From cult hit comedy series Call My Agent! to a gripping drama starring former footballer Eric Cantona, a number of must-watch French language shows have been released on Netflix in recent months.
The rise of must-watch French TV shows has prompted some industry insiders to declare it the ‘new Nordic Noir’, a genre that found global success with series like The Bridge, The Killing and Borgen.
Here, FEMAIL shares a selection of French TV shows available to watch on Netflix UK now…
Smash hit: Omar Sy as Assane Diop in Lupin, which premiered this month and is projected to reach 70 million households in its first 28 days – making it one of the biggest Netflix shows ever
The character of Arsene Lupin, gentleman thief, was first introduced in the stories of Maurice Leblanc in the early 20th century.
Those stories exist in the world of this series, and are the childhood inspiration for Assane Diop (Omar Sy), the son of a Senegalese immigrant, who grows into a man of similar character – slow to anger, a master of disguise, immensely rich – after his father dies in unfair disgrace, accused of a crime he didn’t commit.
Over the five parts of this series, he sets out to avenge that wrong through a series of elaborate schemes. The first heist unfolds at the Louvre in Paris with Marie Antoinette’s necklace, and resolves in a very satisfying fashion.
Netflix revealed this week that Lupin has become the platform’s biggest French hit.
The series, which was released on January 8, is projected to reach 70 million households in its first 28 days, the streaming service said.
The Queen’s Gambit reached 60 million in its first 28 days. Bridgerton, which was released on Christmas Day, is projected to reach 63 million.
Lupin stars Omar Sy and comes from writer George Kay – one of the creatives responsible for Netflix’s Criminal UK and hit drama Killing Eve – alongside François Uzan.
Netflix said it is the platform’s biggest French international hit to date and has landed in the top 10 in the UK, reaching the top spot in France, Brazil, Vietnam, Argentina, Germany, Italy, Spain, Poland, the Netherlands, the Philippines and Sweden.
The show is streaming now and part two will land on the service later this year.
CALL MY AGENT! (2015-)
Star-studded comedy: Like Extras and Entourage, French comedy Call My Agent! is a skewering of the acting profession and attracts plenty of big name guest stars. The fourth and final series has just arrived on Netflix and has received rave reviews here and in France
Like Extras and Entourage, this French comedy is a skewering of the acting profession and attracts plenty of big name guest stars.
The fourth and final series of Call My Agent! (Dix Pour Cent) has just arrived on Netflix and has been met with rave reviews both here and in France.
Look out for Juliette Binoche, Monica Bellucci, Beatrice Dalle, Jean Reno, Sigourney Weaver and Spiral’s Audrey Fleurot, plus many more.
The setting is a Parisian talent agency, where its cynical ten-percenters say things like: ‘Who’s talking about lying? Simply don’t tell her the truth’.
The show is based on the memoirs of Dominique Besnehard, a talent agent who handled the likes of Jeanne Moreau, and is scripted by Fanny Herrero, whose influences include The West Wing and Six Feet Under.
The smartest bit of satire in Call My Agent is the big name guest stars aren’t the centre of each episode. They’re just a problem to be managed.
It gives a chance for the actors to shine. Among the standouts is Camille Cottin, who plays the ambitious Andréa.
She is locked in a power struggle with her three colleagues: Arlette (Liliane Rovère), Gabriel (Grégory Montel), and Mathias (Thibault de Montalembert).
Start from the first series, which originally aired in 2015.
INHUMAN RESOURCES (2020)
Desperate times: A major hit in France, Inhuman Resources stars former Manchester United footballer-turned-actor Eric Cantona as Alain Delambre, a middle-aged father and husband whose life begins to slowly fall apart after he loses his HR job because he’s too old
A major hit in France, Inhuman Resources stars former Manchester United footballer-turned-actor Eric Cantona as Alain Delambre, a middle-aged father and husband whose life begins to slowly fall apart after he loses his HR job because he’s too old.
The show starts several years on from the firing, and viewers see how Alain is now struggling to pay the mortgage on the Paris apartment he shares with his wife Nicole (Suzanne Clément).
Relying on odd jobs which barely cover the costs, Alain stumbles into an unexpected second chance to get his old life back. He applies for a well-paid HR executive role only to discover the final stage of the process involves him taking part in a hostage role-play game.
The drama unfolds over six episodes and has kept viewers on the edge of their seats.
The series was a hit when it was released in France last year and is available to watch on Netflix UK.
Supernatural success: Vampires follows the story of Doina (Oualaya Amamra), a Parisian teenager who is half human and half vampire and has to grapple with her emerging powers while juggling typical teenage issues like school and young love
If teenage supernatural series are your thing, then Vampires is for you.
The first six episodes premiered on Netflix last year and the second series is expected this year.
It follows the story of Doina (Oualaya Amamra), a Parisian teenager who is half human and half vampire and has to grapple with her emerging powers while juggling typical teenage issues like school and young love.
Unlike other vampire films and TV shows, the vampires in this series are created as a result of a genetic mutation, rooting the idea more firmly in the real world.
Doina still drinks blood but does so out of a cooler left out in the family kitchen and takes pills to stave off symptoms of being a vampire like burning in sunlight.
THE HOOKUP PLAN (2018-)
Rom Com: Zita Hanrot stars as Elsa in easy-to-binge Netflix Show The Hookup Plan
If you like Emily In Paris, there’s a good chance you’ll like The Hookup Plan (Plan Coeur) also on Netflix.
The rom-com is easy to binge and is not going to stretch your brain if you’re looking for something to put on at the end of the day.
It stars Elsa (Zita Hanrot) who is still not over her relationship with Maxime (Guillaume Labbé), even though it ended two years ago. Her two best friends Charlotte (Sabrina Ouazani) and Emilie, nicknamed Milou (Joséphine Draï), decide to find her a new date to take her mind off Maxime.
They hire an escort who boosts her confidence… but problems arise when Elsa falls for him.
There are two series ready to watch and a third is expected this year.
INTO THE NIGHT (2020)
Edge of your seat: Into The Night is Netflix’s first Belgian original series
Not French, but it is French-language.
Into The Night is Netflix’s first Belgian original series and tells the story of a plane full of passengers who are flying from Brussels to Moscow when disaster strikes outside and the world begins to die.
Under the leadership of pilot Mathieu (Laurent Capelluto), the passengers band together to come up with a plan to keep outrunning the sunlight while working out a survival strategy that doesn’t require a massive, vulnerable aircraft.
The first six series premiered last year and a second series is expected this year.