Many non-Quebecois skip over local French-language TV, dismissing it as stuffy and boring. But with budgets catching up to the quality of international productions, Canadian dramas are more gripping than ever. They also offer more spectacular cinematography and breathtaking direction.
One of Quebec's most popular television series, the Wall centers on big city detective Celine Trudeau's reluctant trip to a remote mining town in northern Canada where there's no actual "wall," but just a settlement surrounded by snowy mountains and freezing temperatures where people get around as much by snowmobile as cars. Pairing her with Boy-Scout detective Alex Theberge (Alexadre Landry), a young man who's as much of a nerd as the town's other males, Celine struggles to deal with the harsh conditions and odd behavior of the townspeople.
While the story does have some of the standard small-town suspects — creepy store owners, obnoxious teens, self-interested government officials and earnest police officers — it's held together by Isabel Richer's gripping performance as Celine and the twisted nature of the crimes. Also worth noting is the performance of Sugar Sammy, a multilingual comedian who plays a macho, borderline misogynist caricature of himself. It's a memorable, deliciously quotable turn.