What are the new series that have shone in the last six months? Which ones really stand out? Here are the 10 series that should not be missed at the beginning of the year.
Of Severance To Pam & Tommy Passing by Funny, Yellowjackets, Vigil Or We Own this City, the beginning of the year 2022 had been particularly impressive on the small screen. A little less in 2023. But the platforms and television channels have still released some very successful new creations. We’re not talking about new seasons here (like the brilliant ending of Succession) but many of the 10 best new series that have shone so far according to Première.
10) The Diplomat (Netflix)
Not everything is credible and there are a few snakes to swallow. But Keri Russell is making a strong comeback on television. the old Felicity brilliantly embodies the new ambassador of the United States to Great Britain, stuck between a rock and a hard place, in this delightful political series which questions the art of governing and compromises. A drama that manages to transform geopolitical crises into highly “binge-watchable” pure entertainment.
9) BIS (Channel +)
Author and director of tense thrillers, Jérémie Guez arrives on the small screen by signing a new original creation telling the hot life of a brigade of devilishly well embodied young cops (from Sofian Khammes to Ophélie Bau via Théo Christine), a new generation as lost as the society in which they live. A suffocating and perfectly documented immersion for a hyper realistic procedural.
8) relentless (Netflix)
The series produced by A24 defies all expectations. After an angry honk, Steven Yeun and Ali Wong chase after each other, hurt each other, and come together to tear each other apart in a dark comedy about 21st century malaise. What begins as a wacky comedy of compulsive revenge slowly turns into an almost philosophical exploration of contemporary human torment. And relentless do not hesitate to go far in introspection.
7) A Spy among Friends (HBO / on OCS in France)
A discreet historical spy series from England, which tells the true story of Kim Philby, an MI6 agent, who played a double game for decades, under the nose and the beard of his British superiors, before becoming escape to the USSR in the early 1960s. A barely believable legend, which has inspired many novelists (including John le Carré) and which comes to life here in a pas de deux led with amazing class by Guy Pearce and Damian Lewis.
6) The Night Laurier Gaudreault Woke Up (Channel +)
Xavier Dolan tries his hand at the small screen and hits the mark once again. One mysterious night in 1991, the fate of a family is sealed. Thirty years later, Mireille Larouche returns to her hometown for the sole purpose of embalming her own recently deceased mother. The siblings gather around the corpse, stirring up a past that hides a heavy secret… A psychological thriller with extreme tension, which feeds a choral narrative of fascinating strangeness carried by an ultra-talented 100% Quebec cast.
5) Black Hearts (Prime Video)
Director Ziad Doueiri wanted a camera closer to the action. A little as if a reporter was following this troop of French Special Forces stuck in Iraq. An immersion into the heart of the fighting against Daesh, with the ambition of offering something very visual to spectators. The result is breathtaking. super realistic, Black Hearts is a brilliant French series, of a rare intensity. A pure series of action that leans less on the morality of war than on the anguish experienced from within.
4) Platonic (Apple TV+ / and also on Canal+ in France)
At first glance, this is yet another reflection on this existential question: can a man and a woman even be friends? But Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne – the duo of Our Worst Neighbors – are in perfect symbiosis in this sweet adult comedy, more platonic than romantic, but terribly endearing. The Australian actress reveals treasures of buffoonery that we hardly knew about her, while she plays her classic score of a ridiculously effective retarded teenager. With tenderness and great finesse, filmmaker Nicholas Stoller paints a portrait of this powerful friendship on a thread.
3) Greek salad (Prime Video)
Xavier (Romain Duris) gives way to young people. Or more precisely, to her children, Mia and Tom, in full discovery of life in Athens, taking the full brunt of the migration crisis. Setting aside Ouzo and Sirtaki, Cédric Klapisch has pulled off a nice tour de force: bringing the essence of his films back into the series, this sparkling fraternal atmosphere, in a joyful mess aimed like a commentary on today’s world, while remaining incredibly relevant ! To succeed in drawing a new portrait of youth, 20 years later, the director had the lucidity not to try to analyze it alone, from the height of his 61 years, but called on a pool of screenwriters in their thirties, in phase with their times. So everything rings true. The new band of Europeans is irresistible, charming and endearing, while the old The Spanish Inn pass a head for a few pleasurable appearances.
2) Silo (Apple TV+ / and also on Canal+ in France)
10,000 souls have invested an underground reservoir. Outside, the air is unbreathable. Poisoned. Impossible to go out in this post-apocalyptic nature, under penalty of imminent death. So to preserve what remains of Humanity, the inhabitants of Silo have learned to accept this claustro-tragic existence, for decades, for generations. Without even questioning their reality, they survive in this concrete enclosure with a hierarchy as vertical as their world… Like any good self-respecting SF column, Silo questions our society through the dystopian metaphor. The closed and constrained space allows us to question our relationship to the established order and, in subtext, evokes the interminable class struggle. A fight for freedom exacerbated here by the claustrophobic atmosphere of a sumptuous survivalist scenography and its massive sets of spectacular brutality. With the excellent Rebecca Ferguson to lead the discussion.
1) The Last of Us (HBO / on Prime Video in France)
Quite simply the best video game adaptation ever produced. Admittedly, the competition was not crazy, but this serial version of the video game managed to establish itself as a great post-apocalyptic fable on the moral sense, raising Pedro Pascal to the rank of superstar. Craig Mazin (Chernobyl) and Neil Druckmann (director and screenwriter of the game) have perfectly succeeded in capturing the spirit of the original material while knowing how to adjust it to television codes. The result lives up to the (enormous) expectations generated by the project. A modern western, which feels like a survival story in the vein of The road (the novel by Cormac McCarty) and which juggles admirably between the ultra addictive post-apo blockbuster and the poignant human drama. And at the turn of an absolutely overwhelming love story, that of Bill and Frank, The Last of Us has managed to offer us one of the most beautiful series episodes we have seen in a long time.