Eight series to watch as a family during the confined holidays

Excerpt from season 2 of the adapted series of "L’Amie prodigieuse" by Elena Ferrante, available on MyCanal.
Excerpt from season 2 of the adapted series of "L’Amie prodigieuse" by Elena Ferrante, available on MyCanal. FREMANTLE / EDUARDO CASTALDO


Containment, week 4. And it is an understatement to say that if you have children or teens at home, time can start to seem long for everyone. Fortunately, the holidays begin and with them the pressure eases. Here are our eight favorite series to watch together to make fun of this – really – free time.

"Downton Abbey": such a modern historic fresco

If the film Downton abbey (2019) is of little interest, the series did not become a worldwide success by chance. Under the attire of a soap flamboyant as much as conventional on the English aristocracy at the beginning of the XXe century, it actually develops a story of emancipation, that of women.

Among the Crowley nobles, whose castle life is followed through its owners and its numerous domestic staff, the immediate descendants only count young girls. This prevents them from inheriting the title, domain and finances of their aristocratic ancestor, under British inheritance law.

It is this founding injustice, of which the own wife of the creator of the series, Julian Fellowes, was the victim behind this very engaging historical fresco, whose main roles are devoted to women. Martine Delahaye

"Downton Abbey" on Amazon Prime Video.

"This Is Us": collided destinies

This Is Us takes us into the life of four characters who, at first glance, have in common only the day of their birth. The pilot presents them to us as they celebrate their 36th birthday. Jack expects his wife to have her traditional gift: to dance before him (although she is about to give birth to triplets). In Los Angeles, the twins Kate and Kevin are in absolutely no mood: she, morbidly obese, struggles not to make a mouthful of her huge birthday cake; disgusted him with playing the role of a nanny in a crummy sitcom. The fourth character we sing to Happy Birthday, Randall learns in his luxurious New York office that a private investigator has just found his biological father.

Impossible to deny the quality of writing of this "drama" who doesn't seem to be betting on the sweet pink side of sentimentality alone. The acting, finally, brings so much density and credibility to this series that the pleasure it provides turns out to be addictive. M. D.

"This Is Us" on MyCanal.

"The Prodigious Friend": Elena Ferrante beautifully adapted

The author, who hides under the pseudonym Elena Ferrante, preserves her anonymity. Most likely a woman, born in Naples (Italy) and now in her seventies, yet she is at the origin of a publishing phenomenon thanks to her romantic tetralogy The Prodigious Friend, tranhooly-news.comd into dozens of languages ​​and the object of international fervor.

Over the course of some sixty years, this four-part novel records the oscillations of the intense friendship between two little girls, Elena called "Lenu", and Raffaella called "Lila", in the early 1950s. The two little girls were born in within a peripheral district of Naples, sclerosed by the power struggles between communists and mafia, by extreme poverty and injustices, by sexism and patriarchy. The bond that will be formed between them will not only be the fruit of two natures that attract each other. Both will quickly realize that their union will be their strength.

The Prodigious Friend, toured in Neapolitan dialect and Italian, inevitably recalls the best hours of Italian neorealist cinema. Season 2, based on the second volume of the literary saga, is currently broadcast by Canal +. M. D.

"The Wonderful Friend" on MyCanal.

"Les Grands": less trashy than "Skins", just as engaging

The Great, this is the story of a group of middle school students, in class of 3e in an establishment that is not precisely located. It looks like provincial – it was filmed on the outskirts of Tours – because there is a fairly good-natured calm there that has nothing to do with what certain schools in large cities and their suburbs know.

Besides, The bigs do not show a “black-white-beur” population and the main roles are played by young white actors, more rarely Métis (like that of the young Yliès). But The Great yet are of their time, with homoparental families, teachers and managers of cool establishments, a little crazy (the sports teacher!) and trying to be up to date.

