Huge in France “Épisode Un”
Background: Huge in France was co-created by and co-written by (and stars) Gad Elmaleh. Gad Elmale, comedian and “The French Jerry Seinfeld,” is playing himself in the series.
Two Sentence Summary: Gad, a famous French comedian, is having a midlife crisis. When Gad finds out his estranged son is becoming a male model, Gad decides to move to LA to reclaim purpose in his life.
Series Main conflict: Gad wants to make up for being a dead beat dad.
High Points: I chuckled a few times watching the show. “Episode Un” is funny at times. I enjoyed the subtle one liners and the character Jason Allan Ross the most.
The production is good; it is expected production value from a Netflix original.
The cinematography stands out in a few scenes. There is a great shot overlooking Paris, and the closing scene aligns Gad’s conflicts and sets up the series.
I’ll add a couple midpoints. First, the American characters are all negative archetypes, negative as in unlikable qualities. Gad’s son, Luke, is the angry teen. Gad’s agent is the annoying screw up. Jason Allan Ross is the dumb actor/model (Ross is a positive/cool dude, but negative achetype). Luke’s mom is the venomous female. Is this French snobbery towards America?? I usually like anti American art, but The America and Americans beings unlikable doesn’t lead anywhere in the pilot (besides to one of my low points below).
Second, the show poops all over agents, actors, and models. Which is fine, if it’s funny. It is funnier now. It’s funnier writing and thinking about it, but wasn’t when I watched it. Maybe this is a low point. The problem is the it’s only ironic after reflection. The episode implies that the audience agrees how stupid modeling is. Although I agree, the execution is off. The modeling plot point did set up a few of the one liners I liked, however, overall it isn’t funny enough. It boarders a drama. Myabe it’s a failed dramadey For the series, modeling leads to Gad’s call to action. But for a show created by and starring a successful comedian, I expect a funnier.
Last midpoint, if you like naked sexy French women, you’ll get a bite size treat.
Low Points: Unfortunately the main jokes get played out. The whole premise of the humor in the first episode is based on Gad expecting to be a star in America. Gad is super famous and rich in France. There must be a lot of autobiographical material here, but there is a problem. I don’t care! And it’s not that funny. Not being funny is the primary reason I don’t care. I’d be surprised if Americans cared. Ironically, the actor Elmaleh, “The French Jerry Seinfeld,” is unknown in America. And like his character, Elmaleh is not making a good first impression in America.
The perspective or the audience of this show is off. The show creates the premise around a French perspective of America for Americans. Gad’s French fame and wealth sets up his midlife crisis. No problem there. Not only does Gad’s amazing house overlook the Eiffel Tower, he also hooks up with young sexy French women which brings him no pleasure. The guy with everything Americans want is depressed. Okay fine. Then the Americans he runs to all suck?Not only do these people suck, but they don’t respect Gad. By staying in America, Gad validates America’s apathy towards French and Europeans. Gad Elmaleh and Huge in France pretty much admit that success outside of the U.S.A. is worthless.
I’d rather see a an American star go be super famous in Europe, Asia, or Africa.
Watch: No thanks. The last scene, which I liked, is not enough to interest me in the second episode or the rest of the series. Netflix does have one of Elmaleh’s stand up specials. I might check out his stand up, maybe as background noise with dinner, pending Mrs. Nameles’ approval.
To hoist, or not to hoist: This is a strong hoist.
Quest for the Best and Worst Pilot Ever: As expected, this episode is going towards the bottom. It’s definitely better than Rel and The Cool Kids. I’d say above the Cloak and Dagger threshold, but it’s nowhere near Kimmy Schmidt. So pending a watch and response from Drew, I’m going to place it as the new #56 above Cloak and Dagger.
Petardar: (recommendations) here are three sitcoms that know how to entertain and set up a series.
- My Name Is Earl
- The Good Place
- Gad Elmaleh’s Stand Up
Let me know if there are any great pilots you have watched recently, or if you want to recommend a pilot to watch and review!
Everyday we hoistling,
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