much of a businessman; he’s in it for the thrill… and the babes.

Which is all well and fine, except that the family-run agency is going down the drain. In desperation, Maxime goes outside the family (and behind Philippe’s back) to hire NORA ABADIE, a sexy but no-nonsense former French intelligence officer, to get them back on their feet again.

Turns out the show isn’t quite as gritty as I’d hoped, taking a more light-hearted approach. It truly does revolve around the Roche family, and the assorted in-laws and outlaws. There’s even a precocious kid in there. But it’s a show about family — not a family show, and nowhere as cloying as I feared. There are some real relationships in there, built on character, not plot contrivance, and the interracial sexual will they/won’t? back and forth between Philippe and Nora, treated as though race isn’t even a big deal from what I’ve seen, is refreshing. and since this is a French production, Philippe and Nora aren’t the only ones pondering the horizontal bop.

Zut!

TELEVISION

  • DÉTECTIVES | Watch it now!
    (2013-14, France 2)
    French
    Two seasons
    Created by Marc Eisenchteter and Stéphane Kazandjian
    Writers: Marie Deshaires, Catherine Touzet, Anna Fregonese, Jean-Marc Dobel, Christian Lachenal, Sylvie Audcoeur, Nassim Ben Allal, Jerome Bonet, Mathieu Gleizes, Pauline Guena, Véronique Lecharpy, Thomas Perrier, Robin Barataud, Martin Brossollet, Bernard Jeanjean, Olivier Mikael, Johanne Rigoulot
    Directors: Lorenzo Gabriele, Renaud Bertrand, Jean-Marc Rudnick
    Starring PhilippeLefebvre as PHILIPPE ROCHE
    Sara Martins as NORA ABADIE
    and Jean-Luc Bideau as MAXIME ROCHE
    With Sébastien Libessart as Marc
    Daphné Chollet as Xenia Roche
    Vincent Escure as Santo
    Vanessa David as Isabelle
    Romann Berrux as Hugo Roche
    and Natasha Cashman as Alison Roche

    • Series One
    • “Convictions intimes” (May 22, 2013)
    • “Jeu de piste” (May 22, 2013)
    • “Doubles vies” (May 29, 2013)
    • “Le pot de miel” (May 29, 2013)
    • “Le sourire d’Abou” (June 5, 2013)
    • “Contre-enquÍte” (June 5, 2013)
    • “Les Èvaporés” (June 12, 2013)
    • “Avis de coup de vent” (June 12, 2013)
    • Series Two
    • Abus de faiblesse” (September 3, 2014)
    • Panier de crabes” (September 3, 2014)
    • Adjugé vendu” (September 10, 2014)
    • Mister Ken” (September 17, 2014)
    • Frères ennemis” (September 17, 2014)
    • Fantômes” (September 24, 2014)
    • Cavale” (September 143, 2014)
Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.

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