Tuesday, March 3, 2009

French soap opera...Fantastique!!

After years of struggling and study and success in several other cultural disciplines, the French have finally mastered the art of the television soap opera.


There is the Marci family, which owns the Bar du Mistral; the Nassri family from Algeria; the Torres family from Spain; the Lesermans, whose matriarch survived the Holocaust and is a Communist; the wealthy Frémonts with their shady business dealings and lesbian daughter; the Chaumette family, transplanted from Paris; the Estèves, with their son, who divorced, has a daughter and loves a man; and the Castellis, who, as the show's Web site says, are "living to forget the past."

The interrelationships among these families — their disputes, love affairs, business dealings and tragedies — both transfix the French and educate them, at least a little, about cultural differences and social issues like racism, drugs, teenage pregnancy, Islam and homosexuality, even the police.
Ah...and you didn't think you would ever see the words "French" and "soap" in the same sentence. Shame on you.

To keep the plot rolling...how about a Pakistani family with a wayward son who lights cars on fire every time they make him eat les petits pois?