Les Revenants (The Returned)
The 2012 French Series Review

What Up Yo.

UPDATE: MARCH 15, 2015


When I first learned of this series , it was from an article in Variety. Apparently it was a French series about ghosts that had come back to life to haunt a village.

Now, the purpose of the article was to inform the fans of the show that ...

"They will have to wait till season two to find out what happens and what the ending means."

What the what?

I looked up the series the article was referring to, and it was called:

Les Revenants

Which, in english, roughly translates to:

The Returned

I write "Roughly" because the word "Revenant" references what has returned.
Wikipedia explains "Revenant" in the following way:

revenant is a visible ghost or animated corpse that was believed to return from the grave to terrorize the living.[1] The word "revenant" is derived from the Latin word, reveniens, "returning" (see also the related French verb "revenir", meaning "to come back").

I read this, the exact translation, and sought out the series,

Stat.

I watched it closely, fell in love with it immediately and wrote the later portion of the article you are reading right now as soon as I completed the eight episode first season.

Original.

Dark

Romanic.

Hopeful and lovely...

Heartbreaking and sad...

Supernatural,

Brilliant,

Brutal and horrible,

Haunting...Disturbing,

Poetic and wonderful

I learned that French Television seemed to be just as unrelenting...

And as uncompromising...

As French cinema.

 

Now...when I write to you now, we are 1.5 years into the future and the original French series is currently being re-broadcast on America's Sundance Channel...

However, there is also an American remake, currently airing, on A&E.

 

The Returned (USA)

And by the looks of the trailer, they may have copied parts of the show frame by fucking frame man.

 

Look, do whatever the fuck you want, you're free, and I haven't seen the remake therefore it's premature of me and to knock it...

But I am a bit pissed the fuck of there is one already...

Because ultimately it means there is now less of a chance that many americans will seek out the original, phenomenal Canal+ series...

Look at it like this for minute, won't you?

If you found out that, instead of broadcasting and promoting the original Breaking Bad in France subtitled...a French television studio instead decided to make their own version of the series, thereby denying their country the opportunity to experience the essence and magic of the original series...all within a year of the first seasons airing, before AMC had finished shooting season 2, would that seem disrespectful somehow?

There is a Mexican remake in production of Breaking Bad now, but this is years after the finale of the series.

It's not the first time American television has done this.

The brilliant, mind boggling intelligent BBC production of "Sherlock".

American networks approached the BBC and the UK production team behind the milestone show and wanted to collaborate on an American version.

The series creators, excited at the idea, said yes, but we would like to complete another season here first before diving out attentions.

The American networks agreed. All was well.

Within days of the agreement, CBS turned around and announced it would make its own show without cooperation from the shows. creators and call it "Elementary".

The UK production team was stunned, but played it extremely cool and released a statement explaining:

  1. Why they wanted to wait
  2. How talks were left and agreements were struck to proceed in a year
  3. Were shocked to learn of the news indirectly by reading about it in the papers, instead of the US company coming back to them directly and respectfully to explain they were going in a different direction and forging a partnership with the UK shows creators.

These moves by us look like what they are, they are hasty decisions made with one focus:

It's not to create a unique visual storytelling experience...

These decisions are made out of pure greed.

And it's this mentality that has destroyed Hollywood and put American cinema in jeopardy.

I'm so fucking mad.

Moving on...
Listen, if you're watching the new A&E show,
Please,
I implore you,
Watch the original french series "Les Revenants" afterwards to compare them.

I swear to you, you will know why I am making an issue of this within watching 2 episodes.

Again, it's fucking brilliance people.

Get it?

Got it?

Rock.

Les Revenants (The Returned), 2012 : Trailer


UPDATE: NOVEMBER 29, 2014


Canal+ "Les Revenants" A.K.A. "The Returned" just took home the International Emmy Award for Best Drama!! I told you , 2 months ago...watch this show. Well, it is now even easier for us Yanks to see as it is airing on The Sundance Channel. Listen, it is also now being remade. I am kind-of against remakes and reboots...I'm not totally against them because that would be generalizing and only idiots and racists generalize. However,even though I'm not nuts about many of them, a few of my favorite long-format series are renditions of original work done, usually from original work from overseas. The original "Battlestar Galactica"' was American, and the remake blows it and most other shows to complete shit. The original "The Killing" was a massively successful Danish series called "Forbrydelsen" or "The Crime" and "Homeland" is based on an Israeli series called "Hatufim" or "Prisoners Of War". These remakes, just exquisite. However, I feel remakes tend can hurt the original series or film. There is a chance people will become more familiar with the new work and completely ignore the source material. In fact this series itself is a remake of a French film. I've seen this film...and again, this series is quite different and flat-out better...more compelling....then the original film. Anyway, what I'm saying is...don't wait for an American remake of this series people. This is class. Give it your attention. Nothing will ever recapture and deliver the quality work that is present in this series, in every frame of this series. Ask yourself what would you do if somebody that you loved, who passed away...came back. Returned... completely unaware that they had died... that anytime had passed since their last moments alive? I won't spoil a thing for you first off. This isn't a review, it's an alert from me to you.

If you, like myself, appreciate great visual storytelling... Long format television... Intelligent, emotional supernatural-fantasy tales... You need to see this.


How I Learned Of Les Revenants


Approx 2 months ago I read an article on the Hollywood Reporter or Variety (not sure) speaking about this show. The article said that fans of the show were baffled by the ending of the series one finale and desperately wanted answers as to what the fate of the characters would be and why the ending had happened. I went online and researched the show, From Wikipedia:

A revenant is a visible ghost or animated corpse that was believed to return from the grave to terrorize the living. The word "revenant" is derived from the Latin word, revenans, "returning" (see also the related French verb "revenir", meaning "to come back").

It turns out it's based on a French film called "Les Revenants" or "They Came Back", 2004.... Made into a television series in France in 2012 from CanalPlus, the first season (or series in Europe) is 8 episodes long and is about a small (beautiful) village where people who have died, returned from the dead, out of nowhere, completely unaware they had died, where they have been. Some died 4 years ago, like Camille... Some 10 years ago, like Simon ... Some 100 years ago, like young Victor. They have no idea why everyone is so shocked to see them. I knew this was my cup of gasoline 10 mins into the first episode. This isn't AMC's "The Walking Dead"... This show, unlike the film which was not really my cup of gasoline...by taking itself seriously...offers you a glimpse into what this would actually do to a community. What experiencing this would be like for a family, lover, husband, sister, daughter.... It's smart. Oh so smart. And it had me at hello. It's airing on Sundance subtitled (don't be a fucking pussy) on Tuesday October 30, and every week there after. Music by Mogwai. It's complete brilliance. Rock. Les Revenants Les Revenants Les Revenants Les Revenants

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