I don’t know whether the French have an expression for boxset. They probably do – but it’s probably about five words long, and so everyone says le boxset instead.
Well, as we’ve started with a French lesson, I can tell you that engrenages in French means cogs or gears and I can tell you this because I just looked it up online.
(My French is limited to “Hello”, “Goodbye” and “Have you got that in a larger size?”, although in my defence French lessons seemed as relevant to a 15-year-old Melbourne schoolgirl as a flower arranging course to a Bedouin tribesman.)
Anyway, the only relevance of any of this is that when they came to release the highly enjoyable French police drama Engrenages as un boxset in the UK, they unsurprisingly decided that Cogs wasn’t much of a title and opted for Spiral instead.
And I have a very kind reader of this blog to thank for putting me onto it – my husband and I have just finished the third (and so far final) series and have that feeling you get when you have
Hell, we might have to sit and talk to each other unless we can find something to replace it quickly.
In many ways, Spiral is a routine police drama – each series starts with the discovery of a body (all particularly gruesomely murdered) and, amid the infighting, personal crises and sub-plots, involves the pursuit of a suspect, who tends to be identified early in the piece.
What makes it more interesting than most, I think, was that it is French – the whole criminal justice is different, the French attitude to life is different, even the criminals are a bit different. And that it’s a Paris that doesn’t exist in the Hollywood perception.
Just like the word entrepreneur doesn’t exist in French!