While Breaking Bad broke new ground in the US, France, which has created little in the way of cultural innovation since it was taken over by an army of pen-pushing, zombie civil servants 30 years ago, produced one of the world’s most interesting and original TV shows of the last few years.
It’s a brilliant, intelligent and quiet twist on the zombie formula, and as The Guardian put it, selecting the Returned as the best TV program of 2013 and pushing Breaking Bad into the number 2 spot:
At its heart was the existential question that is as profound as it is infrequently asked. What if the worst you could imagine wasn’t having a child die in a car crash or having your fiance kill himself on your wedding day, but them coming back to life? Almost as they were before, but not quite.
It was broadcast on Channel 4 in the UK, with subtitles. One of the few foreign language items to break the language barrier in the Anglosphere that stems from the laziness of speaking the world’s dominant second language. It remains almost unknown in the US, but with the magic of legal streaming you don’t need to wait for the inevitable remake for the US market to watch it via the post-modern TV channel that is Smashing Telly:
It is available for streaming via Amazon instant video, here.
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