Will there be a season 2 for family affair ? After watching the six thirty-minute episodes that make up season 1, we hope not. Even if we think that the sequel could not be worse… French series with merits widely praised by Netflix, family affairwisely baptized Everything goes up in smoke by Netflix Canada, never got us off the ground. The initial idea already smelled musty, deja vu. Joseph Hazan (Jonathan Cohen), 35, a specialist in rotten ideas, reluctantly works in the kosher butchery of his father, Gérard (Gérard Darmon), just widowed. Determined to take his life in hand, Joseph finally seems to be touched by grace: having learned from sources close to the Minister of Health that cannabis was going to be legalized, he will change the butchery into beuhchery. From the first seconds, we are weighed down by the rhythm and the dialogues. Joseph’s interview to sell yet another crappy project, the Sweetch app that triggers conversationally-altering sounds when the word “tunnel” is spoken, is completely missed. Humor, acting, atmosphere… all the protagonists seem to have a leaden screed that prevents them from cheering up, playing, making people laugh. She will never leave them. Damage, car family affair is categorized as comedy. And if we find our cruising speed little by little, at the end of the three hours of the series, we still laughed very little, and smiled too little. The proof: our favorite joke is Tweety and the tap signed by Jonathan Cohen in the Amsterdam coffee shop.
Jonathan Cohen, whom we love very much and who was voted the funniest man of the year in 2017, never manages to take his troupe with him. Too neutral, he finds no one in front of him either to embark the spectator in the family escapades “cannabisiennes” which come out, it is true, of the ordinary. Fortunately, the female roles do not fare too badly: Liliane Rovère (Arlette in Ten percent) always outspoken, Julia Piaton (daughter of Charlotte de Turckheim seen in the two films Qhat have we done to God?!) whose character, slightly copied and pasted on Andréa de… Ten percentallows the Hazan family to stay – a bit – on Earth, and Louise Coldefy in the most successful role of the series, that of a completely crazy minister’s daughter.
Unfortunately, everything is almost always cartoonish in this series. The jokes (we prefer to warn you, those on butts come up very often), the cops-dealers, parents-children and men-women relationships transpire the cliché. Tired, Gérard Darmon seems to appear out of nowhere at each scene. Except once when he literally makes us cry when he looks back on the main stages of his life (his wife, his stepfather, his children, his butcher’s shop…). It’s stunning, poignant, moving. We even forget the fact that he is actually talking to Valérie Damidot herself. But very quickly reality reasserts itself and returns to heaviness and clichés… The final bouquet of family affair lies not in the ending, which leaves a gaping opening for a second season, but in the poor performance of Enrico Macias. The 81-year-old singer, idol of the character played by Gérard Darmon, is the one who came up with the miraculous idea of transforming a butcher’s shop into a coffee shop. Like the series, it frankly hurts us. Except maybe when he smokes joints. We had to do the same to support the six episodes.