The Returned- A Review

Posted: August 23, 2014 in television, Uncategorized
Tags: , , ,

After hearing so many accolades about the French, international Emmy winning supernatural drama, The Returned (Les Revenants) I was naturally psyched to see it listed on Watchever (Germany’s version of Netflix). Available to watch in either the original French, or dubbed in German, I picked the latter since I know perhaps two words of French. To say I wasn’t disappointed, is an understatement. In three nights, I gobbled up all 8 episodes of the first season. It would have actually been one marathon evening if I wasn’t inclined to liking sleep.

Set in a small French town somewhere, the show poses the question, “What would it truly be like if our loved ones returned from the dead?” Most anyone who has lost someone dear, wishes for such a thing to come true. That soap opera moment of, “it wasn’t really me who was buried ten years ago.” “It was only a dream…” But what really would be the consequences? Should the dead be able to return once they’ve crossed over to the otherside?

The series begins with fifteen year-old Camille walking home. She’s starving, and has a long trek til she finally reaches her house. Helping herself to some food, she has no idea why her mother stops in her tracks upon seeing her. Why her mother follows her upstairs, barely able to speak, while Camille readies her bath. Why does her father look so disturbed when he arrives home from work? And when did he start smoking? It is only later when she knocks on her twin sister’s door that in one horrifying moment she realizes the truth. Her sister, Lena, now looks a lot older. They both release screams from the very depths of their beings. Lena at the sight of seeing her dead sister, and Camille at realizng four years have passed.

the returned- camille and lena

After the initial shock wears off, her parents (Claire and Jerome) set aside any reservations and embrace the miracle of her return. Yet they cannot let the outside world know. Forced to hide inside the house, a house filled with pictures of Lena growing up, Camille grows more and more angry at the years she has lost. All the things that she and Lena were supposed to experience together. Now her sister is a young womman, while she is really still a kid.

While Camille struggles to find a new place for herself in this world, the show turns to depict how the other les Revenants are faring.

A motely crew, there seems to be no rhyme or reason on who has been given a second chance at life.

Amongst others, the main characters include:

Adele, now happily married to Thomas, must deal with the return of Simon, who died on their wedding day. Never having had any closure, it is little wonder that Adele is drawn back to the first man she was going to marry, and the father of her child. Simon must deal with the fact that she later wed another, and that he missed out on watching his daughter grow into adolesence. Thomas, well-aware of his wife’s affair, has to deal with literally competing with a ghost from the past, while fearing losing the girl he has raised and loved as his own.

LES REVENANTS

There is Toni, the bar owner who buried his brother alive several years ago upon discovering he was the serial killer attacking the towns women. Now Serge has returned. Unable to bring himself to kill his brother again, Toni lives in fear that the murders will begin anew…

A former victim of Serge, Julie (perhaps the soul of the show) who survived the attack with deep scars all over her stomach and an even more wounded psyche, lives a mostly isolated existance until a mysterious little boy enters her life. A boy who died 35 years ago and claims she is his “fairy protector”. A boy who is able to drive people into committing suicide by showing them visions of their sins…

returned- julie and victor

While the living try to hide the fact that their dead ones have returned, secrets can never be kept in tiny, remote towns. It is not long after the Returned find out about each other, that the other townsfolks do as well. While some consider it a miracle that confirms their faith in the afterlife, others are filled with fear and resentment. Why are you able to hug your child again, and not me? Why were you so blessed? And as more and more strange incidents occur, it is not long before The Returned are blamed. They’re not supposed to be here, so surely they must be guilty. As they become the scapegoats, the new witches of an unofficial Inquisition, their loved ones must try to protect them from the others who are more than willing to sacrifice them to a mysterious horde forming outside.

Β 

* The Returned can be viewed in the US and elsewhere on Netflix.Β  (original French language with English subs)

*not to be confused with the US show, Resurrection, which has a similar premise but is unrelated to the French series)

the returned- the horde

Advertisements
Comments
  1. Wow! Great review! I’ve never heard of this show, but it sounds like one I’d love to watch. I was worried that it would only have French or German subtitles, but I found it on Netflix with English. Yay! πŸ™‚

  2. Hiya Lis’Anne! Thank you and I’m so glad you mentioned Netflix. I added that info at the bottom of the review. Thanks! And please let me know what you think of the show. Verily curious. πŸ™‚

  3. D. D. Syrdal says:

    There’s a tv series here, “Resurrection” although it was apparently not based on the same source. The US show is based on a 2013 book, “The Returned” by Jason Mott, while the French show is supposedly based on a 2004 French film, They Came Back. Strange how they both came out so close together πŸ˜‰

  4. Hey DD!

    Yeah, I think that’s another great example of how there are no original ideas. It’s all in the execution. πŸ™‚

    I’d love to see the French film. See how similar (or not) it is to the series.

    btw, have you seen the US show, Resurrection? I’ve heard mixed reviews about it.

  5. Now I’ll have to look up Resurrection, too. πŸ˜‰

  6. Unfortunately, as far as I know, Resurrection hasn’t come over here yet. drats

  7. sounds like a show, I’ll need to check out. I’m glad to see a tv show review

  8. Hi Michael! I think when the new season of American Horror Story begins, i’ll do weekly reviews on that. So more tv reviews come October. πŸ˜‰

    Let me know if you do watch The Returned…and what you think.

  9. Sputsie, my dear!

    Let me know if you watch it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s