If the vocabulary and the situations are believed, we are quite far from the mind and highly trash and explicit images of Skins. These games, sometimes cruel and dramatic, of teenagers tapped and lost by their recent puberty, surrounded by adults who have no more than they the keys to the meaning of life, are true happiness. Renaud Machart

"Les Grands" on OCS on demand.

"Gilmore Girls": a jewel to rediscover

Object of a cult as late as fervent, which turned into an event a revival (very successful) of the series shot ten years after its official end for Netflix, Gilmore Girls has the particularity to transcend generations and to be as pleasant to look at 10 years old as at 40. *

Lorelai Gilmore (Lauren Graham), in her thirties, raises her 15-year-old daughter Rory (Alexi Bledel) alone in the fictional (and totally fantasized) little town of Stars Hollow, somewhere in New England. Around the bandstand of this American Disneyland revolve the rich and stuck parents of Lorelai, his friend, boss of coffee shop and secretly in love with her, Rory's best friend, a Catholic of Korean origin who dreams only of playing in a rock band, and a whole host of colorful characters (rascal mayor, husky dance teacher , butler with a – false – French accent …).

Creepy ? No because Gilmore Girls is based entirely on dialogues written with small onions, fine, often hilarious, handling references to popular culture and political and social considerations, given with a machine gun flow by the two actresses, perfect. Attention, addiction guaranteed. Audrey Fournier

"Gilmore Girls" on Netflix.

"His Dark Materials: At the Crossroads of the Worlds": Fantastic Tale

“This story begins in another world. A world that looks like yours while being different. Here, the human soul takes the form of an animal called a daemon. The links that exist between a human and his daemon are sacred. For centuries, the all-powerful Magisterium has exercised its hold over this world. Except in the wilderness of the North, where witches speak of a mysterious prophecy. A prophecy concerning a child with an extraordinary destiny… ”

The child in question in this written opening of the series is a 12-year-old orphan, Lyra (magnificently interpreted by Dafne Keen): once adopted by Gypsies, Lyra will be able to do nothing but fight against the influence of the Magisterium, kidnapper of children, and to go in search of his father; a journey she will undertake alongside an armored bear and which will bring her to the crossroads of different worlds.

Beautiful photography, great animation of the animals supposed to represent the mood of each of the characters, excellent performers (including Ruth Wilson): the quality of this fantastic tale seduces far beyond the youngest. M. D.

"His Dark Materials: at the crossroads" on OCS on demand.

"Brooklyn 99": the police station for good children

Using one of the most proven formats of television fiction – the urban police station, its police, its crimes and offenses, its stories of office -, the creators of Brooklyn Nine-Nine shape it into a burlesque comedy, led by former Saturday Night Live school student Andy Samberg, who plays detective Jake Peralta, a brilliant investigator handicapped by his personality as king of the playground.

Around him, a theory of personalities who each go against clichés: the commissioner is authoritarian and picky, but also gay and music lover (Andre Braugher), the big bully of the group is a woman (Stefanie Beatriz), while the sergeant bleached under the harness (ex-footballer Terry Crews) shows extreme sensitivity. If you add elaborate intrigue that unfolds over several episodes, the fantasy bath is deep enough that you can immerse yourself in it to forget the reality. Thomas Sotinel

"Brooklyn 99" on Netflix.

"The Mandalorian": the green baby of the stars

Arrived at the fourth episode of The Mandalorian, we can safely classify the series in the family entertainment department. Certainly the hero, intergalactic bounty hunter, populates the cemeteries of Stormtroopers each time he meets a patrol, but he was quick to reveal his big heart (even if we still wait to discover his face) by squeezing on its metallic breast an adorable creature, baptized Baby Yoda, because of its resemblance to the well-known Jedi (its official name is "the Child", the saga of George Lucas was never with a Christian reference near ).

Thanks to Baby Yoda, the youngest will not only get to know the world of Star Wars, but also with the dramaturgy of the western, which structures the adventures of the solitary vigilante and his little green companion. T. S.

"The Mandalorian", on Disney +.

The world