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Lesson Transcript

French Television Series Are All the Rage in France!
In this lesson, we’re going to learn about popular TV series in France. I’m Becky, and you're listening to Season 1, Lesson 10 - French Television Series Are All the Rage in France!
In this lesson we’ll be talking about a popular TV series in France. I’m not referring to soap operas, but trendy serial stories, some of which were created in the United States, and some in France.
Let’s first talk about popular TV shows imported to France. The first American series that was a big hit in France was "Friends," which tells about the lives of six friends living in New York, and "ER," which shows the lives of people working in the emergency unit of a Chicago hospital. They were broadcast on public channels, or in French chaînes, at peak times. However for many people, the biggest series of all time was "The Sopranos." It was also broadcast on public channels, but only during times that kids were asleep.
Private channels, such as Canal +, broadcast more disturbing American series like "Six Feet Under" or "Weeds." But one of the most popular ones was "Lost."
Of course there are many series, in French called séries, made in France as well. One of the more popular ones broadcast on one of the public channels was called Marseille, and told stories about the Marseille district. The whole set was recreated in a studio and sequences are filmed in and around Marseille. Another series that sold well all over Europe was Sous le soleil, which concerned the lives of several friends in Saint Tropez, an attractive and very popular coastal town on the French Riviera.
TV series broadcast in France come in a wide variety of formats. The sketch serial called Un gars une fille was a short format show usually broadcast just before news bulletins. They told stories about the everyday life of a couple. In the same vein, a rival channel produced Caméra Café, a series of sketches where office employees meet at the office coffee machine. These were the first two shows that made use of the short sketch, in French sketch, format, but nowadays this format is quite common.
Parodies about history are also quite popular among French people. One example is the TV show Kaamlott, which brings to life the legend of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. This parody, or parodie, mocks characters throughout history without fear of anachronisms.
So listeners, how did you like this lesson? Did you learn anything interesting?
Have you ever watched a French series? How did you like it?
Until next time!