Candice Renoir, a charming French police series about an unconventional detective reached US audiences on Acorn TV. Eight seasons already aired in France. Acorn TV posted season 1 and promises season 2 on June 28. I can’t find anything about further seasons on Acorn, but even a part of this series is fun to watch. This review is of season 1.
Cécile Bois stars as Candice Renoir. Here’s the setup for the series. Candice was a cop in Paris, but has been following her husband around the world to various jobs for 10 years. She has 4 kids. After a divorce, she gets a job in Montpellier as a police Major.
The team she will head is not happy about having her as a new leader. Her reception is frosty. She’s out of date on all the technology. She works in ways they don’t understand. She’s a female Sherlock Holmes, noticing odd clues that everyone ignores and solving crimes based on different evidence than what the team has been trained to look for.
Raphaël Lenglet plays Antoine Dumas, who thought he was going to have the job Candice is taking. He isn’t happy about her being there. The coroner/forensics expert Valentine (Yeelem Jappain) takes a liking to Candice and becomes her friend.
Chrystelle (Gaya Verneuil) is a sullen and unhappy woman. She doesn’t understand Candice’s methods and she’s hiding things about her personal life.
The final member of her team is Mehdi (Ali Marhyar). In season 1 he is mostly obsessed with his impending fatherhood.
The boss, Yasmine Attia (Samira Lachhab), took on Candice because she was forced into it. She doesn’t like Candice’s methods either and fights her constantly.
Candice is undaunted by the hostility and counters most of the opposition with an enigmatic smile. When she gets around to explaining how she figured something out that otheres didn’t see, it’s often not well received. She knows she’s good and her confidence keeps her going.
It’s a new crime every episode. Amid all the police work, we see Candice at home with her 4 kids. She has twin boys, another boy who is a budding chef, and a teen age daughter. They are full of tricks and love changing the ring tone on her phone to various barnyard animals. They don’t put much over on their mom though. She’s as quick to grasp their antics as she is to solve crimes.
In season 1, Candice gets involved with the handsome neighbor Hervé (Alexandre Varga). He’s a lovely post-divorce romance, but with him added into her daily schedule she misses a lot of much needed sleep.
Overall I found the series refreshing and charming. Since it’s run for 8 seasons in France, I’m assuming the quality evident in the first season holds up over time. Despite its crime solving stories, the series has a light and cheery feel. If you enjoyed Balthazar, this is similar in tone.
The series does not use gratuitous violence or sex. You could watch it with your kids.
In season 1, everything centers on Cécile Bois as Candice. She exudes charm and verve and does an excellent job holding the emotional heart of the series. She’s a fortyish mom of 4. I love how the French allow fortyish moms of 4 to still be interesting and sexy and smart. We in the USA could learn a lot from them.
Candice Renoir was created by Robin Barataud. I’m looking forward to season 2 and hope Acorn will be bring the entire series onto its platform.
Here’s a preview.