All characters arrive in impeccable style in the newest French TV adaptation of Agatha Christie novels in MHz Choice’s Agatha Christie’s Criminal Games: The ’70s. Collars are wide, sunglasses are huge and flares are everywhere. Captain Annie Gréco (Emilie Gavois-Kahn) shows up at the Lille police department as its first female captain. The chauvinism is ever-present even as Gréco immediately runs circles around her hapless male underlings. She acquires her first trusted investigative partner with the unlikely Max Beretta (Arthur Dupont), who was marooned in the archives after some hothead behavior following a perceived slight by a colleague. He’s always a hair-trigger away from throwing a punch (or worse) but he’s observant and motivated. Rose Bellacour (Chloé Chaudoye) rounds out the mismatched trio as a gifted amateur psychologist. Her outfits may scream peak 1970s fashion, but her mind is built for a more modern age. Rose is rich and doesn’t technically need a job, but she’s too smart to settle for being a rich guy’s wife.
The 1970s are arguably the fourth major character in the series, with richly decorated sets in tones of orange and brown, vintage cars and a distinctly psychedelic feel accompanying each mystery. The burgeoning field of psychology and emergence of more women in traditionally male roles (i.e. police captains) provides some light humor and obstacles the characters often face. Each feature-length episode features a different mystery for the trio to solve with Captain Gréco’s no nonsense demeanor balancing out the more colorful and loud approach of Beretta and Bellacour.
Also debuting this June on MHz Choice are a pair of limited series where motives are not always what they seem. In What Pauline is Not Telling You (France, Gaumont), we meet Pauline (Ophélia Kolb), a divorcee and mother of two who is suspected of killing her ex-husband Olivier (Antoine Berry). Pauline’s behavior right after discovering Olivier’s body immediately comes into question. Was it panic or cold calculation? Who has whose best interests at heart? The viewer is invited to be judge and jury in this slow burn drama over the course of four episodes.
The second limited series, Monterossi (Italy, Mediawan) is based on the novels of Alessandro Robecchi (Questa non è una canzone d’amore and Di rabbia e di vento) and starts with a literal bang. Ex-TV writer Carlo Monterossi (Fabrizio Bentivoglio) decides to leave the popular show he helped create. The first episode without him at the helm is about to debut when someone tries to murder him at home. No stranger to scripted drama and with time on his hands Monterossi dives into his own dramatic investigation over who tried to kill him and why. Potential suspects keep leading to more questions and increasingly dangerous characters as Carlo becomes a less than welcome part of the detective team investigating the matter. Monterossi is set in Milan, Italy and showcases cosmopolitan glamor mixed with the darker corners of the city, matching the lead character’s own mix of affluence and melancholy. The directors of the series, Roan Johnson and Davide Lantieri, wanted to capture the shifting highs of the TV world with the lows of the Roma Gypsy camps: “With Robecchi, we explored Monterossi’s most important theme: his internal conflict between trying to investigate and getting his hands dirty with modern life”.
Returning this month to MHz choice is the fifth installment of Danish medical drama The New Nurses (Reinvent) where the everyday drama and joy of a hospital staff unfolds between the nurses of both genders and the patients they attend to. Also returning this month are new seasons of The British 1960s classic detective series Maigret (Kino Lorber) German police comedy Homicide Hills (Beta Films), and fan-favorite Alice Nevers (France, Mediawan).
Full June Schedule available here: