Apr 28th, 2020, 06:18 AM

Your Summer Homework? Watch Netflix.

By Maddi Carpenter-Crawford
Image credit freestocks.org via Flickr
Four shows to keep your French strong over the summer.

The semester's finally over. You heave a sigh of relief, and then it hits you. You're still in quarantine - what do you do now? Chances are, some of us will be settling in for a well-earned Netflix marathon.

Though it may not feel like learning, TV and movies are one of the most recommended ways to pick up vocabulary and accurate pronunciation when learning a language. Balancing post-semester relaxation with some remaining sense of purpose may just be the perfect recipe for a quarantine summer. Without further ado, here are our top picks for French shows on American Netflix:

Poster for Au Service de la France. Image credit: IMDb

Au Service de la France (A Very Special Service)

Au Service de la France is our true comedy pick. Set in 1960s France, the show features André Merlaux, a new recruit to the French secret service. Much as André tries to understand the ins and outs of top-secret diplomacy, his struggles quickly become the comedic center of the show. It seems that everything, including André's job description, is classified...to him! We hope André's antics cheer you up as much as they did us.

Poster for Divines. Image credit: IMDb


Divines is a classically and beautifully constructed example of a Banlieue film. Specific to the suburbs around Paris, the genre focuses on realistic narratives following economic pressures and xenophobia dealt with by teens coming of age in les banlieues. Divines follows Dounia and her best friend Maimouna, who have both come from immigrant families and grown up in slum-like housing.

For the two girls, the only way out seems to be the rapid accumulation of wealth through drug dealing. As the girls prove themselves in their operation, stakes grow and they are forced to make choices between old friendships, the promise of "making it," family loyalties, and new love. Interlaced with this complex development of character is a beautiful score which makes the conflict all the more assaulting.

La Fôret poster. Image credit : IMDb

La Fôret (The Forest)

For our fans of the creep-factor, this murder mystery is perfect. Set in the Bois du Fays or Forest of the Fairies, La Fôret sets forth a more complex and naturally mysterious set of possibilities than other murder mysteries are able to. Technically, the center of the show is a small village adjacent to the wide forest, such that the killer could be someone right next door, or something mystical out in the woods.

As murder mysteries tend to go, blame gets shifted to people who may or may not have anything to do with the mystery, yet in a small French town where everyone knows everyone, this dynamic has major implications. If you're looking for a challenging mystery along with some beautiful scenery, this show comes highly recommended.

Poster for The Hookup Plan. Image credit: IMDb

Plan Coeur (The Hookup Plan)

This show is for the folks who just want to be back in Paris. It focuses on Elsa, who can't seem to get over her last ex. Her two best friends, Emilie and Charlotte, hatch a plan to get Elsa back in the game.

The bond between the three women through the ups and downs is central to this show, as is the giddiness that comes with new romantic prospects. Plus, you might catch some of your favorite sights. To warm your heart, this show is a good, lighthearted pick.

Hopefully, our French TV and movie picks will surround you with the familiarity of the city you know and love. And who knows - you might come out of quarantine fluent.