Spin (Les Hommes de l’ombre) s3 ep 2


In what might be the worst episode of Spin yet – this is a genuinely terrible hour of television – les writers, having made it abundantly clear that they’re going spend this season focusing on the mal parts of the show, distinguish themselves by doubling down on each and every one of them, and somehow managing to make everything that was already bad, much, much worse.

On the Kapita front, Simon’s in therapy in a scene which I’d say was lifted directly from The West Wing, but that would be defamatory. To The West Wing. After all, Josh Lyman never threw a bundle of cash onto his therapist’s desk like he wasn’t happy with the wine list and decided to take it out on the waiter.

Between woozy spells and inexcusable rudeness to medical professionals, however, Simon’s portfolio now seems to extend to running every aspect of Le Président’s life, be it personal or political. It’s Simon who decides how they’ll steal the PM’s thunder (not all that hard to do, in fairness); Simon who decides how they’re to deal with Madame Marjorie after last week’s International Rescue debacle; Simon who aborts that strategy and decides on another one when Madame Marjorie becomes (dear Dieu) some sort of Internet heroine and starts inexplicably quoting poetry en anglais; and Simon who decides what Le Prés himself is allowed to say about it. Or at least it’s Simon who tries to. A puréed cabbage might make a more convincing leader than Monsieur Marjorie, but it’s still something of a relief when he finally remembers who’s supposed to be in charge, and tells Simon to step off. Even if immediately following that up with “Are you coming?” somewhat dilutes the message.

In charge or not, though, Simon’s services are likely to be in even more demand next week, now that the cloud of e-cigarette smoke swirling around the Spin Secret Flat (the occupants and the illicit purpose may change every season, but I swear the flat is the same) has now parted to reveal Le Président in flagrante with none other than the object of Simon’s affections, Clemence Parodi. Scandale!

The awkward, clumsy Président-Parodi embrace is not a particularly jolie sight, but I suppose l should be thankful for their ungainly amourousness, since it at least gives Ludo something to do; delivering the photographic evidence to the very excited (and who can blame her? Gregory Fitoussi’s in her office!) femme at Flashmag is one of his two tasks this week, the other being ten-second seatwarmer for… Oh, who gives a French fondant? The only reason I’m still watching this show has about 90 seconds of screen time, during which he’s reduced to either courier or cushion. FFS. There have to be better ways of using the show’s meilleur asset, you guys. Come the eff on.

Especially since, to add insult to utterly baffling injury, while Ludo’s gone in a couple of blinks, nothing short of a blindfold and ear plugs for the entire episode is going to rid us of the unspeakable Elisabeth, or fellow “difficult wife” character Appolline. In fairness, the writing for women on this show might be sexist and awful, but it’s not lacking in screen time, is it? Elisabeth is in Every. Second. Scene, and as for Appolline…. Who could forget season one’s tiresome conspiracy field trip to Mali to investigate the “STATE FALSEHOOD”? The writers, apparently; they’ve now recycled the storyline and sent tv’s most irritating journalist (no, Simon, not la femme from Flashmag) to Lebanon to investigate the “PARODI FALSEHOOD”, a scoop which somehow manages to get both less interesting and less comprehensible the more we hear about it. And since Appolline’s source is très chatty, and the whole thing also seems to involve Palissy Junior – because now that we’re free of the wretched Juliette and her insanely creepy, pseudo-incestuous scenes with her dad, we really do need someone else’s appalling offspring to jump right in – we hear about it a LOT.

Malheureusement for moi, the turgid writing and ennui that overwhelms me any time anyone even mentions this plotline mean I have no idea what Parodi and/or Palissy Junior are actually supposed to have done but, given the show’s apparent fascination with the story, it seems the rest of the audience and I may be doomed to find out. Whether that will be in time to stop the new, utterly superfluous Palissy-Beaugendre alliance of evil is another matter, but, either way, I do wonder who will fight crime now Palissy de Justice is doing every other job in the government, and some of the opposition’s jobs too.

Sigh. What an episode. What a show. What am I doing with my life? There had better be beaucoup de Ludo in next week’s episode or I don’t think I’m going to make it to la fin.


3 thoughts on “Spin (Les Hommes de l’ombre) s3 ep 2

  1. Redtkatet April 25, 2017 / 11:11 am

    What the hell is going on with this show? It’s never been great but series 1 is looking like television gold in comparison to this utter bilge…

    Part of my enjoyment of the past two series had been pulling it apart and reading this blog about it but unfortunately Spin has now disappeared so far up its own derriere it’s no longer entertaining even in a silly way. The Elisabeth storyline of her managing to disappear to the Emirates to stage a rescue is beyond ridiculous – seriously, how did she manage to elude her security detail to such an extent that the first time the Elysee knew where she was was through some mobile phone footage posted online?!

    Do you remember that game Consequences, where someone would write the beginning of a story, they’d fold the paper over and someone would write the next line without having seen what was written before? This must be how this show is written because I can think of no other explanation for the complete lack of cohesion between character behaviour/plot etc.

    Similarly, the only reason I’m watching this is because of Gregory Fitoussi (a fact with each passing episode I’m becoming ashamed of myself about). I’m still a little sketchy about how he lost control of Pygmalion in the last series but surely the fallout can’t have reduced him to what is essentially a mere PA?! Only giving him more air time – and I mean a 50 minute Ludo special in the next episode – is going to keep me watching this, and even then I’m not sure it warrants it (and I’ve sat through a lot of crap just to watch him – two and a half series of Mr Selfridge, American Odyssey and…ahem…GI Joe: Rise of Cobra). This is by far and away the worst thing I’ve had to sit through for a bit of Fitoussi screen action.

    In short, I’m totally bewildered by how lauded this show is and why Walter Presents is promoting it so heavily. I’ve stumbled across other Walter Presents shows which have had virtually no publicity that are a thousand times better than this. Thank God this is the last ever series.

    • CJ Cregg April 25, 2017 / 10:10 pm

      Heh, hi RedtKatet – welcome to unpopcult 🙂 No judgement here – I’m the same, having sat through (and reviewed! My God.) all of those things for Gregory Fitoussi as well. (I managed three seasons of Selfridge!) He’s always great, bless him, and it must’ve seemed like a brilliant idea to sign up for it at the start, but this season of Spin really is just the pits. I mean, I could quibble and say GI Joe was just as terrible, but at least it only lasted a couple of hours…

  2. Jed Bartlet May 10, 2017 / 11:57 pm

    I didn’t think this was terrible…? I mean, it wasn’t great, but it was OK. I agree that the school (?) thing is incomprehensible so far, but we’ve had subtitle problems before.

    Spin’s hardly the first show to do this, but I don’t quite understand why clandestine couples on TV make out in front of the window and don’t draw the curtains.

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