La Fièvre on Canal Plus: what is the new series from the creators of Baron Noir worth?  (critical)

La Fièvre on Canal Plus: what is the new series from the creators of Baron Noir worth? (critical)

After Black Baron, Éric Benzekri returns with a series that starts from the world of football to tell the story of crisis communication and battles of opinion. As fascinating as it is distressing, his demonstration unfortunately mutes emotions.

Thanks to Black BaronÉric Benzekri had become a bit like the Russell T. Davies of Years and Years. Namely an oracle, the pythia of the great political and societal movements which agitate France. So much so, as an article in Le Monde recently recounted, that presidential advisers rushed to the screenwriter's home to discover what was contained Fever. This new series marks its return to the original creation of Canal+. Like a reverse shot of Black Baronthis fresco looks less head-on at the politician than at the society that surrounds him in all its frenzy.

A footballer slips in front of the camera and in front of the elite of the profession, social networks go into overheating, experts from news channels pillory him and civil society fractures into two camps (for or against). Its release becomes fertile ground for wars of influence and skirmishes between crisis communicators who will maneuver to tip the balance one way or the other. The subject is as fascinating as it is anxiety-provoking and Benzekri focuses on the confrontation between Sam Berger (Nina Meurisse), an idealistic spin doctor, and Marie Kinsky (Ana Girardot), his nemesis who establishes her leadership by wallowing in populism. But riveted to archetypes, the showrunner parades characters that are a little too rigid (that of Girardot or the anti-racist activist, etc.), whose function neutralizes the power of emotion.

Paranoid thriller

The recurring images of the war room screens, a visual gimmick which runs through the series to convey the climate of divisions and the feeling of urgency, do not help. It is paradoxically when she escapes from the confines of the football club where the action takes place and when she takes over other areas that the series releases its potential. It's there that Fever truly rises in an increasingly destructive chain of cause and effect. At this moment, thanks to very effective alternating editing, emotion contaminates society and fiction. Director Ziad Doueiri, who directed all three seasons of Black Baron, is back at the helm and gives the series the trappings of a paranoid thriller that holds up a mirror to today's France. For that alone, we really want to know what happens next.

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